February 24, 2021
KCMO residents will soon have higher quality street lighting at a lower cost. The City of Kansas City is seeking to replace nearly 90,000 streetlights with modern LED lights that will reduce energy and maintenance costs, lower the City’s energy use and carbon footprint, and improve public safety.
“This is one of several strategic and innovative projects that we are implementing to address our COVID-related budget shortfall with both immediate and long-term savings to the city budget,” said City Manager Brian Platt. “Not only will we significantly reduce costs, we will also reduce the energy use of our streetlights by as much as 50% while providing better lighting in every neighborhood of the city.”
Currently, it costs approximately $13 million a year to power and operate the city’s nearly 100,000 streetlights. The electricity costs approximately $7 million per year and maintenance costs are around $6 million per year. Standard streetlight bulbs need replacement approximately every four years, while LED bulbs last 10 years or more and use up to 50% less energy than standard bulbs.
The Public Works Department has issued an Invitation to Bid, which asks companies to submit bids to work on the LED Streetlight Conversion Project. The project will convert existing streetlights to LEDs and look at different light color temperature options as well as control systems to dim and monitor light performance and operations.
“This is an important first step to save our city much-needed budget dollars all while making our city more energy-efficient,” said First District Councilwoman Heather Hall.
“Kansas City’s change to LED lights will significantly cut costs, allowing us to reallocate money taxpayer priorities like street and pothole repair and basic services,” said Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas. “This is another step in making our budget the most responsible in Kansas City’s history while maintaining our commitment to the people.
“The change to LED lights also will cut down on energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, making Kansas City greener, safer, and healthier—one small step toward a Green New Deal from local government.”
Public Works previously installed approximately 1,500 new LED streetlights as a pilot program in several neighborhoods of KCMO: Barry Road, Linwood Boulevard, Bannister Road and Chouteau Trafficway, as well as in the Santa Fe and Sherwood neighborhoods. This project reduced energy costs by 46% and maintenance costs by 23%, saving $72,000 annually. It has also reduced our carbon footprint by 800 tons.
The Citywide LED Streetlight Conversion project is expected to begin later this year and be completed within 36 months. The city will see immediate cost savings as soon as work begins.
The proposed FY 2021-2022 Budget addresses a $70 million shortfall without staff layoffs or furloughs while maintaining essential city services and even investing additional resources in key areas such as the streetlight conversion project. Budget information is available at KCMO.gov/budget.
To learn more about the bidding process, visit: KCMO.gov/bids.
This press release was produced by the City of Kansas City. The views expressed here are the author’s own.