Streetlight Replacement Program

At its November 7, 2012 meeting, the McKinleyville Community Services District (MCSD) Board of Directors approved Phase 1 of a streetlight replacement program for Light Emitting Diode (LED’s) along Central Avenue. Phase 1 included the replacement of fixtures from Bartow Road and Turner Road north to Railroad. When you find yourself driving along Central Avenue in the evening, you will notice the same amount of light as before, but with half the consumption of electricity.

The main motivation for the change involved revenue shortfalls associated with the necessity to institute a light pole inspection and replacement program, the cost of which was not calculated in the original engineer’s report and was not being collected in the current monthly fees.          

The Streetlight Zones are administered by MCSD through authority granted by the Landscape and Lighting Act of 1972. Formation and modification of Streetlight Zones are governed by Proposition 218 and require a majority vote to form new or modify existing assessments.             

Phase 2 of the program included replacing the total remaining fixtures in existing Streetlight Zones and has now been completed.  This project was funded with a 0%  interest loan through PG&E. The payback for the loan will be less than ten years. All fixtures were replaced by MCSD staff, resulting in additional cost savings for the project.

Technologies have evolved substantially in the past several years.  Staff determined through available technical and trade information that LED lighting has matured to a point that made it financially beneficial and environmentally responsible to not only require that new developments install LED streetlights but that MCSD should also replace existing High Pressure Sodium fixtures with LED’s.

Above: A HPS-High Pressure Sodium Streetlight

Above: A LED-Light Emitting Diode Streetlight

Rule 51.03. of MCSD’s Rules and Regulations states the following: “EFFICIENCY. All new streetlight facilities will be equipped with the most energy efficient fixtures available from the electric public utility at that time.”

Below is a breakdown of cost savings associated with the streetlight replacement program.

HPS-High Pressure Sodium (Current, per fixture, per month)

                Energy costs                       $6.40

                Operation costs                   $5.27

LED-Light Emitting Diode (Proposed, per fixture, per month)

                Energy costs                       $2.59

                Operation costs                   $4.07

Savings:                                             $4.87 per fixture per month total