Salt Lake City

Street Lighting FAQs

Street Lighting FAQs

 

Question

   

Answer

 

 

Billing / Program Finance

How much is the residential fee?

 

$3.73 per month per residence (single family, duplex or triplex).

 

How are duplexes and triplexes billed?

As one residential unit, $3.73/month.

 

How are all non-residential properties billed?

By Residential Equivalency Unit (ERU). Each 75 feet of street frontage is 1 ERU/$3.73 per month.

 

Why isn’t my monthly bill exactly $3.73 for the month?

Because utility bills are based on the number of days in a billing cycle. The monthly equivalent rate will be $3.73. Some months may be a bit higher and some a bit lower, but the annual average monthly charge will be $3.73.

 

Do corner lots pay more?

For residential lots – no. Commercial (all other) lots are based on measured front footage.

 

Will tax exempt properties be assessed this monthly fee?

Yes.

 

With the new user fee program, what will become of my SAA (SID or special district)?

For now, the SAA (Special Assessment District) will remain the same and you will be getting the annual assessment from the SLC Treasurer’s office. Please note, however, that all properties within the SAA will also be assessed the base fee of $3.73 per month per household or ERU, because these properties also benefit from the citywide lights.

 

My property is vacant or undeveloped. Can I get a waiver of the street lighting fee?

Properties that receive no benefit and have no business activity may be eligible for a waiver. Contact 801-483-6727.

 

I have a very low income. Do you have any abatement programs that I qualify for?

Since this fee is on the utility bill the abatements will be the same as for the other utilities (water, sewer, garbage, recycling). You can apply to the Red Cross for assistance under the Project Water Assist Program or apply to Salt Lake County for the Property Abatement Program. You can go to the Red Cross web page to see if you are eligible. http://www.utahredcross.org/index.asp?IDCapitulo=I2OD6QV708

 

I think my bill has been calculated incorrectly. Who should I call?

Call Salt Lake City Public Utilities at 801-483-6900.

 

Why a fee instead of taxes?

By assessing a fee instead of property taxes, there will be broader participation in the lighting improvements, which will lower the cost for residents and businesses more than if we were to use general fund money. All tax-exempt properties in the city (properties owned by the state, County, churches, etc.) will be paying into the new fund, thus lowering the amount each property owner would pay for the service.

 

Isn’t a user fee just another form of tax?

Both raise revenue to run city programs. The main difference is that the user fee is a dedicated funding source that can only be used for a specific, defined purpose.

 

It doesn’t seem fair that I am paying twice for lights, once in the SAA (or private lit neighborhood) and again for the monthly user fee.

 

Under the user fee concept, all properties that receive some benefit from the citywide lighting system will pay into the fund. Whether a light is in front of your house or not, you receive a benefit from all the other lights as you travel around in the city.

 

Will my property taxes go down an amount equal to this new fee?

 

No. But, this savings to the general fund will help stave off tax increases in the future.

 

How did the street lighting program get into such a state that a user fee was needed?

A bad economy, heavy competition inside of the general fund budget and a reluctance to raise taxes caused a shortfall in money to maintain the streetlights.

 

   

If I refuse to pay the new fee what is the penalty?

Nonpayment of any portion of the overall city utility bill may result in termination of water service.

 

 

Service Requests / Maintenance

How do I report a damaged or malfunctioning light?

 

Call Custom Lighting Services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at 1-800-814-4311.

 

How do I request to have a light installed where there currently isn’t one?

Call Salt Lake City Public Utilities at 801-483-6727.

 

Is the neighborhood private lighting program still available?

 

No. However, there are current discussions about setting up a new program for neighborhoods wanting a higher level of service.

 

Now that I am paying a bill for lighting, will the city maintain my private neighborhood decorative light?

 

No. The citizen’s advisory committee studied the issue and it was decided to leave the private lighting program unchanged.

 

There is a light out in the park. Who do I call?

 

Call Salt Lake City Parks and Public Lands at 801.972.7800.

 

Why is it that sometimes when I call about a malfunctioning light you have it fixed within a day or two and other times you don’t do anything?

 

Maintenance requests that involve simple repairs such as burned out bulbs will generally be completed within 72 hours. More complex repairs, such as re-wiring a block, will take longer. Sometimes a neighborhood is slated for a major upgrade and maintenance may be deferred until that time.

 

I like the energy efficiency goals for street lighting. When will my street be done?

The current plan is to have lights citywide converted to energy- efficient lighting within the next 10 years. Currently, about 18% of the street lighting system is considered energy efficient.

 

I like the energy efficiency goals of the street lighting program. So, why did you just replace the burned out bulb on my street with the same type of non-energy efficient bulb?

Energy efficient streetlights require not just a bulb but also a new, more costly fixture. It has been found that it is better to replace long strings of streetlights for energy efficiency rather than one at a time. Therefore, for immediacy and safety reasons, your bulb may be replaced in kind so that there will be light until the larger energy efficiency upgrades happen in your neighborhood.

 

What is the after-hours number to call for streetlight emergencies (downed poles, live wires, etc.)?

The Street Light customer service center at 1-800-814-4311 is always available and can deploy an emergency response crew. You could also call the 24-hour Public Utilities Dispatch at 801- 483-6700.

 

Standards / Program Goals

Where can I learn more about the details of the city’s street lighting program?

 

The web site http://www.slcgov.com/search?search=street+lights or the PU site (under construction) http://www.slcgov.com/utilities/public-utilities-street-lighting . The Street Lighting Master Plan found at http://www.slcdocs.com/transportation/StreetLighting/PDF/Stre etLightingMP.pdf . Or call Salt Lake City Public Utilities at 801- 483-6727.

I like “dark skies.” Will this new program bring us to “dark sky” compliance?

 

The current Street Lighting Master Plan calls for the “semi-cut- off” level of the “dark sky” standards. Replacement poles and fixtures will be required to meet “dark sky” standards.

What changes can I expect to see now that this new fee has been created?

 

The first priorities will be to identify and repair out-of-service lights. While working through this backlog we will be putting together larger improvement projects that will be contracted to replace aging infrastructure with energy efficient streetlights.