Shedding Light on 5 Years of Upgrades

Posted: March 07, 2018
Tagged As: Electricity, Energy, Energy Bills, Energy Conservation and Demand Management Plans, LED, Streetlights

Five years ago this month, at the request of our members, LAS launched one of its most successful and robust initiatives to date – the LED Streetlight Program.  There was no fan fare, no party, and no fireworks.  LAS quietly connected with our members through lunch-and-learns, Town Hall sessions, and one-on-one meetings.  The message was simple: we are here to help you upgrade your streetlights.

LAS and its partners - RealTerm Energy and Cree Canada - shared a vision of efficient streetlight networks in cities and towns across the province.  There was a strong determination to help many follow in the footsteps of streetlight pioneers such as Kingston, Midland, and Mississauga.

The first municipalities to move forward were Blind River, Deseronto, Machin, and North Frontenac in December 2013.  Black River Matheson, Espanola, Kapuskasing, and Ramara soon followed in early 2014.  The streetlight revolution had begun! 

By mid-2014, program growth was steady with at least one new municipality per week.  The first major milestone was in March 2015, when Rainy River became the 100th municipality to sign on.
LAS LED Streetlight Program Uptake

2015 turned out to be a busy year.  The program was mature, the OPA/IESO offered strong incentives, and there was momentum in the municipal sector.  At one point late in 2015, RealTerm’s project management team was supervising 64 subcontractors on 35 separate projects. 

The program has evolved over the years.  Manual processes have been automated, designs have been streamlined, and changes made to suit the specific needs of each municipality.  Whether it was existing wiring that didn’t meet code, congested streets, or tight delivery times, the partners have always focused on positive solutions and customer service.

Recognized the World Over

2016 Innovation Awards: Canadian Lightsaver of the Year - LASThe LAS LED program has received international recognition throughout the years. The 2015 International Street Lighting Conference in New Zealand announced it as the 14th largest streetlight conversion project in the world!

In 2016, the World Bank praised LAS’ joint procurement model as being among the most efficient and successful delivery models in the world.  The program also received the Lightsaver of the Year award from the Canadian Urban Institute’s Lightsavers Canada, a not-for-profit focused on accelerating the adoption and deployment of LED lighting systems.

So what is it that makes this program so unique and attractive?  The consensus feedback from staff and elected officials is that the proven six-step turnkey solution offers both value and convenience—saving them considerable time and costs in both the short and long terms.  Having LAS act as a broker provides the enabling coordination mechanism that had been missing previously.

Fun Facts

  • Project Size Range (in fixtures) = 13 to 10,660
  • % of municipalities using Energy Performance Contract (EPC) financing = 9%
  • Typical energy savings = 60-75%
  • Number of times incentive amounts have changed = 4
  • Number of LDCs our teams have worked with = 18
  • Temperature range that crews have installed fixtures = -40oC to 32oC
  • Number of squirrels that have jumped into installer’s overalls = 1
  • Number of spiders and birds found nesting in old fixtures = countless
To date the LAS program has served 168 municipalities (38% of the Province) with 150,000 streetlight upgrades.  The program has saved over $10 million in annual electricity and maintenance costs, and reduced electricity consumption by 67 GWh (67 Million kWh) annually.  What’s more, the LAS team has completed 197 applications securing over $15.5 Million in SaveONenergy incentives.  Without these incentives, many would not have been able to afford such a lofty undertaking.

Join in the Celebration

LAS, RealTerm Energy, and Cree Canada are especially grateful for the support of all the municipalities who have joined us on this journey over the years.  We are asking those that have used the program to join the celebration by Tweeting a photo of their completed project @LAS_Ontario using the hashtag #LASLEDSLs.  This is your chance to show off your brighter, more beautiful, and energy efficient streets to the rest of the world.  Tweet your photos today!

Jeff Barten                                                                     Scott Vokey
Energy & Asset Services Manager                                 Director, Government Relations & Community Solutions
LAS                                                                                 RealTerm Energy

Graham Proudley
You can email either of the authors by clicking on their name.
3/9/2018 9:49:38 AM

Shon O'Toole
Great Metrics and overview. Suggest you leave an eMail address to gather "Before+After" Pics for those who do not tweet to enlarge your pool of responders.
3/9/2018 9:00:34 AM