Local Armenian Joins Villaraigosa, President Clinton to Light the Way to A Greener LA

LOS ANGELES –In a partnership between the Clinton Climate Initiative and the City of Los Angeles, President Bill Clinton and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa this week announced the largest LED (light-emitting diode) green street light program ever undertaken by a city, which will reduce CO2 emissions by 40,500 tons and save $10 million annually.

"I am proud that the Clinton Climate Initiative is helping the City of Los Angeles replace 140,000 streetlights with LED units at a time when energy cost savings are just as important as saving our planet," President Clinton said. "This partnership is a tremendous example of how cities can cut costs, while also making a significant impact in the fight against climate change. I thank Mayor Villaraigosa and the city for their leadership."

“With the green street light program, we are lighting the way to a greener LA,” Mayor Villaraigosa said. “Reducing LA’s contribution to global warming will bring multiple benefits to Angelenos; we’ll save money on energy costs and reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.”

“I want to thank President Clinton who was instrumental in making the green street light program happen, and of course for his leadership, which has rallied the resolve of the entire world community to halt global climate change,” he added.

The green street light program will replace 140,000 of the City’s traditional street lights with environmentally friendly LED lights: providing a 40% energy savings, reducing maintenance and energy costs, and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 40,500 tons per year ‘s the equivalent of taking 6,700 cars off the road.

Currently, the City’s 140,000 street lights use 168 gigawatt hours of electricity at an annual cost of $15 million, emitting 120,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.

In early 2008, the Mayor’s Office established a collaborative working relationship with the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) to study the Mayor’s environmental initiatives.

The Mayor’s Office and the Bureau of Street Lighting collaborated with CCI’s Outdoor Lighting Program to review the latest technology, financing strategies and public private implementation models for LED retrofits. CCI’s modeling and technology analysis, as well as its financial advisory, served as key reference sources for the development of this comprehensive retrofit plan.

“This project showcases how government can address environmental and economic challenges with creative problem-solving,” said Ed Ebrahimian, General Manager of the Bureau of Street Lighting. “The Bureau of Street Lighting is proud to play a part in greening Los Angeles.”

To be completed within five years, the project is funded through a combination of energy rebates, the street lighting assessment fund and loans – which will be repaid over seven years entirely through savings in energy and maintenance costs. In the eighth year, after the loan is repaid, the City will save $10 million annually through the more efficient and modern LED lighting.

While typical streetlight lamps will last from four to six years, LED fixtures have a longer life span, estimated from 10 to 12 years. The new LED streetlight units are more durable and damage-resistant than other technologies, greatly reducing the City’s maintenance costs and providing more reliable lighting for City residents. The new LED fixtures will also be installed with remote monitoring units which will automatically report streetlight failures directly to the Bureau of Street Lighting for immediate repair.

Street lighting costs represent one of the largest components of a city government’s utility bill, often accounting for 10 percent to 38 percent of the total bill. With nearly 35 million street lights in the United States, about 1 percent of all electricity is used by street lighting systems. CCI currently is building upon its efforts with Los Angeles and working with other cities on large-scale street lighting retrofit projects.


By reducing energy demand and displacing the use of dirty coal, the LED Street Lighting Program furthers Mayor Villaraigosa’s goal of turning Los Angeles into the greenest big city in the country. On May 15, 2007, Mayor Villaraigosa unveiled GREEN LA — An Action Plan to Lead the Nation in Fighting Global Warming. GREEN LA sets Los Angeles on a course to reduce the City’s greenhouse gas emissions 35 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, going beyond the targets of the Kyoto Protocol and representing the most ambitious goal of any large US city. The cornerstone of GREEN LA is increasing the City’s use of renewable energy to 35 percent by 2020.

Clinton Climate Initiative

In August 2006, the William J. Clinton Foundation launched the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) to make a difference in the fight against climate change in practical, measurable and significant ways. In its first phase, CCI is serving as the exclusive implementing partner of the C40 Large Cities Climate Leadership Group, an association of large cities around the world that have pledged to accelerate their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. CCI’s Outdoor Lighting Program works with C40 partner cities to improve the energy efficiency of street and traffic light systems through a combination of technical, purchasing and project assistance.


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