Background

Sustainability Director

Erin Gill
egill@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-4430

400 Main St., Room 503
Knoxville, TN 37902

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The following table provides a “snapshot” summary of the City's pre-retrofit streetlighting bill:

2017 Street Lighting Costs (Paid to KUB)
Bill Component Amount
Energy Charge $ 2,130,871
Facilities Charge $ 2,333,342
Glassware Charge $ 15,152
Total Annual Bill $ 4,479,365


Concurrent with the design of the new LED lights, the City also worked with KUB to take ownership of the streetlighting system, paying off approximately $5.6 million of KUB's past infrastructure investments in the lighting system. This reimbursement and ownership transfer eliminated Facilities Charges and will minimize maintenance costs going forward. Whereas KUB previously provided maintenance services for the streetlighting system, the City now manages maintenance directly. 

The City estimates that the total cost for this project – including the approximately $5.6 million payment to KUB – will be approximately $15.8 million. This includes the "turnkey" price of conversion, including (but not limited to) labor, materials, supplies, equipment, facilities, disposal, retrofit design, and processing for all utility rebates. One of the City’s primary objectives is that the cumulative cost savings resulting from the project offset all upfront capital costs (including any financing costs) within 10 years of project commencement.

The LED luminaires are expected to use 65% less energy than the existing HPS lights, yielding annual savings of approximately $1.3 million in reduced energy charges. Additionally, given the 10 year warranties now offered routinely by LED manufacturers and the very low failure rates among the early adopters of LED street lights, the City anticipates significant reduction in maintenance costs. The City anticipates that maintenance costs will fall about 50% below the current Facilities Charge of $2.3 million.