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SmartWatt

Financing Tools for Smart Cities Initiatives

Posted by Kelsey Raftery

December 17, 2015 at 2:00 AM

As expansion and urban growth press upon the need to find ways to finance infrastructure upgrades, cities have become bolder and more experimental about funding options. One of the biggest challenges is that the attitude to funding is still cautious after one of the most significant global economic crises in generations. How can cities and other public entities that want to upgrade infrastructure with smart technologies find investors and financial institutions willing to finance the projects?

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Topics: CII Division, Street Lighting, Municipal Government

Control Systems Make Street Lights More Efficient

Posted by Danielle Marquis

December 8, 2015 at 2:00 AM

Because LEDs are basically electronic devices, they can be synced with control systems in new, unprecedented ways. SmartWatt designs street lighting systems with advanced controls that are supported by a wired or wireless network and remote management software. These controls link LED street light systems with sensors, switches and dimmers that municipalities can use to alter the intensity of the light, turn lights on and off and report outages. This fine tuning translates into an unheralded precision: municipalities can switch on their street lighting when foggy or rainy conditions require more light, and even dim them when appropriate, such as to reduce glare when there’s snow cover. When accidents or emergencies occur, public safety personnel can increase lighting levels or have LED lights flash. Motion sensors can be programmed to brighten lamps in response to the presence of cars in parking garages or pedestrians in parking lots.

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Topics: CII Division, Street Lighting, Municipal Government

Internet of Things Boosts Sustainability, Connectivity and Mobility

Posted by Danielle Marquis

December 3, 2015 at 2:00 AM

The basic principle behind making a smart city successful is discovering what parts of the city are already working well and identifying what parts could use improvement. How do you find out what’s working and what isn’t? By monitoring devices that play a role in efficiency. Monitoring expands upon the “Internet of Things” (IoT) principle, enabling municipalities to leverage real time data to achieve efficiency.

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Topics: CII Division, Street Lighting, Municipal Government

Overcoming Challenges to Achieve the Vision of a Smart City

Posted by Danielle Marquis

November 24, 2015 at 2:00 AM

As new smart city initiatives launch, it’s worth exploring in more detail how a smart city operates. Let’s begin with a concise definition of a smart city: The Smart Cities Council, in its Smart Cities Readiness Guide, defines a smart city as one that “uses information and communications technology (ICT) to enhance its livability, workability and sustainability.” To be a smart city requires three essential strategies: collecting, communicating and crunching data. A smart city collects information about itself through sensors, communicates that data using wired or wireless networks and then crunches that data for current and predictive awareness. Basically, it’s a way of creating a master infrastructure out of the many critical infrastructures that comprise a city. The goal is that this overarching infrastructure pools information in new, transformative ways that support a city in becoming much more than the sum of its parts.

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Topics: CII Division, Street Lighting, Municipal Government

Smart Cities, Smarter World

Posted by Danielle Marquis

November 18, 2015 at 2:00 AM

According to MIT, it's estimated that the urban population increases by 2 people every second globally. The trifecta of rapid urbanization, strained infrastructure and enormous amounts of data not only challenges cities—it’s also creating new opportunities.

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Topics: CII Division, Street Lighting, Municipal Government

FAQ: How Can My Small Municipality Afford LED Street Lights?

Posted by Danielle Marquis

August 5, 2015 at 11:16 AM

Many small municipalities across the country are facing a challenging dilemma – they have aged street lights, and the high utility and maintenance costs that come with them, but no funding to upgrade to high-efficiency LED street lights.

 

But what if the electricity and maintenance costs were guaranteed, with savings that exceed the monthly cost, thereby making the project possible with no out-of-pocket costs? What if, in addition to replacing outdated high-pressure sodium (HPS)lighting units with LED, you could add advanced program and dimming controls, GIS mapping and other advanced features? This is where energy performance contracts (EPC) come into play.

 

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Topics: CII Division, Frequently Asked Questions, Street Lighting, Municipal Government, LED Lighting

Proposed PA Street Lighting Rate Increase

Posted by Danielle Marquis

May 4, 2015 at 1:02 PM

The Pennsylvania Public Utilities Commission is serious about saving energy and soon, inefficient cities, towns and burroughs could be paying a lot more to light their streets, highways, bridges and parks. On March 31, 2014, a proposed street lighting rate increase was announced, which could substantially impact inefficient Pennsylvania municipalities.

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Topics: CII Division, Utility Rebate Updates, Street Lighting, LED Lighting

LED Street Lighting Solutions for Municipalities

Posted by Kayla Bellair

February 27, 2015 at 5:00 AM

All across America, there's a growing movement to bring LEDs to the streets.  At SmartWatt Energy, we've seen the light for years.  Energy-efficient lighting is a savvy improvement on outdated HID technology - and it comes with a huge return on investment.

 

LEDs come of age

Environmentally friendly, low-maintenance and economically enticing, solid state fixtures trump traditional HID fixtures on all counts.  What's more, LEDs provide better color, more even light distribution and minimal light pollution.  When you choose SmartWatt to oversee your street lighting conversion, you provide an upgrade for your municipality that not only enhances the beauty and safety of your lightscape, but also can save 50 to 80 percent of electricity use.

 

It adds up to a street-smart idea with a very bright future. Tally all the advantages of LEDs in street lighting and you'll see why cities and towns across the country are making the switch. 

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Topics: CII Division, Street Lighting, Municipal Government, LED Lighting

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