Oceanside honored as energy champion

Oceanside honored as energy champion
New LED streetlights are estimated to save the city 50 percent on its energy bill. To date 7,700 streetlights have been switched to LED. Photo by Promise Yee

OCEANSIDE — The city was honored by SDG&E as a local government Energy Champion in June.

The recognition was given for changing 7,700 streetlights to LED lights.

“It’s really an exciting award we received,” Colleen Foster, city management analyst for solid waste and recycling, said.

Steve Elliott, city public works electrical supervisor, said the process of switching to LED lights is not as simple as changing out a light bulb. Citywide inventory was taken, fixtures were ordered and LED bulbs were installed.

“All cities in California are changing from high-pressure sodium to LED lights, they’re so much more efficient,” Elliott said.

The expected energy savings from making the swap is 50 percent.

Smart-grid technology built into the lighting system allows remote control of each light, and saves the city an additional 20 percent.

Foster said zero waste is an active citywide effort.

“Each department is encouraged to find ways be efficient,” Foster said.

The city adopted the Zero Waste Resolution in 2010, and developed a Zero Waste Strategic Plan in 2012. The plan asks all city departments to consider environmental impacts when purchasing goods and services. Foster said the zero waste model considers resources and saves costs.

The change to LED streetlights is one of many city conservation measures. Other environment-friendly projects include drought-tolerant landscaping, solar photovoltaics and a cogeneration system that burns waste gas from wastewater treatment.

Next on the list for the Public Works Department is changing 900 pier, parking lot and park streetlights to LED lights.

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