Utility adopts rate changes for streetlights

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Clark Public Utilities has adopted rate changes for streetlight operators in Clark County, adding rates for energy-efficient lights and revising rates for existing ones.

Under the changes approved by the utility’s board, operators that use energy-efficient light-emitting diode, or LED, streetlights will pay $2.40 per month to operate one 70-watt lamp, and $7.19 per month to run one 187-watt lamp.

The cities, businesses and a handful of individuals who use existing conventional streetlights will pay $3.59 per month to power one 100-watt lamp (about 32 cents less than the current rate) and $5.99 per month to operate one 150-watt lamp (about 22 cents more than the current rate).

The new rates will be effective Aug. 1. The changes will be reflected on September bills. Most streetlight customers should see a decrease in their bills, according to Clark Public Utilities officials.

The utility provides electricity to some 46,000 streetlights for 5,700 customers — encompassing mostly municipalities, plus some businesses and individuals — and 958 lighting districts serving unincorporated areas outside city boundaries.

Most still use conventional lights, but Battle Ground installed 41 LED streetlights, Camas has put up 58 and has ordered another 40, and Washougal has replaced 100 conventional bulbs with the new technology.

Utility officials estimate the cities will see a 30 percent reduction in electricity costs by replacing 100-watt sodium streetlights with 70-watt LEDs.