30 short months ago Southern California Edison (SCE) announced a new program that allowed cities to buy their street lights from the utility. The program opened the floodgate to substantial cost saving opportunities for cities while also giving them a chance to control one of the most visible aspects of the communities they service. Now, however, that window of opportunity is closing quickly.

SCE has announced that effective August 15th any city that has not submitted the $10,000 and appropriate paperwork will lose the option to acquire their street lights from SCE. This announcement has come as a surprise to local government and reflects a significant policy change on the part of SCE.

The benefits of owning your street lights are extensive, but your city’s option to even consider it will end soon.

SCE’s termination of this program is rooted in their conclusion that conversion to LED technologies is a smart move for the Utility. This aligns with advice we have provided to cities since the program started: purchasing your street lights and converting them to LED will save 40-50% on the largest single cost of your City’s monthly electric bill. Plus, street light ownership creates new options for your city to construct wireless mesh networks that can serve as the backbone for creating a smart city of the future.

Well over 60 cities have already lined up to evaluate the acquisition process for their street lights and they have submitted the required $10,000 check to hold their place in line to then initiate the process. SCE has been slowly executing the audits, but now has a backlog of more than 4 months, and the processing pace has been slower than expected.

Navigating the process to preserve a city’s right to acquire street lights can be straight forward with help from experts in the field, and that is exactly what we do at Climatec. Our team is expert at understanding SCE’s street light purchase program and the hoops you need to jump through to preserve your current right to purchase street lights. We are firmly committed to finding energy and water efficient solutions that drive down the cost of utilities to cities’ general funds, and the street light acquisition program is one of the best we have seen in many years.

Bottom-line: take action now. Preserve your city’s right to acquire street lights from SCE. City staff will need to move quickly to at least save their city’s option for streetlight ownership by paying before August 15th.

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If you want help, contact Frank Mann at frankm@climatec.com or Jeff Bartel at jeffb@climatec.com.