Using QECBs for Street Lighting Upgrades: Lighting the Way to Lower Energy Bills in San Diego

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Policy Brief

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Qualified Energy Conservation Bonds (QECBs) are federally-subsidized bonds that enable state, tribal, and local government issuers to borrow money to fund a range of energy conservation projects, including street lighting upgrades, at very attractive rates over long contract terms. As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), the City of San Diego received a $13.1 million QECB award from the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury). The city leveraged these QECBs to increase the size of a street lighting upgrade project from 10,000 to 39,000 light replacements. The $18.1 million street lighting upgrade project is expected to save the city over $2.5 million in avoided energy and maintenance costs.

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