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Updated December 15, 2009, 10:01 pm

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Streetlighting Replacement Plan

Developing a Long-term Streetlight Replacement Plan

StreetlightsBecause of federal and state policy changes, Consumers Energy is encouraging communities to review their streetlighting and work with the utility to develop a long-term plan for this transition.

Some mercury vapor bulbs still are available, but Consumers Energy can no longer obtain supplies to maintain the light fixtures or supporting equipment. Consumers Energy will continue to replace mercury vapor bulbs and repair failed controls as long as supplies of equipment last.  However, other problems will require the replacement of the entire fixture with a different light technology.

Streetlighting Options

High-pressure sodium and metal halide equipment is available.  These lighting options are more energy efficient, and may result in lower monthly energy charges for your community.  In addition, Consumers Energy also offers light-emitting diode (LED) streetlighting service for unmetered company- and customer-owned lighting. 

For any of these light types, the new options may change lighting aesthetics because of pattern shaping or light color (white, yellow or orange) and temperature (cold to warm). It also is important to consider dark sky ordinances and changes in traffic patterns or congestion (previously rural to more urban) when reviewing lighting options.

Understanding the Costs and Savings

Under Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) rules, Consumers Energy is responsible for a portion of the cost of converting mercury vapor streetlights to a different lighting technology. When mercury vapor bulbs and fixtures burn out or fail, Consumers Energy will replace them at no cost with the nearest comparable high-pressure sodium light, unless alternate plans are developed in advance. Under some conditions, there may be a cost to the customer.

Developing a Long-term Solution

Consumers Energy understands that converting your lighting system is an important decision impacting your budget, community aesthetics and citizen safety.

Consumers Energy representatives will be working with Michigan community leaders in the coming months to review options and then develop a long-term plan that best meets the needs of each community. For more information or to arrange a meeting, please call us toll-free at (800) 805-0490 or e-mail us.