Streetlight Program
Frequently Asked Questions

Who is RealTerm Energy?
Real Term Energy (RTE) is the service provider selected by LAS to deliver the LED Streetlight Program to our municipalities.  They are a Canadian firm (Montreal) that has evolved into a highly successful Global Infrastructure Company. With over $2.5B in assets in Airport Real Estate (Air Cargo), HFT Properties (Trucking Terminals), and energy projects (solar and lighting), RTE creates and fosters long term partnerships with forward-thinking private, public and government market leaders to deliver innovative and cost-effective lighting infrastructure solutions.  To find out more about how LAS arrived at this partnership, please refer to our RFP Process.

Who is Cree?
Cree Canada, formerly RUUD Lighting Canada, has been established since 1991, providing performance commercial lighting solutions with exceptional service.  As the LAS partner in this program, Cree supplies fixtures required for network upgrades and is able to offer market-leading pricing on these fixtures, which is passed on to our members.  Cree Canada has thousands of successful LED installations in Canada, and internationally (including the US, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.) Cree's corporate parent company is publicly traded and headquartered in North Carolina. Cree Inc. was founded in 1987. The manufacturing facility in Racine, Wisconsin meets all relevant ISO performance standards. To find out more about how LAS arrived at this partnership, please refer to our RFP Process.

Why LEDs?
LED lamps do not contain a gas-filled bulb or filament but use charged electrons that jump through a semi-conductor chip and then emit photons (light) when they land on the other side. A single LED lamp may have many chips. This construction makes LEDs highly resilient and efficient. As a result, LEDs offer a number of advantages over High Pressure Sodium or Metal Halide lights including:
  • Much lower power consumption ranging from 40-70% energy savings.
  • Long, predictable lifetime. LED lights do not burn out. Instead, they lose brightness over time, while generally lasting many times longer than a conventional fluorescent or incandescent light – up to 100,000 hours. The much less frequent need to service or replace LEDs means low maintenance cost.
  • More accurate color rendering. The color rendering index is the ability of a light source to correctly reproduce the colors of the objects in comparison to an ideal light source. 90-95% of respondents in retrofitted municipalities preferred LED over other types of lighting.
  • Quick turn on and off. LEDs come on with full brightness instantly. Unlike mercury vapor, metal halide and sodium vapor lamps (commonly used in street lighting), LEDs do not have a problem restarting immediately (hot ignition) following a brief power failure or inadvertent turn off.
  • Environmentally Positive. LEDs don't contain mercury or lead, and don't release poisonous gases if damaged.
  • Less attractive to nocturnal insects. Nocturnal insects are attracted to ultraviolet, blue and green light emitted by conventional light sources.
  • Higher light output even at low temperatures. While fluorescent lights are comparably energy efficient, on average they tend to have lesser light output at winter temperatures.
  • Less wasted light. Light from LEDs is very directional and they do not require diffusers or reflectors that reduce lighting efficiency. As a result, light does not shine where it is not wanted, such as into street-side bedroom windows.
  • Enhanced Safety via longer life and fact they will never leave an area in complete darkness as well as enhanced colour rendering which makes areas appear better lit with same or less actual foot candles than HPS or metal halide.

Why now?
Innovations in LED technology and production methods have resulted in dramatically reduced pricing for LED street lights in the past few years. That said, the LED luminaires are a small component of overall production costs, which for many manufacturers have now stabilized, with only minor price variations expected in the future. Factor in the cost of maintaining an old and expensive lighting system versus the immediate savings which LED street lighting can provide, and the answer is clear – it pays to install LED lighting as soon as possible.

What is included in this Turn-Key service?
The LAS offering provides Ontario municipalities a complete turn-key service that includes:

  • Procurement
  • Robust Photometric Design
  • Financial Analysis
  • Incentive Applications
  • Project Management
  • Installation & Commissioning
  • Financing Options

Why does Design matter? What is included?
Proper design ensures two very important things: (1) that the lighting provided continues to meet acceptable standards and avoids any potential liability concerns and (2) that savings are maximized.  The LAS Lighting design includes Photometric Lighting Layouts, 2D Line Drawings, 3D Full Image Drawings, Material Specifications, and Virtual Streetscapes. All of which shows design data at 50,000 hours or greater and focuses on Downward Delivered Lumens using acceptable colour temperature ranges in accordance with IES testing standards.  All designs meet or exceed the RP-8 Roadway Standard. Design increases the 40-50% energy reductions from straight wattage-based swaps to as high as 80% in some instances, while ensuring that your municipality is not exposed to any additional risk.  This analysis also includes:

  • LM-79 photometric test reports on suggested products
  • Expected useful life projection description and associated supporting documentation - LM-80, ISTMT Report and all other applicable data
  • A financial wherewithal assessment of the municipality
  • Evaluating any service and/or maintenance agreements currently in place

Based on the experience gained throughout this program, LAS can now confirm that proper design delivers between 12-15% savings compared to the standard desktop one for one replacements commonly employed by other firms.

Do these types of projects qualify for Incentives?
Yes. The LAS team will work with your local distribution company, third party evaluators, and the IESO to process a Save On Energy application. Incentives are subject to frequent change and LAS is here to ensure you receive the maximum amounts available.

What sources of funding are available for this type of project?
Some municipalities choose to utilize Federal Gas Tax allocations under the Community Energy category for streetlight retrofits.  Some utilize loans from Infrastructure Ontario while many others are utilizing the LAS-RTE Finance Options.

What are the LAS-RTE Finance Options?
There are three ways LAS-RTE can help you finance your project.

Design, Upgrade and Transfer:

The municipality provides the capital in this option. RTE undertakes a full review of your municipal lighting system and presents a proposed new LED system design. This included an outline of potential energy and maintenance savings and a complete summary of cost for the proposed project. Once the municipality gives the green-light, RTE and LAS will secure available OPA incentives and undertake the build-out and commissioning of the project as proposed and transfers all warranties to the municipality.

Energy Performance Contract (typically 10-year term):

No capital is required by the municipality and it can enjoy an infinite ROI due to no investment. The municipality benefits from a percentage share in energy & maintenance savings from year one without having to invest any capital. Additional benefits occur in that it is 100% risk free from technology, energy and maintenance savings because RTE assumes all risk. The lighting assets remain in the ownership of the municipality and the municipality enjoys 100% of savings after the infrastructure has been paid off (8-10 years).
Concession Agreement (20+ year term):

Concession Agreement:

The primary difference between a Concession Agreement and an EPC is the term and the contents of the infrastructure being financed (Fixtures, Controls, Poles, Wires, Expansion, Repair and Maintenance, System Performance etc.). Concession agreements are typically fixed annual payments to maintain the lighting network and other assets as a service. LAS’ program partner Real-Term Energy will outlay all the capital requirements to upgrade and convert to LED. Concession agreements are an attractive option for those municipalities considering a considerable project of $20 million or more.

What project management services are included?
A valued part of the provided turn-key approach is to have our team project manage your streetlight retrofit. Developed based on your local preferences, this approach provides the following:

  • Work with the locally preferred contractor or have the LAS/RTE select the best value contractor to perform installation;
  • Develop and implement performance standards for installation process;
  • Set up metering and bill settlement where required;
  • Develop and implement maintenance performance standards;
  • Operation and maintenance services under various financing platforms;
  • Ensure adaptive management system in place to mitigate against delays;
  • Work with customers through all steps of the process to ensure customer satisfaction;
  • Access to a custom-built App allowing municipal staff to track the progress of their installation in real-time;
  • Ongoing operation and maintenance services under various financing platforms;
  • A written description of recommended maintenance requirements and associated maintenance schedules.

Do the savings flow back to municipalities?
Yes. For the DUT option all costs and savings are the municipality's. For an EPC contract, a share is immediately flowed back to the municipality and the municipality receives 100% of savings after the project costs have been recovered. For a concession agreement, the municipality pays a significantly reduced annual fee for RTE to own and operate the infrastructure.  In addition, LAS-RTE never require you to relinquish ownership of your lighting assets.

What types of lighting are included?
The full suite of Cree Street Lighting products is available for cobra head replacements. As there is a massive range of decorative lighting fixtures in downtown cores and other designated areas, we will work with your staff to select the best options available from a range of trusted suppliers that offer decorative products.  You will be provided with options to compare DLC vs non-DLC fixtures and the effect on the overall business case.

Can I use my existing or some other local contractor?
Yes. LAS and RTE will work Local Distribution Companies (LDCs) and/or any identified contactor for the removal of old fixtures and installation of new ones provided the contractor in question can fulfill certain quality assurances.  We can even get quotes from multiple preferred contractors to ensure you are getting the best value.

Can I get support to have my bills adjusted?
Yes. LAS and RTE will work your LDC to ensure that your bills are adjusted after an installation to account for the difference in energy consumption.

Is there another way to save money on electricity?
Yes, municipalities who join the LAS Electricity Program can have their streetlights enrolled on the spot market and will save 15-20% on the commodity cost as a result.  However, this is not a requirement of the LED Streetlight Progam.


Jeff Barten
Energy and Asset Services Manager

T 416.971.9856 ext. 357
TF 1.877.426.6527
F 416.971.6191