The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Email:,

National Outdoor Lighting Improvements Would Save $5.1 Billion Annually

New Industry and Advocate Agreement to Boost Streetlight Efficiency; Save Electricity and Money


A breakthrough agreement between electrical manufacturers and
energy efficiency advocates, including the Natural Resources Defense
Council, will create the first national standards for street lights,
parking lot lights and other outdoor lighting. The standard will save
electricity and money for consumers, taxpayers and local governments.

new standards will phase out the least efficient outdoor lighting
products by the end of 2012, transitioning to new lighting products
that are better for the environment and less costly to run. For
example, new outdoor lights will be required to have a sensor that will
turn them off during daylight hours, putting an end to wasteful
streetlight operation during the day. New parking lot lights must be
capable of being dimmed, which can cut their energy use in half. The
agreement also directs the Department of Energy to develop even better
standards by 2013.

The new rule can save 25 to 42
billion kilowatt hours per year by 2030, which is the equivalent of
powering 2.5 to 4.5 million homes for an entire year. The standard will
cut carbon pollution by almost 8 million metric tons per year, and will
save between $2.8 billion to $5.1 billion annually on energy costs,
according to American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE).

Following is a statement by Lane Burt, Manager of Building Energy Policy at the Natural Resources Defense Council:

agreement marks a breakthrough in our approach to outdoor lighting that
will save money, cut pollution and reduce our electricity use.
Increasing lighting efficiency will help cut down on costs on lighting
our parking lots, highways and even local roads -- everywhere people
drive and park their cars. Now it's time for Congress to finalize the
legislation and for the Department of Energy to begin working to
improve our outdoor lighting standards throughout the country."

For more information on the agreement please see Lane Burt's latest blog post
New Standards for Street Lights More Than Just a Bright Idea

NRDC works to safeguard the earth--its people, its plants and animals, and the natural systems on which all life depends. We combine the power of more than three million members and online activists with the expertise of some 700 scientists, lawyers, and policy advocates across the globe to ensure the rights of all people to the air, the water, and the wild.

(212) 727-2700