Massachusetts Announces US $11.4 M for Municipal LED Streetlight Conversion

The Baker-Polito Administration today announced US $11.4 million in grant funding opportunities to help cities and towns across Massachusetts convert traditional streetlights to LED technology through the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Rapid LED Streetlight Conversion Program. DOER has partnered with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), the Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company (MMWEC), Energy New England (ENE), and four Municipal Light Plant (MLP) communities to administer the grant funding to municipalities that currently own their traditional streetlights and expedite streetlight conversions.

“Investing in LED streetlight conversions will lead to reduced energy costs and better road safety for motorists and municipalities across Massachusetts,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The partnership between the Commonwealth and our regional planning authorities and municipal light plants will help maximize the positive benefits of this grant funding.”

“Converting municipally owned streetlights into energy efficient LEDs will help cities and towns across the Commonwealth realize thousands of dollars in annual energy savings while reducing emissions,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “LED streetlights help reduce energy usage during peak demand times, lessening the burden on our regional electric grid and reducing costs for all ratepayers.”

LED streetlights are more energy efficient and longer-lasting than other common street lighting technologies; converting saves cities and towns money both on their electric bills and in operations and maintenance. LEDs offer a number of other advantages as well, including improved visibility, reduced light pollution, and the ability to install advanced controls such as dimming, remote control, and Wi-Fi capability. DOER’s partner organizations, with guidance from the agency, will procure streetlights in bulk on behalf of participating cities and towns, reducing the up-front cost of conversion.

“Governor Baker’s Executive Order on climate change strategy emphasizes the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to reducing energy usage and emissions in order to prepare for the effects of climate change across Massachusetts,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “By converting tens of thousands of streetlights from traditional bulbs to highly efficient LEDs, the Commonwealth and our municipal partners will take another important step towards meeting our Global Warming Solutions Act emissions reduction goals.”

“Traditional streetlights have a major impact on peak demand during the winter months, with the sun setting earlier and rising later, which increases the demand on our regional energy grid,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson. “Our municipal partners across the Commonwealth will once again lead the charge for greater energy efficiency that will result in reduced costs, usage, and emissions across Massachusetts.”

The following MLPs and communities have applied for grants to convert their streetlights to LED. MLPs were able to apply through a regional partnership or directly to DOER. The application process in the Metropolitan Area Planning Council region remains open.

The seal of Massachusetts. 


Massachusetts ratepayers will also see benefits from converting the Commonwealth’s streetlights to LED models, in addition to the direct benefits that cities and towns receive. Streetlights are operational during early morning and late afternoon during the winter months. These are hours of peak electric demand, and high demand for natural gas for both electric generation and home heating during these hours leads to higher energy prices. Converting streetlights to LED technology, which uses up to 60% less energy than standard streetlights, can decrease demand and lead to lower prices.

“Supporting municipal efforts to transition to efficient LED streetlights is a thoughtful and economical approach to increasing energy efficiency, improving public safety, and promoting long-term energy cost reductions in our cities and towns,” said State Senator Don Humason (R-Westfield). “Thank you to the Baker-Polito Administration, and specifically Secretary Beaton and Commissioner Judson, for awarding this funding to the cities of Holyoke and Westfield, and the town of Russell.”

“I am excited to see the administrations continued investment in reducing energy usage and emissions and am thankful for their focus here in Western Massachusetts,” said State Representative Aaron Vega (D-Holyoke). 

Governor Baker recently signed an Executive Order links to PDF file which lays out a comprehensive approach to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions, safeguard residents, municipalities and businesses from the impacts of climate change, and build a more resilient Commonwealth.

“We applaud the Baker-Polito Administration for their commitment to our Municipal Light Plant (MLP) communities,” said John Tzimorangas, President and Chief Executive Officer of Energy New England (ENE), LLC. “The assistance and outreach by DOER has resulted in a true partnership with the MLP community and we at Energy New England are proud to be coordinating those efforts. Our communities will be helping the Commonwealth to achieve significant greenhouse gas reduction numbers because of this outstanding program”

“Technology is constantly expanding the opportunities for energy efficiency, and the DOER’s LED streetlight conversion grant program enables our  member municipal utilities to bring this technology and a higher level of energy efficiency to the communities they serve,” said Massachusetts Municipal Wholesale Electric Company (MMWEC) Chief Executive Officer Ronald C. DeCurzio. “MMWEC appreciates the opportunity to work with the DOER on this program, which along with other MMWEC and state initiatives is bringing the Commonwealth closer to achieving its clean energy objectives.”

“Over the past few years, MAPC has helped 25 communities in Massachusetts to retrofit over 60,000 streetlights with energy-efficient LED fixtures, bringing down their utility costs and greenhouse gas emissions significantly,” said Rebecca Davis, Deputy Director, Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC). “We are proud to partner with DOER on this program, and look forward to guiding many more municipalities through the retrofit process.”

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