Albany, NY - February 19, 2018 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced Smart Street Lighting NY, a new statewide program that calls for at least 500,000 street lights throughout the state to be replaced with energy-saving LED technology by 2025. The program has the potential to reduce energy consumption across the state by 482 gigawatt hours annually—the equivalent of nearly 45,000 households—saving taxpayers $87 million a year, drastically reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and improving the quality of light and safety of communities across the state. The program was announced by the Governor in the 2018 State of the State and directly supports his goal to reduce climate emissions 40 percent by 2030, based on 1990 levels.
"This modernization program will help save taxpayer money, increase energy efficiency, and increase public safety through increased visibility," Governor Cuomo said. "It's a win-win-win that complements this administration's efforts to fight climate change and create a cleaner, greener New York for all."
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul announced the initiative today at the Association of Towns of the State of New York 2018 Annual Meeting in New York City.
"As a Councilmember for over a decade, I know firsthand the challenges faced by local governments to provide excellent services while keeping the tax burden low," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who announced the program. "This initiative helps municipalities turn to smart street lighting to reduce energy and maintenance costs and help make communities cleaner and safer."
The New York Power Authority will lead this interdisciplinary and interagency initiative with the Department of Public Service, the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, the Department of Environmental Conservation and other state agencies to offer a one-stop-shop solution for municipalities to replace inefficient streetlights with the cleaner, more efficient LED technology, and provide technical expertise on design, procurement and construction.
Richard Kauffman, chairman of Energy and Finance for New York State, said, "Under Governor Cuomo, innovative and smart initiatives using easily deployable and readily available technologies like LED lighting are getting us closer to achieving our emissions reduction goals. NYPA taking the lead to install this lighting source supports our Reforming the Energy Vision for a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system."
NYPA will work with cities, towns, villages and counties throughout New York to fully manage and implement a customer's transition to LED streetlight technology. The Power Authority will provide upfront financing for the project, with payments made to NYPA in the years following from the cost-savings created by the reduced energy use of the LED streetlights. NYPA is also willing to finance the purchase of street lighting systems from a municipality's utility if needed.
NYPA's government customers are provided a wide-array of lighting options to help meet their individual needs, including specifications on the lights to incorporate SMART technology, which can be used for dozens of other functions, such as cameras and other safety features, weather sensors, Wi-Fi and energy meters.
Smart Street Lighting NY is the latest advance under Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's BuildSmart NY initiative to increase energy efficiency in municipalities and publicly owned buildings. It builds upon the Power Authority's commitment in June 2017 to develop $300 million annually in energy efficiency and renewable measures at public facilities by 2019. The increase in energy efficiency improvements doubles what NYPA implements today.
Gil C. Quiniones, NYPA president and CEO, said, "NYPA currently has more than 100,000 LED streetlight fixture replacements planned in our energy services pipeline with our governmental customers. With the launch of Smart Street Lighting NY, we are redoubling our efforts to aggressively meet or exceed the Governor's goal of 500,000 LED streetlights installed in New York by 2025."
DPS is coordinating directly with NYPA to provide support on the street lighting installations by requiring improved reporting from utilities on existing streetlights, assisting with potential tariff changes connected with SMART technology. Under REV, DPS streamlined the process for the sale of utility-owned streetlights to municipalities.
Public Service Commission Chair John B. Rhodes said, "Governor Cuomo has championed municipal government efficiency and encouraging municipalities to take greater control over their energy usage. Converting street-lighting to LEDs saves money and energy, and makes sense for cities, the environment, and New Yorkers."
Alicia Barton, president and CEO, NYSERDA, said, "By replacing conventional street lights with energy efficient LED technology, municipalities are demonstrating a commitment to decreasing their carbon footprint while reducing energy costs. The Smart Street Lighting NY program supports Governor Cuomo's energy agenda, which is creating safe and sustainable communities for generations of New Yorkers to come."
State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos said, "New York is at the forefront of efforts to combat climate change, and Governor Cuomo continues to show the exemplary vision and leadership to increase energy efficiency and reduce harmful emissions. This program illustrates how taking simple steps like using more efficient LED lighting can protect our environment and cut costs, creating a win-win for all."
Smart Street Lighting NY is made possible, in part, by action last year from the New York State Public Service Commission to amend the Public Service Law to establish procedures for the transfer of ownership of complete street lighting systems to local governments. With the change in ownership, municipalities can take control of the light fixtures on their own streets and have the opportunity to install LED technology.
Senate Energy & Telecommunications Committee Chair Joseph Griffo said, "Municipalities across the state are always looking for ways to save taxpayer dollars, such as incorporating energy efficiency initiatives. The opportunity to partner and provide local governments with the resources to accomplish this goal is important and beneficial to all involved. Further, I am pleased that NYPA is building on legislation that I sponsored and was enacted in 2015 that was designed to establish procedures for the transfer of ownership of streetlights and supporting infrastructure from a public utility to a municipality or other government entity."
Assembly Energy Committee Chair Michael J. Cusick said, Smart Street Lighting NY will be a beneficial program to New York residents when it comes to reducing taxpayer dollars allocated to paying for energy consumption. Having an additional 500,000 street lights being replaced with LED technology by 2025 will soon lead to a path of all New York streetlights converted to LED technology. It is admirable to witness State and local agencies persistently working to push our State in the right direction."
This energy-saving initiative also supports New York's Reforming the Energy Vision (REV4NY) strategy to build a statewide energy system that is clean, resilient and affordable for all New Yorkers.
Reforming the Energy Vision
Reforming the Energy Vision is Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's strategy to lead on climate change and grow New York's economy. REV is building a cleaner, more resilient and affordable energy system for all New Yorkers by stimulating investment in clean technologies like solar, wind, and energy efficiency and requiring 50 percent of the state's electricity needs from renewable energy by 2030. Already, REV has driven growth of more than 1,000 percent in the statewide solar market, improved energy affordability for 1.65 million low-income customers, and created thousands of jobs in manufacturing, engineering, and other clean tech sectors. REV is ensuring New York reduces statewide greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2030 and achieves the internationally recognized target of reducing emissions 80 percent by 2050. To learn more about REV, including the Governor's $5 billion investment in clean energy technology and innovation, visit rev.ny.gov, follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
NYPA is the largest state public power organization in the nation, operating 16 generating facilities and more than 1,400 circuit-miles of transmission lines. More than 70 percent of the electricity NYPA produces is clean renewable hydropower. NYPA uses no tax money or state credit. It finances its operations through the sale of bonds and revenues earned in large part through sales of electricity. For more information visit www.nypa.gov and follow us on Twitter@NYPAenergy, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and LinkedIn.