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LED Adoption by Utilities

Identifying opportunities and supporting policies to help drive the adoption of energy efficient LED lighting solutions by utilities.

LEd bridge


Our Global LED consultation reveals that the vast majority of cities around the world want to upgrade city infrastructure to include modern, energy efficient lighting. These findings are also confirmed by US city mayors who ranked energy efficient LED lighting as their number one priority to tackle carbon emissions in their jurisdictions in both 2014 and 2015.

However, the decision to make the switch does not always lie in the hands of cities and mayors. In the US in particular, at least 60% of the existing 26 million street lights are owned or operated by the private sector. These stakeholders may not be incentivized to adopt energy efficient technologies for a fear of high upgrade costs, the risk of stranded assets, and reduced electricity sales.

There is a risk that a technology capable of achieving up to 50-70% energy savings could remain on the shelf if all key stakeholders cannot mutually benefit from the switch to more efficient solutions. It is therefore critical to work with regulators and policymakers to help find mutually beneficial solutions for all parties to implement more energy efficient technologies.

Street Light Ownership

At least 60% of the existing 26 million street lights in the US are owned or operated by the private sector


As part of the Climate Group’s early LED consultations, we focussed on a theme of accelerating the adoption of LED street lighting by utilities in the US, working together with public utilities commissions and investor owned utilities, as well as US cities and states to explore mutually beneficial solutions to accelerate adoption.

At Climate Week NYC 2015, we called for LEDs to be adopted by cities and utilities around the globe by 2025 – and for investor owned US utilities to consider LEDs, and publish their intentions to explore the benefits of energy efficient street lighting by the end of 2016.

By showcasing cities and utilities where progress is being made and exploring initiatives and policy recommendations to create a common ground for scale up, we are organizing a series of closed door roundtables and discussions with key city, policy makers and stakeholders to discuss regional specific challenges in the US and find solutions to upcoming barriers.


  • Ongoing: Scenario Building - ongoing discussion with key stakeholders on ways to mutually incentivize adoption of LED lighting in the US
  • Renewing call for LED adoption – utilities to publish their intentions to explore energy efficient street lighting by 2016.
  • Briefing note: ‘Accelerating Adoption of energy efficient lighting by US investor owned utilities’ (In preparation)
  • May 11-12 2016, Energy Efficiency Global: Meetings with key city/Utility stakeholders.
  • 22 September 2016, Incentivizing adoption of LEDs by US cities and utilities, Climate Week NYC 2016.

For a full list of events please refer to our Global LED Consultation page.


Note: This is an expanding list