Town of Owego, NY: Upgrading Street Lights Boosts Savings


Owego is located in Tioga County, New York. Nestled along the banks of the Susquehanna River, Owego encom­passes approximately 105 square miles, with a population hovering around 20,000. Town officials understand that street lighting is vital to creating a safe and aesthetically pleasing environment for residents and visitors. At the same time, the energy, maintenance and operational costs associated with the street lights represented a significant portion of the town’s utility spend.


  • Like many towns across the U.S., Owego’s local utility was charging more for their maintenance than the energy costs. [In some towns this charge can be as high as $650 per pole.]
  • The existing street lights used primarily High Pressure Sodium (HPS), or Metal Halide (MH) lights, which consume approximately twice the energy of LED lights.
  • As such, The Town of Owego was looking for a better way to conserve energy, reduce utility spending, and improve safety in public places.


The Town of Owego partnered with SmartWatt to buy back their street lights from the utility. In addition to reducing maintenance charges, taking back ownership of their 579 street lights gave Owego the opportunity to upgrade to energy-efficient LED fixtures.

  • One of the key advantages of LEDs is they have an extremely long lifespan –which further reduces maintenance costs
  • Since LEDs use less than 50% of the energy of traditional streetlights, they dramatically reduce energy consump­ tion and costs
  • And finally, LED street lights also provide brighter and more evenly spread light

SmartWatt is in the top 5% of people we work with in terms of customer service and work performance. They’re at the top of their game — always checking in to make sure there aren’t any problems.  I would highly recommend them to other municipalities.” Donald Castellucci Jr. ,Town Supervisor


Buying back their street lights, and upgrading to LEDs, is helping the Town of Owego meet their energy efficiency goals, reduce operation and maintenance needs and reduce energy costs. A total of 529 fixtures will be replaced, saving taxpayers nearly $65,000 per year.

  • Estimated annual maintenance savings: $44,904
  • Estimated annual utility savings: $19,194

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