Citizens, Businesses No Longer Billed For Streetlights
Posted on 10/16/2020
City takes over charges in a move that saves community members’ money.

Newcastle residents and businesses will no longer be billed for streetlights in their area. Instead, the City of Newcastle is taking over responsibility for those charges in a move that saves community members’ money and brings energy-efficient LED lights to our City. 

There are nearly 1,000 streetlights in the City of Newcastle. About 70 percent of them are privately funded by residents and businesses. The charge typically comes up on your CCUD utility bill or is billed directly to your homeowner’s association. Those fees will permanently disappear from your bill, if they haven’t already, as the City assumes the cost going forward.

The adjustment comes as the City takes advantage of an initiative called Relight Washington. The Washington State Transportation Improvement Board program helps small cities transition to energy-efficient LED streetlights, covering all conversion costs. The program only applies to City-funded streetlights. So, to ensure all Newcastle streetlights were eligible, the City elected to assume financial responsibility for all of them. The conversion to LED light fixtures across the City is now nearly complete.

While the City is taking on the cost of the streetlights going forward, there is currently no offsetting additional revenue to fund this new obligation.

It is a generally accepted fact that converting streetlights to LED is a wise financial investment. The TIB commissioned a study that found that cost, energy, and environmental benefits returned more than twice the installation expense over 15 years.

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