Houston Goes Green with City Street Lights

May. 30, 2014Houston Public Media

What if you could burn 50 percent less electricity just by changing your light bulbs? Okay, maybe it’s not as simple as that, but the City of Houston and Centerpoint have struck a deal to switch all of the city’s street lights to LED lights over the next five years. Houston Mayor Annise Parker says there are 165,000 street lights in the city limits.

Mayor Parker“This replacement project, the largest in the nation, will reduce the city’s street light energy useage by more than 50 percent and reduce the city’s greenhouse gas emissions by another five percent,” Parker said. “Just as importantly, it will save the city more than $28 million over the life of the project.”

Parker says the switch comes at no extra cost to the city.

Meanwhile, in a separate agreement, Centerpoint will allow the city to start building hike and bike trails along the utility’s right of ways. Centerpoint President Scott Prochazka says they own 400 miles of right of way that are available to turn into trails.

“We recognize that in an urban environment, green space is at a premium. Allowing public access to the greenspace of our transmission corridors in a way that does not interfere with the current functioning of these corridors is a great example of how private assets can be used for public benefit,” Prochzka said.

Centerpoint also donated $1.5 million to the city for the hike and bike trail plan. City officials estimate it costs about $1 million for one mile of trail.