BC Hydro's street light replacement program

BC Hydro owns and maintains over 95,000 street lights attached to our poles. Most of these street lights are high pressure sodium (HPS), with the rest made up of mercury vapor lights.

The conversion to LED street lights will start later in 2020 and will take place over the following two to three years.

Timeline for LED street light replacement

We've completed our technology review and developed our standards for LED street lights to replace existing HPS and mercury vapor street lights. We're concluding our vendor selection process to be able to start installing LED street lights later in 2020.

We are currently refining the costs and savings expected from the conversion to LED street lights. We're also planning to submit an application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) to update the Overhead Street Lighting Rate (Rate Schedule 1701) in 2020. Customers are welcome to participate in this open and transparent regulatory proceeding.

The province-wide replacement of 95,000 street lights requires detailed planning and coordination. If you are a street lighting customer, we will contact you in summer 2020 to seek your input and to provide you with more information and details about what you'll need to do to prepare.

New LED street lights

Procurement of LED street lights hasn't been finalized. However, we expect to offer four LED street light wattages that provide equivalent lighting to the current HPS street lights (100W, 150W and 200W), with an additional option for the 70W HPS equivalent. Each LED street light option will also have two colour temperature options – warmer white (3,000 Kelvin) and cooler white (4,000 Kelvin). We'll provide detailed product information once we select a vendor and confirm the LED street light products available for our customers.

Frequently asked questions for street lighting customers

We anticipate the conversion will take approximately two to three years to complete, or sometime in late 2023.

We don't have a deployment schedule yet. Once we select the installation vendors, we will work with them to determine the most efficient and cost-effective deployment schedule. A high-level deployment schedule will be available online. We'll contact and coordinate with customers months in advance of the work beginning in your community.

You can take advantage of the opportunity to review and update your lighting design. For example, you can add street lights in darker areas where there are existing BC Hydro poles, remove street lights you no longer need and change current lighting levels. We'll provide you an inventory of your existing street lights closer to the deployment for you to review and confirm your lighting needs.

BC Hydro does not provide street lighting design services.

You will need to work with your lighting design consultant. Because every customer's needs are different, lighting design is the responsibility of the city.

The Overhead Street Lighting Rate (Rate Schedule 1701) is a flat monthly rate per light based on the wattage of the street light. In addition to the estimated electricity used, the monthly rate also includes the costs for transmission and distribution, the street light assets, installation and ongoing maintenance.

Although LED street lights are more energy efficient, BC Hydro will incur considerable costs to convert the existing high pressure sodium or mercury vapor lights to LED street lights. These costs will need to be recovered through the rate.

We are currently refining the costs and savings expected from the conversion to LED street lights. We're also planning to submit an application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission (BCUC) to update the Overhead Street Lighting Rate (Rate Schedule 1701) in 2020. Customers are welcome to participate in this open and transparent regulatory proceeding.

To ensure all customers are treated fairly, all customers will be charged the same rates once we start deploying LED street lights.

We'll be contacting customers based on the deployment schedule, and this can be as early as summer 2020, to provide specific information about the conversion. This will include access to a list of your existing street lights and the LED replacement options. You will need to confirm your selection prior to the conversion.

In the meantime, street light replacement program updates will be added to this page as they become available.

Because you need to select the LED replacement option prior to the conversion starting, it's important that you know what street lights you currently have and whether or not you need to make changes. We encourage you to have an inventory of existing street lights and to assess your street lighting design needs.

It's also important that we have the correct contact information for the person responsible for street lighting in your city. Email us with the contact information.

In addition, we'll be contacting customers using the email address associated to their MyHydro Profile (if the customer has online accounts) and a mailing address for the bill.

Street light replacement program updates will be added to this page as they become available.