The Town of Washington Group Lighting Committee was formed to deal with issues of our aging street light fixtures.
Pepco is preparing a major tariff filing for later this year that could have a major impact on the Town. We need to be prepared to defend the “look and feel” of our lighting and the historic character of the Town.
All our streetlights are on wooden Pepco poles
Between 2011-2012, 93 previously incandescent lamps were replaced with the more energy efficient 23-watt self-ballasted induction lamps with a warm correlated color temperature (CCT) of 2700 Kelvin (K). The color and lumens were intended to replicate the warmer incandescent lighting. For the spread of light, many of those at intersections have a globe, and most other have rings.
We worked with Mike Picucci of Pepco Holdings on this conversion. All the converted, overhead streetlights and associated equipment remain the property of Pepco.
These converted fixtures allow for screw-in induction bulbs, as well as screw-in LED bulbs. For a lot of communities including Washington Grove, induction fixtures were a short-lived stopgap trend between HID (High Intensity Discharge) lamps to LED fixtures.
It took an iteration, but we ended up with the exact right color of light (CCT = 2700K), which roughly matches that of the former incandescent bulbs. We pay as if we are using 55-watt bulbs, the lowest wattage on the State-approved rate schedule for Pepco’s electric service — but we are using far less energy than that. And we still save a lot even with this overcharge for energy.
Again, these converted fixtures allow for screw-in induction bulbs as well as screw-in LED bulbs. As the induction bulbs wear out, they are being replaced with LED bulbs.
We are in discussion with PEPCO about streetlight options
PEPCO has informed us that they are preparing a major tariff filling for later this year that will convert all of their streetlights to LED. We were warned several times that it was felt that the Town was too dark and that we need to start to prepare residents for a big change in lighting. As a community, we need to be prepared to defend the look and feel of our lighting and the historic character of the Town.
In addition to the large-scale initiative, we have made two requests to PEPCO:
What would PEPCO charge us if we converted about 100 of our fixtures to LED bulbs and what would be our payment going forward?
In our current payments to PEPCO we are paying energy costs for induction bulbs but many are now LED bulbs. We are also paying over $500 per month for maintenance that now consists of only screwing in an LED bulb as the induction bulbs burn, and we are supply the bulbs.
We would like to replace the damaged lights with functional equipment. How could we do this?
Currently we have a few streetlight fixtures in the Town that have been damaged by natural causes like storms and lighting. Several residents have been concerned that the area where these lights where is now a bit dim.
We know that Pepco has an initiative to convert all their street lights to LED. However, in the short term, what are our options for purchasing replacement lights? Unfortunately, not only are we lacking a few lights, we are also paying for more lights than are functional.
The latest news from the Committee is contained in the Lighting Committee section of the most recent monthly Town Bulletin: