Riverside Public Utilities

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.


LED-Related Links

Links to LED Streetlight-related info.

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LED Streetlights FAQ

Why is this an RPU project?

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.

How should the cost of the LED conversion be budgeted in RPU?

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.

How is the study and design work paid for and the costs recovered?

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.

Why install LEDs at all?

  • 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.
  • 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.

What happens to the savings?

The city will re-invest the savings into the street lighting system to help pay for necessary capital improvements.

Will all the street lights be done at once?

The Citywide conversion will include about 27,000 streetlights and intersection safety lights and 6,000 decorative streetlights.

The work is expected to be completed in the following segments:

Phase I:

  • Includes 27,000 streetlights and intersection safety lights
  • Estimated Start Date:  Spring 2022
  • Estimated Completion Date: Winter 2023

Phase II:

  • Includes decorative streetlights
  • Estimated start and completions dates will be posted once determined.