Gulf Power and the City of Pensacola trial LED street lights

Feb. 8, 2010
Date Announced: 08 Feb 2010 Gulf Power is teaming up with the City of Pensacola to test a new lighting technology for streets and selected downtown areas.The two-year test, which also involves the Electric Power Research Institute, will analyze Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights for energy savings and maintenance costs and serve as a research database for utilities and municipalities for evaluating LED technology for more uses.“LED lighting is already being used in many cities around the US and the world,” said Sandy Sims, Gulf Power’s Public Affairs manager. “LEDs may represent a considerable savings over traditional forms of lighting, not just with energy purchases, but also with reduced maintenance costs.”The DOE (Department of Energy) calls ENERGY STAR Qualified LED lighting “an unprecedented opportunity to save energy and maintenance costs.” According to the agency, LEDs use at least 75 percent less energy than traditional lighting, last 3 to 5 times longer, and are very durable.“Not only do these bulbs last longer,” said Sims, “They’re very durable — the bulbs won’t break like typical lighting can. LED is an exciting technology that has the potential to change the outdoor lighting business.”Twenty-eight were lights installed near Gulf Power’s downtown office along 9th and 10th avenues, Salamanca, Romana and E. Colfax Street. In addition, the light fixtures that have been installed have a feature called “Dark Sky Friendly,” meaning the light is controlled to shine down only, with very little light escaping upward. This is a very popular trend that reduces light “pollution” and beautifies the night as more and more areas install lighting.Pensacola City Councilwoman Megan Pratt is pleased with the steps the city is taking to become more “green.”“Not only do LED lights reduce our carbon footprint by using less electricity,” Pratt said, “ it means less money that the city needs to spend on electricity. With a $730,000 annual budget for street light electricity, installing LED lights city-wide would save significant money.”Gulf Power Company is an investor-owned electric utility with all of its common stock owned by Atlanta-based Southern Company. Gulf Power serves more than 400,000 customers in 10 counties throughout Northwest Florida. The company’s mission is to safely deliver affordable, reliable and environmentally responsible energy to very satisfied customers in strong communities.