FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Energy Efficient WV
October 1, 2020
Municipalities Can Now Save Money Through LED Street Lighting
The WV Public Service Commission Approved LED Street Lighting Rates
That Reflect the Lower Cost of LEDs
Charleston, W.Va. – Starting today, municipalities, housing developments, and others who have Mon Power or Potomac Edison as their electric utility can save money by converting to light-emitting diode (LED) streetlights.
Mon Power and Potomac Edison (MP/PE) proposed rates that would have resulted in higher costs for converting to LEDs, which would have resulted in little to no adoption of the lights. Following a recent hearing on the matter, the West Virginia Public Service Commission ( PSC) issued an order approving rates for LED streetlights that were modified from the rates proposed by Mon Power and Potomac Edison to be less costly than comparable lights using older technology.
Light-Emitting Diodes, or LEDs, are growing in prevalence due to their low maintenance costs and energy usage. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that within five years upwards of 90% of all outdoor lights installed will be LED.
Energy Efficient West Virginia and West Virginia Citizen Action Group (EEWV/CAG) negotiated in a fuel cost case in 2019 to have Mon Power/Potomac Edison submit LED lighting rates to the PSC. However, the rates were too high and would not have been well-utilized due to that fact.
EEWV/CAG argued the cost of LEDs should be lower than comparable traditional lighting, based on:
- a too-short proposed time frame for paying for the lights,
- the maintenance savings that come from LEDs, and
- an additional fee MP/PE wanted to charge for replacing existing lights.
Ultimately, the Commission acted to lower the rates by changing how costs are applied to LEDs. Basing them on how much energy the light uses, rather than as a percentage of the cost of the light itself. The Commission removed the charge for replacing existing lights.
“Commissioners Lane, McCabe, and Larrick have helped municipalities and their taxpayers lower utility costs,” said Emmett Pepper, Executive Director of Energy Efficient West Virginia. “Municipalities in areas where Mon Power and Potomac Edison operate will be able to utilize modern lighting technology to cost-effectively meet their needs.”
In its order, the Commission reiterated its commitment to energy efficiency, generally:
“The Commission views energy efficiency as an important issue for consumers and utilities in West Virginia. Tangential benefits accrue to all customers when individual customers switch to more efficient uses of electricity. . . .”
Energy Efficient WV
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