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Smart Streetlights in Palo Alto Reduce Energy and Maintenance Costs While Producing Better Light Quality

Published on July 7, 2009 at 12:21 AM

Echelon Corporation (NASDAQ: ELON) announced today that the City of Palo Alto is demonstrating smart, energy efficient streetlights based on Echelon's LonWorks® technology. The City aims to reduce energy and maintenance costs and lower greenhouse gas emissions, while improving light quality. Currently, the city's 6,300 streetlights cost around $700,000 annually in energy and maintenance costs.

Streetlights networked with Echelon's intelligent controls make the lights themselves smarter. The lights are able to communicate with maintenance and management software. They can also be remotely dimmed, monitored and controlled. The combination of command and control for individual lights and an ability to communicate with expert systems can reduce a city's energy consumption, light pollution levels, and the operating and maintenance costs associated with streetlights.

The demonstration compares the energy efficiency of new lighting technologies, including LED and induction, with the existing high pressure sodium lights. The city plans to replace all 6,300 streetlights by 2015, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 600 to 950 metric tons per year, or the equivalent of removing approximately 120 cars from the road for a year. The project is in line with the City's Sustainability Policy and the Climate Protection Plan.

"Palo Alto is committed to implementing cost-effective energy efficiency measures and has been a leader in implementing new energy saving technologies. New streetlight technologies offer the benefits of reducing energy usage, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and has the potential to improve overall light distribution and visibility on Palo Alto streets," said Shiva Swaminathan, senior resource planner, City of Palo Alto.

"Echelon's technology has been proven to reduce energy use in streetlights, and every city needs to reduce expenses at this moment," said Anders Axelsson, Echelon's senior vice-president of sales and marketing. "The technology allows cities to not only cut energy costs, but also cuts maintenance costs while improving light quality, decreasing light pollution, and providing increased safety."

Both of the cities of San Francisco and San Jose have recently announced similar streetlight demonstrations using Echelon's LonWorks intelligent control technology and LED lights. Several cities in Europe have implemented similar systems citywide, with average energy savings of 50 percent and significantly reduced maintenance costs.

More information is available at www.echelon.com/solutions/streetlight.

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