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Duke Energy, Chapel Hill Collaborate to Advance LED Technology in Lighting


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - The town of Chapel Hill and Duke Energy Carolinas have initiated a 12-month test program to evaluate the use of Light-Emitting Diodes (LED) for use in outdoor street lighting.

Duke Energy Carolinas will replace 10 existing high pressure sodium lamps with new LED lamps on existing streetlight poles along Franklin Street from Columbia to Henderson streets as part of the test.

“Chapel Hill has built a reputation as a leader in sustainability initiatives on social, environmental and economic issues,” Mayor Kevin Foy said. “Partnering with Duke Energy Carolinas on this project aligns well with our strong focus on sustainability.”

LED technology produces a white light that enhances the color spectrum. It has been used in traffic signals, accent lighting, outdoor signs and retail refrigeration equipment. For electric utilities, LED technology has potential as an energy-efficient option for outdoor street and security lighting.

“We are very pleased to partner with the town of Chapel Hill in this effort to evaluate the potential for future applications of LED technology across our system,” said Joni Davis, vice president of local government and community relations for Duke Energy Carolinas. “LED technology may hold future potential for reducing both energy consumption and equipment maintenance costs without compromising safety or customer satisfaction.”

Foy said the program fits into efforts to pilot new technologies that will assist with Chapel Hill’s ambitious carbon reduction goals. In 2006, the town of Chapel Hill became the first U.S. municipality to commit to a 60 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050 through the Carbon Reduction Program. The council authorized the pledge to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from town municipal operations on a per capita basis, beginning with an initial goal of 5 percent reduction by 2010.

“Through this 12-month pilot, we expect to develop data on operating cost, light-level readings, energy consumption and other related information,” said Davis. “Duke Energy Carolinas does not currently offer LED lighting, but this pilot will go a long way in helping us determine the feasibility of providing this option to our customers.”

Chapel Hill residents and visitors are encouraged to send feedback about their overall satisfaction with the LED lights to To learn more about sustainability efforts in Chapel Hill, visit or call the town of Chapel Hill Office of Sustainability at 919- 969-5075. To see Duke Energy’s reports on a variety of sustainability initiatives, visit

Duke Energy Carolinas owns nuclear, coal-fired, natural gas and hydroelectric generation. That diverse fuel mix provides approximately 19,000 megawatts of electricity capacity to approximately 2.4 million customers in a 22,000-square-mile service area of North Carolina and South Carolina.

Duke Energy is the third largest electric power holding company in the United States, based on kilowatt-hour sales. Its regulated utility operations serve approximately 4 million customers located in five states – North Carolina, South Carolina, Indiana, Ohio and Kentucky -- representing a population of approximately 11 million people.


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