New York regulator allows three utilities to sell their street lights


The New York State Public Service Commission has approved proposals filed by three utilities to sell their street lights to municipalities.

Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation will sell 251 street lights to the town of Red Hook, National Grid will sell 268 street lights to the town of Skaneateles and Central Hudson will sell 166 street lights to the town of Rosendale.

The aim is for municipalities to take control of the infrastructure and integrate with smart technologies to reduce costs to tax payers and to protect the environment.

The news follows municipalities in New York purchasing up to 45,500 street lights for up to $16 million since 2015.

 The Commission is also seeking public comment on New York Electric & Gas’ petition to sell 1,094 streetlights to the City of Oneonta, and National Grid’s petition to sell 288 streetlights to the Village of Cazenovia.

Transferring the ownership of street lights from utilities to municipalities has been mandated by the state governor in 2015.

Whilst for an average municipality, street lights may account for up to 40% of total local government electric energy consumption, up to one million street lights in New York can be converted to energy-efficient LED models.

Converting all of the state’s street lights to smart models can save enough electricity for 75,000 average-sized houses and financial savings could be as great as $28 million per year.

The developments are part of efforts to achieve sustainable goals set for the state under the Green New Deal and Reforming the Energy Vision initiatives.

The goals include becoming 100% renewable by 2040 and deploying 3,000 megawatts of energy storage by 2030.