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Maryland Energy Administration Accelerates the Upgrade of Outdoor Lighting to Clean and Efficient LED Technology


Contact: Jahmai Sharp-Moore | 443-694-3651

Baltimore, MD — The Maryland Energy Administration (MEA) announced the second year of the Fiscal Year 2023 (FY23) Streetlight and Outdoor Lighting Efficiency (SOLE) grant program. With the focus on the installation of light-emitting diode (LED) fixtures on existing, outdoor, pole-mounted, user-owned lighting fixtures, the SOLE grant program serves state and local governments, public and private schools, community colleges, and nonprofit organizations. The fixtures eligible for MEA grant funds include those that illuminate streets, parking lots, pedestrian paths, and athletic fields. Overall FY23 LED streetlight program funding is set at $1.8 million. 

The SOLE program is derived from a successful FY22 pilot effort that engaged 11 grantees, including the City of Rockville and Howard County and Baltimore City public schools. The program concept was in response to widespread community interest in upgrading outdoor lighting with more energy efficient and modern fixtures. Street lighting can represent as much as 40% of a municipality’s annual electric bill. LED technology reduces this expense by using 50-70% less electricity to achieve lighting levels comparable to those provided by older, less efficient light fixtures. MEA’s program encourages innovations such as advanced lighting controls and the use of solar power. 

“Countless communities are eager to adopt clean, efficient energy technologies – especially if these innovations reduce operating expenses,” said Dr. Mary Beth Tung, Director of the Maryland Energy Administration. “Outdoor lighting upgrades provide one the quickest, most impactful energy-saving initiatives. The Streetlight and Outdoor Lighting Efficiency program accelerates the installation of LED light fixtures that produces cost savings.” 

Added benefits include reduced maintenance costs and improved public safety thanks to improved lighting quality. These features can benefit communities and cities across the state. 

Eligible applicants are encouraged to visit the program website to learn more and apply for grants.