Statewide LED Streetlight Program Cuts Annual Municipal GHG Emissions by Over 10,000 Metric Tons

Dec. 18, 2014. Arlington, MA.
LED street lights in front of Arlington Town Hall and Town Manager Adam Chapdelaine.
Metropolitan Area Planning Council.
© 2014 Marilyn Humphries

Statewide LED Streetlight Program Cuts Annual Municipal GHG Emissions by Over 10,000 Metric Tons

77 Municipalities Awarded $5.5 Million to Convert to LEDs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  April 22, 2021

Lynn, MA – The Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) today joined state and local officials to celebrate the successful conclusion of the Department of Energy Resources’ (DOER) Rapid LED Streetlight Conversion Program. The program, launched in 2017, has awarded 77 cities and towns over $5.5 million in grants for installation of 116,139 LED streetlights. The installations are projected to reduce electricity usage by more than 35.1 million kilowatt hours (kWh) and lower costs for municipalities by over $5.4 million per year, while avoiding over 10,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions annually - equivalent to taking over 2,150 cars off the road.

Officials announced results of the grant program at an Earth Day event in Lynn, which received a $263,242 grant and recently completed installation of 6,602 LED streetlights. This climate-smart retrofit is expected to save the City over $300,000 annually while cutting Lynn’s electricity usage and carbon emissions by over two million kWh and 603 metric tons, respectively.

“As Massachusetts celebrates Earth Day, we are pleased to work closely with our municipal partners to support energy efficient streetlight conversions that will reduce electricity use and lower costs,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Innovative and cost-effective energy efficiency programs like this streetlight conversion program are a key component of our emissions reduction strategy to achieve our climate and energy goals of the future.”

“As we make this shift in the Commonwealth towards clean energy and increased sustainability, we will continue to work with our municipalities to meet our shared climate goals,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “This streetlight program provided more than $1.7 million to nine municipalities with more than half of its population residing in an Environmental Justice neighborhood, lowering costs and reducing pollution in these communities.”

“State and local partnerships are critical to reducing emissions, and we are pleased to work with MAPC to complete this successful streetlight conversion program and deliver significant efficiency benefits to communities throughout Massachusetts,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “Investments from this program will result in increased visibility and safety in communities, as well as reductions in light pollution, while delivering significant cost savings to municipalities.”

“DOER is proud of its continued investment in energy efficiency to support the Commonwealth in meeting its ambitious climate goals while delivering financial savings for municipalities, businesses, and residents,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Patrick Woodcock. “Through the Rapid LED Streetlight Conversion Program, cities and towns have reduced their carbon footprint while reducing operating budgets. I thank MAPC for their partnership in this successful program.”

“The City of Lynn was honored to be included as one of the 77 communities across the Commonwealth in the MAPC-DOER LED Streetlight Conversion Program,” said Lynn Mayor Thomas M. McGee. “Not only will the newly installed LED streetlights provide increased visibility and safety for residents across our entire city, but it will ultimately result in an annual cost savings of over $300,000 for the City with the installation of these energy efficient bulbs. Thank you to all of our partners at MAPC, DOER and the City of Lynn Inspectional Service Department for successfully carrying out this program.”

Lynn is one of nine grantee municipalities with more than half of its population residing in an Environmental Justice (EJ) neighborhood. In total, over $1.7 million in grant funds went to the nine EJ communities – which will result in annual municipal electricity savings of approximately 12.9 million kWh hours and avoid 3,800 metric tons of GHG emissions each year – accounting for 38 percent of total emissions avoided through the streetlight program. Other EJ communities awarded grants over the course of the program include Ayer, Brockton, Everett, Malden, Leominster, Lexington, Lowell, and Quincy.

Running from 2017 through the end of 2020, the $5.5 million Rapid LED Streetlight Conversion Program was administered by MAPC on behalf of DOER and benefited a diverse cross-section of Massachusetts’ rural, suburban, and urban communities, from Quincy to West Springfield to Athol. The program provided grant funding for 30 percent of the cost of materials and installation associated with converting conventional high-pressure sodium (HPS) streetlights to light emitting diode (LED) technology, which is capable of cutting electricity usage by 50 to 70 percent. The longer-lasting fixtures can also reduce routine maintenance costs by at least 50 percent.

“We are thrilled to have assisted so many municipalities across the Commonwealth to retrofit their streetlights and unlock the carbon, energy, and operational cost savings of LEDs,” said MAPC Deputy Director Rebecca Davis. “This program demonstrates the power of collective purchasing as a tool to deploy energy-efficient climate-smart strategies in our communities while also reducing the overall costs for municipalities to adopt innovative technologies like wireless controls.”

In addition to energy efficiency, the benefits of LED streetlights include their ability to provide more uniform lighting to enhance targeted visibility and safety and to reduce glare and light pollution by reflecting less light into the atmosphere, preserving the dark sky for stargazers and for wildlife that rely on it for navigation and other behaviors. Unlike conventional high pressure sodium streetlights, LED lights can be equipped with wireless controls that can be dimmed to provide the level of illumination needed at any given time and generate even greater GHG emissions, energy, and cost savings benefits. Of the 77 grantee communities, 17 opted for LED streetlights with “smart” controls that allow dimming and other advanced functions.

Participating municipalities in this program saved time and money upfront through the economies of scale of collective purchasing and will save over time through reduced energy and maintenance costs. Some, such as Lowell and Stoneham, have already reinvested their savings into Energy Revolving Funds that enable them to pay for important municipal projects, including EV charging stations and public safety building upgrades.

The following municipalities received Massachusetts Rapid LED Streetlight Conversion Program grants:

Agawam

$54,968

Gardner

$54,751

Oxford

$55,327

Amesbury

$78,785

Grafton

$36,162

Palmer

$42,052

Andover

$64,741

Hanover

$26,863

Pittsfield

$209,810

Athol

$43,017

Haverhill

$173,079

Quincy

$332,511

Auburn

$67,082

Holbrook

$31,734

Rockland

$29,736

Ayer

$22,444

Hopkinton

$23,507

Salisbury

$50,762

Berlin

$4,198

Leicester

$35,779

Saugus

$118,586

Beverly

$144,149

Leominster

$225,172

Somerset

$92,595

Billerica

$154,221

Lexington

$188,980

Spencer

$54,692

Bridgewater

$47,792

Longmeadow

$18,973

Stoneham Phase 1

$37,269

Brockton

$269,111

Lowell

$198,483

Stoneham Phase 2

$39,242

Buckland

$4,414.55

Lynn

$263,242

Sunderland

$1,548

Burlington

$117,496

Malden

$150,617

Swansea

$95,596

Carver

$30,680

Manchester

$13,069

Tewksbury

$94,082

Clinton

$47,415

Marion

$11,641

Tyngsborough

$24,772

Cohasset

$22,205

Mattapoisett

$20,581

Ware

$39,424

Dalton

$19,344

Medfield

$15,131

Warren

$8,431

Douglas

$21,364

Medford

$238,100

Wayland

$17,722

Dracut

$78,775

Millis

$18,603

Webster

$52,489

Dudley

$27,240

Nahant

$18,229

West Springfield

$92,157

Erving

$9,449

Needham

$111,902

Westford

$52,278

Essex

$6,257

Newbury

$26,433

Westport

$8,648

Everett

$69,247

Newburyport

$45,313

Weymouth

$240,901

Foxborough

$47,104

North Andover

$66,159

Whitman

$55,247

Franklin

$73,412

Northbridge

$63,248

Williamsburg

$6,223

Freetown

$4,965

Norton

$38,884

Winchendon

$27,117

Additional information on the LED streetlights program and related initiatives is available on the DOER and MAPC websites.

During this year’s Earth Week in Massachusetts, the Baker-Polito Administration is highlighting its commitment to supporting the Commonwealth’s Environmental Justice communities, and ensuring that all residents are protected from environmental pollution can enjoy a clean and healthy environment. During Earth Week, the Administration is holding events throughout the Commonwealth spotlighting important initiatives, including the expansion of tree planting through the Greening the Gateway Cities Program, increasing access to healthy, nutritious food by supporting urban farms, and ensuring clean water by providing grant funding to local municipalities.

On March 26, 2021, Governor Baker signed comprehensive climate change legislation that includes nation-leading provisions related to Environmental Justice. Recognizing the significant impact of climate change on Environmental Justice communities overburdened by poor air quality and disproportionately high levels of pollution, the legislation statutorily defines Environmental Justice and environmental burdens, including climate change as an environmental burden. The legislation also expands Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) review to require an Environmental Impact Report for all projects that impact air quality within one mile of an Environmental Justice Neighborhood, and requires the Department of Environmental Protection to conduct a stakeholder process to develop a cumulative impact analysis as a condition of permitting certain projects. This change would, for the first time, require the agency to evaluate not just individual project impacts but also historic environmental pollution throughout the community through the permit process.

Press Contacts

Eric Noreen (DOER)
Eric.Noreen@mass.gov

Amanda Linehan (MAPC)
alinehan@mapc.org