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Community-Wide LED Street Lighting Upgrades

With many communities looking to reap the benefits of Light Emitting Diode technology, we're joining the innovation revolution. We will launch a multi-year effort to upgrade all Xcel Energy-owned cobra head, high-pressure sodium streetlights to LED solid-state units.

The numerous advantages of LED-style lighting are no secret to cities. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, LEDs have the potential to cut general lighting energy usage nearly in half by 2030, saving energy expense and reducing carbon emissions in the process. When installations are completed, communities we serve will realize the benefits of LEDS–from cost and energy savings to improved safety, aesthetics, reliability and environmental performance.

For municipalities currently receiving street lighting service from Xcel Energy-owned assets, there will be no upfront cost to participate in Xcel Energy’s LED street lighting upgrade. Xcel Energy will be making the investment in this new technology in step with our commitment to support the energy goals of the communities we serve. Learn more about Minnesota’s proposed LED Street Lighting Program (PDF)

For those municipalities that own their own streetlights, we're offering LED street lighting rebates in a number of areas we serve. To find out if your projects qualify for rebates to help offset your investment, visit the Business Lighting Efficiency page for additional details.

Since we're a regulated utility, any new offering, including our LED streetlight program, must first be evaluated and approved by the appropriate regulatory bodies governing our territory. Once these important approvals are received, we'll begin the conversion process, which will take place over multiple years.

Six Reasons LED Street Lighting is Our Priority

Your focus on an energy-efficient, low-carbon future presents us with the opportunity to find a solution toward meeting your energy goals. Here are six benefits your community at large can gain with streetlight upgrades:

  1. LED lights produce more light per watt of power consumed than conventional lights.

  2. LED lights have a longer life, which equates to increased reliability and reduced maintenance costs.

  3. Because of their energy efficiency, LED streetlights reduce carbon emissions.

  4. Their "daylight" appearance offers aesthetic and safety appeal.

  5. LED units contain no mercury, lead or other known disposable hazards.

  6. LED lights don’t need to warm up; they are at 100 percent brightness immediately upon turning on.

Three LED Pilot Cities Paved the Way

To ensure the LED lighting equipment meets our performance and pricing standards, we invested a significant amount of time and money to test and research the latest LED technology. We teamed up with Amarillo, Texas; Denver, Colorado; and West St. Paul, Minn. to convert 650 cobrahead streetlights, enabling us to acquire actual data and experience that will be used to effectively implement our LED street lighting conversion.   

West St. Paul was the largest project with a 537-LED streetlight upgrade in 2013. To test and verify energy consumption, three of the LED installations were metered. Meter readings were collected quarterly and results showed a 42 percent reduction in energy use when compared to high-pressure sodium units. Performance showed that these results were consistent with manufacturer tests and claims.

Qualifying Communities

To qualify for our LED Street Lighting upgrade, your municipality must be an Xcel Energy electric customer, with Xcel Energy-owned street lights within your community.

Conversion Process

In order to ensure the most cost effective and efficient LED conversion, we will develop a strategic transition plan and work with municipal customers to maximize conversion in the shortest period of time feasible, minimizing the impact on residents.

Energy Saving Tip

Rather than crank up your heat in the winter, keep your thermostat at a moderate level and bundle up. (Who doesn't love fuzzy slippers?)

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