When you consider the sheer technical depth, complexity and diversity of issues that a Clean Energy Task Force deals with, their accomplishments are impressive. But, of course, more can be done when there is technical assistance available to help climb the learning curve. We have begun a series of peer-to-peer support conference calls, bringing together those who have met a given challenge and those who are gearing up for it. Purchasing your street lights from Eversource is an option for municipalities, and can be attractive from the standpoint of cost savings, efficiency upgrades or both. Woodie Weiss, Chair of the Madison Clean Energy Task Force, has just hosted the first of these calls on street light buyouts, drawing on the experience of Madison and research on others. Task Force members and town staff from Windham, Essex, Winchester, Berlin and Sharon shared their experiences on the evening of June 4. An electrical engineer, Woodie has been steeped in street lighting technologies for several years.


A community begins by determining the person, or persons, who will lead the process and then sending Eversource a letter authorizing those people to request and receive all relevant street light system information. The team then requests an estimate of the inventory and cost of the current street light system, which consists of the lighting fixtures and any poles used only to support street light fixtures. (United Illuminating no longer sells street light systems to municipalities).

The process of determining the feasibility of purchasing and upgrading to LED fixtures can be done by either the municipality, or an outside vendor, depending on the expertise available within the municipality. Purchasing the street light system usually results in a savings of approximately 40%, with a 3 year or less payback. Similar savings and payback from the conversion to LED fixtures generally occurs, so that the overall savings is in the 70% range! Once the decision is made, a letter of intent to purchase must be sent to Eversource and that triggers the final accounting process within Eversource. Since a maintenance contract must be in place at the time of purchase, or, in the case of a large municipality, a trained maintenance staff, an RFP for these services is usually begun as well. If the conversion to LED fixtures is to be done immediately after purchase, these services will be added to the RFP. It's important to ensure that the current system is maintained during the upgrade process.

LED fixtures have dramatically improved in the past few years in lighting quality, power consumption, cost, and warranty length, with 10 year warranties becoming common. Choose carefully so that you receive all the benefits these fixtures can provide and, in addition, your residents will be enthusiastic about the change. Not only do LED fixtures save money, but they reduce glare, reduce light pollution of the night sky, and provide better contrast than high pressure sodium fixtures currently used, improving the safety of both motorists and pedestrians.

Good luck!




Community Updates


For those concerned about the climate crisis…

Small info cards, about 3”x4”, are available in quantities of 100 and more; if interested, please contact Patrice Gillespie .


… 2018 has been named the Year of Local Action. And the Eastern CT Green Action group is leading the way. ECGA was formed by several people from towns in eastern Connecticut. Initially most people were from Mansfield; as of now, people from Andover, Ashford, Chaplin, Coventry, Eastford, Hampton, Lebanon, Pomfret, Scotland, Tolland, Willington and Windham are members.

With the publication of his excellent weekly newsletter CT Green News, ECGA co-founder Peter Millman is helping us Nutmeggers stay up to date on issues, events and opportunities for concerned citizens to connect with their elected officials. He has published over 50 editions of his newsletter, and would love to broaden his every Friday distribution. Just contact Peter via and benefit from his convenient digest of important news and environmentally-focused online postings.


Calendar Highlights


HIGHLIGHTS OF CT’s FALL GATHERING of clean energy task forces can be found here in our Knowledge Center’s Program Archives pages. Diane Duva (the Director of Energy Demand at DEEP’s Bureau of Energy and Technology Policy is pictured here) facilitating the shaping of our state’s energy future.

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Clean Energy Communities Listening Session Letter of Thanks and Follow-up

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