Green Mountain Power has reportedly submitted a plan to the Vermont Public Service Board to offer LED lights to replace worn-out mercury vapor street lights throughout its service area. The Colchester utility will reportedly be the first electric utility in New England, and one of only a handful in the country, to offer an LED-specific rate to customers for outdoor lighting.
If approved by regulators, customers will be able to request LEDs for both new streetlight installations, or if existing fixtures fail. Green Mountain Power will no longer use mercury vapor lights, among the least efficient of lighting products. Mercury vapor lights will be phased out over time.
“Offering this new lighting technology to our customers furthers Green Mountain Power’s commitment to being an environmentally responsible company,” said Mary Powell, Green Mountain Power president and chief executive officer. “By promoting energy efficient technology we help customers to reduce the amount of energy they use and we also protect Vermont night sky.” The type of LED lights being used are full cut off, meaning no light will shine above the fixture.
Compared with mercury vapor bulbs, LED lights produce a comparable amount of light with a 66 percent savings in energy use or watts. In addition, LEDs are extremely long-lasting. An LED luminaire has a potential lifespan of more than 25 years of regular night usage. This compares to 5-7 years for traditional street lamp bulbs.
The LED fixtures also help reducing light pollution and glare.