LA's Waste of Energy

City leaving street lights on 24/7 all over town

In the shadow of Century City, We see streetlamps burning at 12 noon -- blocks and blocks of them.

Nine miles away in East Hollywood, the lights are on all day, along Melrose Avenue.

In Granada Hills, in a quiet residential neighborhood, it’s the same story.

It’s also happening in Northridge.

"Do you have any idea how many lights are on during the day in LA?" Joel Grover asked Cynthia Ruiz, head of the Los Angeles Public works. "Actually, I don't," she replied.

Just last month, we showed you a Westwood neighborhood, where residents had been complaining to the city for four months to turn off more than 500 lights that were on all day, wasting taxpayer money.  They got no action.

"This is a huge waste of energy?" Grover asked Ed Ebrahimian, director of LA's Bureau of Street Lighting. "No question, he replied.

Ebrahimian claimed the problem was just in that one area. He said the lights were old; the city was trying to upgrade them and couldn’t get new timing devices to turn them off during the day.

"It doesn't happen throughout our system. Those are old antiquated circuits, that have been around since the early 1920s, early 1930s," Ebrahimian said.

But we've now found plenty of newer, modern streetlights that are needlessly burning all day long, wasting taxpayer money and electricity.

"Thank you for bringing it to our attention. We're reaching out to the community and asking them to partner with us, and when they do see lights on, call 311," Ruiz told Grover.

I've complained since the beginning of this year," said LA resident Mark Smith. He says he's called the city five times, to fix the lights burning all day in his Granada Hills neighborhood.

Five months later, they're still on.

Residents like Smith wonder Why the City of LA is wasting so much electricity. On its website, the City urges citizens to turn off their own lights at home whenever they're not needed.

"Why are the lights on when its 90 degrees and the sun is shining brightly? It doesn't make much sense,” Smith says.

The city now admits, that its newer lights have a sensor that turns them off during the day and that those sensors burn out, just like bulbs do. The problem is, the city has been slow in replacing those On/off sensors.

"We're not perfect, but we do want to get better," Ruiz tells us.

But every time NBCLA tells the city about a specific area (Westwood, Century City) the lights seem to be fixed immediately.

Do you have a story for us to investigate? email Joel at:

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