Governor's Award Honors City's Streetlight LED Retrofit

Communications Director

Kristin Farley
kfarley@knoxvilletn.gov
(865) 215-2589

400 Main St., Room 691
Knoxville, TN 37902

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Governor's Award Honors City's Streetlight LED Retrofit

Posted: 06/04/2020
The City of Knoxville’s retrofit of 28,500 streetlights – saving money and cutting greenhouse gas emissions – has been recognized with a 2020 Governor’s Environmental Stewardship Award.

Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation Commissioner David Salyers on Tuesday announced the statewide award winners.

Visit https://www.tn.gov/environment/news/2020/6/2/2020-governor-s-environmental-stewardship-award-winners-announced.html for the full list of winners and why they were honored.

Knoxville’s $15.8 million investment to convert its streetlights from high pressure sodium (HPS) lights to modern light emitting diode (LED) technology made sense both financially and environmentally, Mayor Indya Kincannon said.

“We’re leading by example,” Mayor Kincannon said. “We’re saving $2 million annually in taxpayer money for streetlighting, so our upfront investment will be paid off by 2027. 

“More importantly, we’ve cut streetlight energy consumption by more than 65 percent – that’s reducing the City’s greenhouse gas emissions by more than 13,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year.”

The streetlight conversion put the City over the top in achieving its goal of reducing municipal greenhouse gas reductions 20 percent by 2020, relative to 2005 levels.

“The City is now working toward our next green goal – reducing emissions associated with City operations by 50 percent by 2030,” Kincannon said. “A lot of people scoffed when the City set the 2020 goal, but we proved that with resolve, research and smart investment, we can move the needle forward on greenhouse gas reductions.”