LED Streetlight Conversion



Project Name: LED Streetlight Conversion

Department: Public Works Department

Start Date: 7/1/2022

End Date: 6/30/2026


Conversion of Charlottesville's approximately 3,900 electric streetlights that have older lighting technology (high pressure sodium and mercury vapor) to light emitting diode (LED) technology.


Chapter 7 Environment, Climate, and Food Equity

Goal 1. Climate Change Mitigation, Emissions, and Energy

Strategy 1.3: Improve energy performance of existing and new buildings community-wide through City policy standards and leveraging local partner resources.


Objectives: Address identified opportunity to save energy, reduce emissions, and reduce utility costs through LED Streetlight Conversion. This project will reduce the City's energy use and provide cost savings. LED lights have a lifespan that is 2-3 times longer than older technologies which also contributes to improved reliability (fewer burn-outs).

While the majority of Charlottesville's streetlights (98%) are Dominion-owned, the City would receive the financial benefit from this lighting upgrades project. The City is a member of the Virginia Energy Purchasing Governmental Association (VEPGA), which negotiates electricity contracts on behalf of its members. Dominion has a program for upgrading streetlighting to LED options that will be installed when existing lighting burns out - a process that could take an unknown time period. To replace existing lighting prior to lamp burn-out, the City may request that a fixture be replaced and pays an additional fee for the replacement/conversion to LED. The City can also work with Dominion on an expedited conversion process.

Staff have been researching an LED conversion process that aligns with the City's adopted climate goals. Dominion recently provided a conversion cost estimate showing a ~ 4-year payback proposal if we replaced all fixtures in the city (see below). In addition to the ongoing CO2 reductions associated with this conversion, it is projected to reduce the City's energy bills by nearly $124,000 annually following full conversion - projected over a 10 year period, this could result in over $1,240,000 in savings.

This request for CIP funding is in alignment with a Key Action in the 2022 Climate Action to fund a conversion plan for Dominion-owned lighting to LEDs.

Cost Estimate

Operating Impacts

Operating impacts to be determined in the future.