City Nets Grant for Streetlight Upgrades

The future of Shelton is getting brighter, thanks to a grant award for nearly $267,000 to continue an upgrade of outdated streetlights to new, energy efficient LED lights.

Thursday, December 14th, the City of Shelton received a $266,913 grant from the Washington State Transportation Improvement Board’s (TIB) Relight Washington program. It will fund the ongoing conversion of old high pressure sodium (HPS) streetlights to LED lights. The goal of Relight Washington is to lower energy use and operating costs by helping cities pay for the initial expense of making the conversion.

The City of Shelton and Mason PUD 3 have partnered to continue the streetlight conversion throughout Shelton. All the lights are owned and maintained by PUD 3.

So far, PUD 3 has upgraded over 500 HPS lights in the city to LED technology. There are approximately 250 streetlights left to replace. The average cost of updating one street light is $346. The grant covers the cost of upgrading the remaining streetlights, and reimburses PUD 3 for previously converted streetlights. Under the terms of the Relight Washington program agreement, the grant money will be paid directly to Mason PUD 3.

“Associate Engineer Logan Brady did a fantastic job spearheading the efforts to secure funding to continue this important project. His innovative approach and creative application of this grant program is greatly appreciated,” said City Manager Ryan Wheaton. “We are excited to continue our partnership with Mason PUD 3 to increase energy savings and reduce operating costs for both organizations.”

In October, PUD 3 commissioners agreed to lower the City of Shelton’s streetlight daily rate by 30% from original HPS rate levels. The change was contingent upon the award, and payment of the TIB grant through the Relight Washington program. The reduced rate translates to an annual cost savings of over $38,000. A sustainable return on investment study conducted by TIB found that cost, energy, and environmental benefits from making the conversion will return over twice the cost of the initial installation after 15 years. The 30% rate reduction will save the City of Shelton an estimated $570,000 over the next 15 years alone.

“Easier maintenance, longer bulb life, and a reduction in energy consumption are all part of the cost savings equation,” said Justin Holzgrove, of Mason PUD 3. “By updating the remaining streetlights, the city will capitalize on a 69% wattage reduction. That equates to an annual energy savings of about 416,000 kilowatt hours per year. That’s enough to power about 35 average homes in Shelton for a full year.”