Riverside Public Utilities
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Learn all about RPU's current projects.

LED Streetlights

Riverside will be converting all streetlights to LED streetlights, which will honor the historic integrity of streetlight aesthetics, while providing a safer, longer-lasting light.

LED Streetlights will provide extra safety, security, and energy-savings. Learn more about outdoor lighting from the experts.



PowerPoint Presentation

See a PowerPoint presentation for a quick overview.

Permissible Use Policy

See the policy on permissions granted to move forward.

Board Memorandum

See LED streetlight details from the Board Memorandum.

LED Streetlights Contact

For questions or more info, contact:

Stephen E. Lafond

Principal Engineer
Substation, Transmission, and Distribution Standards
Energy Delivery Engineering
Tel: (951) 826-2402
Fax: (951) 826-5597

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LED Streetlights FAQ

The Public Utilities Department has functional responsibility for the design, operation, and maintenance of the street lighting system. Annual City streetlight capital expenditures are identified in the Public Utilities Department’s capital improvement project budget. The costs associated with the street lighting system are paid by the City to Public Utilities through rates designed by the Public Utilities Department.  These rates are designed to recover all costs for street lighting including material and labor for installation, maintenance, replacements, and energy. (Council Resolution #17953 3.7.1992) reference: http://aquarius.riversideca.gov/clerkdb/0/doc/4166/Page1.asp

Annual City streetlight expenditures are to be identified in the Public Utilities Department’s capital improvement project budget. Public Utilities budget’s as needed to accomplish the project.

The $15M overall cost includes the study.  Public Utilities will pay for the $1M study now from electric fund budget, and recover the cost in street light rates.

  • The bulk of the project cost (estimated at $12,319,000) would be reimbursed by Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Allowance Auction Proceeds based on GHG reductions achieved by the project.
  • Public Benefit energy efficiency rebates of $0.08 per annual kWh reduction (estimated at $766,000) would also apply to the project.
  • The balance of project funding would be collected through the LS-1 Street Light rate and the TC Traffic Control Rate.

  • 20 year life vs. 7 years with current lights.
  • 9.9 years average payback of the conversion cost from reduced energy consumption, and maintenance expense.
  • Annual energy savings of 10,251,000 kWh upon city-wide completion (equivalent to 1,398 homes).
  • Annual GHG reduction of 3,249 tons of CO2 upon city-wide completion (equivalent to taking 691 cars off the road).
  • LED luminaires are staged for potential low cost rapid deployment of selected Smart City applications that will be studied and evaluated as part of Phase 1.
  • Upon completion, the City-wide Streetlight LED Conversion Program is projected to achieve an annual cost savings $922,000 for energy, and $360,000 for maintenance. These savings can be reinvested in other City-wide streetlight capital needs in lieu of General Fund Street Lighting Service (LS-1) rate increases to fund needed projects.
  • Conversion of 1,320 additional intersection safety lights is also expected to reduce billing to the General Fund through the Traffic Control Service (TC) rate by approximately $57,000 per year due to reduced electric consumption.

The city will re-invest the savings into the street lighting system to help pay for necessary capital improvements. The cost model includes energy, maintenance, baseline annual capital costs of ($1M), Phase 1 of Wood streets rebuild project ($1.9M), LED retrofit project ($15M), Phase 2-5 Wood Streets ($8.1M). Result is positive until 2027 and net deficit in 2032. (May improve based on reduction in replacement costs in future years). The LED design will further validate and improve the estimates based on actual equipment specifications. A streetlight rate increase will be required in ten years (2027) to recover all costs.

Phase 1

Design includes development of a Street Light Design Manual with new and updated street light standards and specifications.

Phase 2

Conversion will include about 8,000 street lights and intersection safety lights located on poles along arterial and collector streets.

Phase 3

Conversion will include about 12,000 remaining street lights and intersection safety lights not located in Historic Districts or Neighborhood Conservation Areas.

Phase 4

Conversion will include about 4,000 street lights located in Historic Districts or Neighborhood Conservation Areas – with public meeting components to receive Certificates of Appropriateness.

Phase 5

Conversion will include about 6,000 remaining street lights located in Historic Districts or Neighborhood Conservation Areas – with public meeting components to receive Certificates of Appropriateness.


The streetlight rates currently creates a surplus with respect to energy and maintenance which covers capital needs as outlined above.