Press Releases

Birmingham City Councilors Continue to Implement Energy Efficient Measures in Community as Means to Save on Costs

Energy efficiency is a growing concern in our ever-growing economy. This past Tuesday Birmingham City Councilors approved more measures to save costs, especially as the City of Birmingham transitions into a new budget season. Councilors voted unanimously in favor of a Resolution authorizing the Mayor to execute a Master Contract for Lighting Services NESC® Lease Agreement with Alabama Power for lease of equipment, electric service to operate the equipment and other Alabama Power Company activities. The City will transfer ownership of approximately 7,000 light poles and Alabama Power will convert them to LED and make any necessary repairs/replacements.

An LED street light is an integrated light that uses light emitting diodes (LED) as its light source. New in manufacturing, the LED light cluster is sealed on a panel and then gathered to the LED panel with a heat sink to become a joined lighting fixture.

Under this agreement Alabama Power Company will lease the equipment, which includes LED Cobra light fixtures to the City of Birmingham. Light fixtures will be placed in streetlight areas identified jointly by Alabama Power Company and the City of Birmingham under the Birmingham Streetlight Upgrade. Under this agreement electric service will be provided to operate all equipment needed including poles, bases, wiring, conduit, fixtures, controls and related items necessary to provide lighting service through select fixtures.

The primary appeal of LED street lighting is its energy efficiency compared to conventional street lighting fixture technologies such as high-pressure sodium (HPS) and metal halide (MH). According to studies conducted by Leotek Electronics, an LED Lighting Manufacturer, show that hundreds of communities throughout North America have already installed some LED street lighting and there is considerable evidence now that at the very least LED street lights will provide the following benefits compared to high intensity discharge (HID) lights:

  • Improved nighttime visibility and safety, more uniform lighting distributions and the elimination of many dark areas between poles.
  • Reduced direct and reflected up light which are the primary causes of urban sky glow.
  • 40-80% energy savings (depending on incumbent lighting source and lighting design criteria).
  • 50-75% street lighting maintenance savings.
  • Research continues to improve the efficiency of newer models of LED street lights.

Alabama Power representatives are expected to release a schedule of the dates for installing the new light fixtures in neighborhoods in the coming weeks.

This article is a contribution from Chiara Perry (chiara.perry@birminghamal.gov) in the Birmingham City Council Public Information Office. For more information please contact 205.254.2294.