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Upstate NY Streetlight Programs

National Grid has taken a strategic approach to aggressively reduce energy and to support the transition from inefficient lighting technology to energy efficient LED technology. In 2018, National Grid proposed and was approved to enhance the streetlight portfolio in various ways in support of this goal.

LED Streetlight Conversion

UNY Streetlights

Is your town/city/municipality interested in converting your street lights from existing HPS (High Pressure Sodium) to LEDs ? If so, please contact your regional account service representative for a preliminary conversion cost estimate. Pricing costs are calculated on a case-to-case basis and PAL (private area lights) are included in this program.

To learn more about the conversion process, costs, and financing options, read our FAQs.

  1. Eligible customers should first contact their National Grid representative, who can outline the program details, estimate annual savings, review the conversion cost, and discuss available payment options and next steps. 
  2. Customers would follow up by submitting a written request to National Grid for the per-unit conversion cost, which must be paid up front. This cost represents the average, undepre-ciated (net book) value of the light fixture being removed as well as any customer-specific system reconfiguration costs that may be assessed. 
  3. On receipt of the written request, National Grid will calculate the per-unit net book value, or NBV, and communicate in writing: 
    The number of roadway lights in the customer’s billing inventory.
    The per-unit NBV, which is valid for one year.
  4. The inventory of existing roadway luminaires, including luminaire information for each location. The customer must indicate the specific LED luminaire it wants to have installed at each location, and commit to convert a minimum of 15 percent of its total roadway luminaires or a minimum of 100 luminaires, (whichever quantity is greater).
  5. The customer must determine the financing option and method of payment for the retirement of the existing roadway luminaires. Options for financing include a single, upfront payment (independent financing such as the NY Green Bank, etc.) or funding through National Grid as a “Bill Surcharge” to be applied in equal monthly payments over a period not to exceed 10 years. The interest payment on the value funded by the Company will be based upon the Company’s current average cost of capital over the period designated by the customer.
  6. Program commencement for a customer will require the Company to be in receipt of a purchase order, promissory note or other acceptable form of payment and a formal request on letterhead by an authorized representative to proceed with conversion plans as defined by their designated inventory plan, including the total number of roadway streetlights to be converted, reference to the location inventory and the desired LED luminaires per location.

National Grid can convert up to 20 percent of its roadway lights to LED technology annually. Customer participation is on a first-come, first-served basis. Interested customers must commit to converting a minimum of 15 percent of their total roadway luminaires or a minimum of 100 luminaires per year (whichever number is greater).

The plan does not provide for individual end-of-life replacement of existing luminaires with LED technology, i.e., one-off replacement.

Replacement schedules are based on anticipated availability of LED fixtures and labor resources.

To take advantage of the conversion option, the customer would be required to provide upfront payment of the remaining asset value of the existing in-service luminaires being removed. The cost of the new LED luminaire, installation and future maintenance is included in the monthly rate stated in the tariff, similar to all other Company-owned streetlight offerings.

National Grid offers two direct options for customers to pay the upfront cost of the luminaires to be removed. A one-time payment (independent financing) or the collection of the upfront costs through a fixed surcharge to the applied to the customer’s bill for a term not to exceed 10 years.

The NY Green Bank, a division of the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA), offers an option for customers seeking ways to finance the obligation owed on the existing luminaries to be removed.

NY Green Bank’s financial arrangement is directly tied to the energy savings resulting from the conversion of roadway fixtures to LED technology. Interested customers will need specific information provided by National Grid before they can begin discussions about financial arrangements with NY Green Bank.

NYSERDA, through its Clean Energy Communities program, offers local governments the opportunity to apply for grant funding after completing four of 10 High Impact Actions and earning a Clean Energy Community designation.

Included among the 10 High Impact Actions is the conversion of municipal and utility-owned cobra-head style streetlights to LED technology. Local governments must convert a minimum of 50 percent of these street-lights to LED within their geographic jurisdiction.

The human eye responds differently to the spectrum of light produced by LEDs when compared to high pressure sodium lighting. This makes it possible for an LED streetlight to appear as bright, or brighter, than an HPS streetlight, at a lower level of delivered lumens.

Visually, LEDs produce a distinctly “whiter” light com-pared to high pressure sodium’s more “yellow” hue. This difference should be considered when specifying which lights to convert, particularly in situations where LED and HPS streetlights may be on the same street or in close proximity.

In 2016, the American Medical Association cautioned that exposure to blue-rich, high intensity LED light may result in excessive road glare and health-related issues in both humans and animals. The U.S. Department of Energy responded that “there’s nothing inherently dangerous about LED lighting, it should be used with the same prudence with which we use any other technology.”

National Grid encourages customers considering LED conversion to seek additional information from their knowledgeable lighting professionals in order to make fully informed decisions.

Assets Sales 

Any municipality and other government entity taking streetlight service from National Grid has the opportunity to request and obtain a purchase price for all or a portion of the Company’s streetlight system used to serve it. Eligibility is open to all upstate New York streetlighting customers, taking service under National Grid’s Service Classification No. 2, Company-owned, Company-maintained streetlight offering.

There are a number of steps involved in purchasing assets, but those interested should contact their National Grid representative who can present the details of the streetlight purchase option, describe the streetlight components that are included, how the sale price is determined, explain the various required agreements, the payment and security provision requirements, and next steps

For more information the purchasing process, costs, and financing options, read our FAQs.

By purchasing National Grid’s lights, a customer would assume ownership and all responsibilities for any and all maintenance or replacement of the components that it acquires. The customer would no longer pay the Company a monthly facility charge for these components, which may include some or all of the following: lamp, luminaire, arm/bracket, pole/standard, circuit and foundation.

National Grid would continue to supply and charge for electricity delivered to the streetlights.

Customers should first contact their National Grid representative who can present the details of the streetlight purchase option, describe the streetlight components that are included, how the sale price is determined, explain the various required agreements, the payment and security provision requirements, and next steps.

The customer would next submit a request in writing, asking National Grid to determine the sale price for all or the specified portion of the streetlights serving that customer. This purchase price request is limited to once in any twelve-month period.

The Company will provide the customer with a proposed sale price, taking into account such factors as the fair replacement cost value of the streetlights to be sold, their remaining book value, potential tax implications, and other costs the Company may incur to complete the sale.

The communication will also include the Company’s total original cost, depreciation and net book value for the streetlights in question; a brief explanation of the sales price determination; and the cost the Company would charge to convert the roadway luminaires in question to LED prior to sale under its existing LED conversion provisions.

If the customer and the Company reach agreement on the purchase price and other terms and conditions, both will enter into the following agreements to achieve the sale:
A purchase and sale agreement to be approved by the New York Public Service Commission (PSC). This includes the requirement that the customer install electric disconnection equipment for the separation of its streetlights from National Grid facili-ties within 24 months. A financial security instrument will be required at the time of purchase for use in the event that the Company must perform this work. An attachment agreement authorizing the customer to attach its streetlights to National Grid’s electric infrastructure.

An application for service between the customer and National Grid providing for the supply of electricity used by these streetlights under the provisions of the appropriate electric service tariff. The streetlight transfer of ownership requires the execution and compliance with all preceding agree-ments, terms and conditions, payments and security in addition to acceptance by the NYS Public Service Commission which requires a minimum review period of 90 days.

The customer’s request must represent the greater of 10 percent or more of the streetlights providing service to the customer under this tariff, or 100 lights, in both cases exclusive of any supporting infrastructure, associated electric circuitry and any such facilities used by National Grid to serve other customers.

Customers with fewer than 100 lights owned by National Grid will be required to purchase all of their lights.

National Grid’s proposed price for the sale of street-lights to the customer takes into account factors which may include, but are not limited to, the fair value of the streetlights to be sold, the remaining book value of the streetlights to be sold, potential income tax implications, and any other costs which National Grid may incur to complete the sale.

This price shall not include the cost of any field survey of the streetlights in question unless specifically requested by the customer.

National Grid requires the payment of the mutually agreed upon sale price to be provided at the time of execution of all sales agreements.

National Grid does not offer financing options for the purchase of its streetlights.Customers may wish to investigate:

  • Self-funding through capital and/or operational funds 
  • Municipal debt financing 
  • The bundling of the purchase cost with that of LED conversion, through an energy performance contract with an energy services company (ESCo)

National Grid is unaware of any grant monies to fund the purchase of its streetlights. However, the New York State Power Authority (NYPA) offers funding to support the conversion of municipal-owned streetlights to LED technology through its Five Cities Energy Program.

In addition, the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA), through its Clean Energy Communities program, offers grants to municipalities earning the Clean Energy Community designation. Included is the conversion of municipal and utility-owned cobra-head style streetlights to LED technology.

Customers seeking to purchase National Grid streetlighting facilities should understand that these facilities are sold on an “as is, where is” basis with no representations or warranties of any kind. The customer assumes responsibility for any and all future maintenance or replacement of the components that it acquires.

National Grid shall release the firm security provided by the customer upon receipt of proof that electricity disconnection devices acceptable to National Grid have been installed on all streetlights acquired by the customer.

If the electric disconnection work has not been com-pleted within twenty-four (24) months of the execution of the purchase and sale agreement, the Company may notify the customer of its intention to perform this work on the customer’s behalf. Upon completion, the Company will invoice the customer for the amount incurred. The Company may draw on the firm security provided by the customer if any invoice issued by the Company for this work is not paid within thirty (30) days.

Municipal/governmental streetlight customers that do not wish to purchase National Grid’s streetlights may want to consider having the Company convert them to LED technology. Please contact your National Grid representative to learn more about this opportunity.

“Opt-In” Luminaire Replacement Program

Customers will be able to elect to have company owned HID street lights replaced with LED street lights when the HID light reaches end of life. This program will launch on April 1, 2019.