United Cooperative Services strives to provide the latest innovations to the members it serves, while adhering to federal and state regulations and policies. Commitment to our members is an everlasting principle and serves as a constant reminder to all that being part of a not-for-profit electric cooperative has advantages. At United, our employees continually offer members information on products, services and industry issues that could affect how they use the electricity we deliver.
Changes in federal policy regarding area lights have led to a transition in how we address this specific area of our service portfolio. Through the information below, we hope to ensure that United members are fully informed on changes to area light policies.
- The Energy Policy Act of 2005 prohibits manufacturing or importing traditional Mercury Vapor (MV) lamp ballasts as of Jan. 1, 2008.
- Many of the area lights on United’s system have either a bluish-white light (which are Mercury Vapor, or MV, lamps) or an amber-colored light (which are High Pressure Sodium, or HPS, lamps). Years ago, United utilized the MV light exclusively up until changes were brought to our industry via the Energy Policy Act of 2005. This act dictated that we move away from the MV light completely and begin using the amber (HPS) light because it is more efficient than its predecessor. The tradeoff was that the HPS is somewhat less reliable and many find the amber color to be less appealing. Technology advancements and manufacturing techniques have now improved LED lighting so that they are now efficient, economical, and reliable. The LED area light also produces white light that many people have missed since United was forced to move to the HPS.
- United will use LED lamps as a replacement for both the MV and HPS options no longer offered.
- If an existing MV or HPS ballast fails, United must replace the area light to support LED.
- An environmental fee could be assessed in the future for the disposal of MV bulbs.
Key Benefits of the change to LED Area Lights
- LEDs have longer life expectancy, produce very little heat, contain no mercury, are shock and vibration resistant, and can operate effectively in extremely cold conditions.
- LED lights produce more light-at the same cost-than the MV lamps
- LED lights are being offered at the same unit price as their equivalent HPS light
- The LED lights were chosen to fit the same light patterns as previous area lights.
Dark Sky Options
United’s LED fixtures provide a Dark Sky-compliant option if members would prefer to switch from their existing MV and HPS non-Dark Sky fixture. United may assess a trip fee to switch a working MV and HPS fixture to a LED area light.
The pricing options are available in section 202.7 of United’s tariff.
Looking Out for the Membership
The transition to LED lamps from MV and HPS lamps will be an ongoing effort. As always, United will continue to keep members fully abreast of changes to all federal and state industry policies and regulations. As those changes occur, we will offer innovative solutions, such as we have by providing LED lamps.