Infrastructure upgrade helps Texas city reach sustainability goals, cut expenses (with related video)
The city’s General Services Department worked with Johnson Controls to comply with Texas Senate Bill 898, which mandates that public utilities reduce electric consumption 5 percent each year over the next ten years.
“The city required a 10-year simple payback,” said Harry Romine, Johnson Controls Account Manager – Municipal Solutions. “Reducing light pollution was also essential as a city ordinance requires dark sky-compliant luminaires.”
Working under a tight budget, El Paso secured funding for the remainder of the project by qualifying for a low interest loan from the State Energy Conservation Office. City officials used an Energy Savings Performance Contract and applied under the Texas LoneSTAR Revolving Loan Program for project monies. The loan program benefits El Paso and the state by reducing harmful emissions produced by the generation of electricity and the local by-products associated with consumption of fossil fuels. Through the loans, El Paso funded an 11,600-unit LED streetlighting project without increasing capital expenditures or creating taxpayer burden.
The project’s first phase called for the replacement of 10,600 high-pressure sodium cobrahead-style fixtures located within the city’s residential areas with ATBS Autobahn LED luminaires from American Electric Lighting (AEL), an Acuity Brands Company. Lamp sizes on the old fixtures included 100, 150, 175, 250, and 400 watts, with the fixtures mounted on existing poles of different heights with varied spacing depending on the pole location.
Installing the LED lighting has the potential to reduce the city’s energy and maintenance costs by 67 percent compared to the operating costs for the previous cobrahead units, according to the manufacturer. The LED luminaires were selected based on quality, price and the projected 12 years or longer service life, Romine says.
The city also installed 1,000 100-watt Washington Postlite II LED luminaires in the downtown area to replace 175-watt metal halide decorative fixtures. The luminaires are from Holophane, an Acuity Brands company. The upgrade resulted in a 50 percent reduction in energy and 10 percent increase in light levels, according to the manufacturer.
“Downtown business owners were happy with the decorative Washington LED luminaires because the fixtures did a great job of illuminating the store fronts and heightened the sense of security,” Romine says.
Johnson Controls, which spearheaded the installation of the project, paired the Autobahn LED with an Acuity Controls wireless ROAM system to ensure maintenance savings through enhanced monitoring. Johnson Controls is currently maintaining the LED luminaires and plans to reduce associated costs via proactive maintenance.
“ROAM eliminates the need to send out crews to look for outages or rely on reports from the public,” Romine says. “The system will allow us to monitor individual fixture performance and proactively schedule maintenance, typically before residents report an outage to the city.”
Johnson Controls is using ROAM to monitor and control the Autobahn LED luminaires. The firm may also use the system to monitor and control other lighting fixtures in the future. The Autobahn LED luminaires, which are illuminated dusk to dawn, have a 10-year material warranty.
This El Paso Video Case Study shows how an integrated solution from Holophane, AEL and Acuity Controls ROAM in El Paso, Texas, helped reduce energy and maintenance costs by 67 percent.