The Average Payment Plan can help reduce your high bills in summer and winter and make it easier to manage your monthly bill. The plan allows you to pay a monthly bill on the average cost of your most recent 12-month period. The amount due may vary slightly month to month but if you were signed up for Average Payment, your bill for this month would have only been Label and then every bill in the coming months would be close to that same amount. It’s not too late to sign up for your Label bill.
For more information about the Average Pay Program and how it can help reduce high bill surprises, visit our Average Payment Plan page
Why are you replacing all of the lights on the street? Many of them are still working.
Westar has been transitioning to all LED streetlights and fixtures for the past 3 years. LEDs are more reliable, allow for better visibility on the roadway, use less energy than the previous fixture and are more cost-effective.
Since we began this transition, we have seen high performance and very few failures. Additionally, this program saves energy and carbon emissions and many people like the quality of light emitted by the new LEDs.
With non LED street lights, often some appear to be working, but when there is equipment failure there are “day burners” that turn on. They make it seem like the light is still working, but it’s not, so it is replaced with an LED. This is a more cost-effective way to replace the lights both operationally and financially.
When do you anticipate our area will be changed out to LED?
Westar is planning for a 2-year program with all streetlights on our system changed by the end of 2019. We are working on a detailed schedule of locations and timeframes, but do not have that available currently.
How long has Westar been installing LEDs?
It has been our standard streetlight procedure to use LEDs since February 2015, although we did participate in a small LED pilot along with two neighboring electric utilities in some areas near Kansas City in 2012.
Why are you changing the entire fixture out, not just the bulb?
LED fixtures have much higher light quality and light efficiency. These fixtures have a lifespan of 20+ years, much longer than the previous fixtures. In order to upgrade to LED's, the entire fixture must be changed. By only replacing bulbs to another option besides LED's, the maintenance costs would increase and the overall benefits of the fixtures would decrease.
Are you coming to replace the fixture in my yard with an LED soon?
If you have a streetlight on your property, the plan is for it to be upgraded to an LED fixture. Security lighting that you may have had installed on your property is not part of this program. If you would like to inquire about upgrading security lighting, you can contact us at 800-383-1183.
What is the color temperature of these lights?
The lights being installed are 4000 Kelvin (K) with one exception, the Old Town area of Wichita uses 5000K Omero fixtures. An industry standard refers to 4000K as “cool white”, and that color sits between a yellowish “warm white” and bluish “daylight” colors that might be typical of light bulbs one could purchase for their home or business.
Westar uses 4000K color temperature for its resemblance to natural moonlight and the safety benefits of enhancing colors and maximum visual acuity on the roadway. A recent study from the Illumination Engineering Society and additional studies indicate 4000K is a safer light temperature for traffic. It is superior to 3,500K or less.
Do these lights save energy?
Yes. This is one of the primary reasons for the upgrade. Depending on the type of light fixture being replaced, the new LEDs use between 20% and 50% less energy. This allows Westar to lower streetlight rates for the cities being served and cuts down on carbon emissions.
These LEDs seem brighter than the old lights. Are they?
Although they seem brighter, in most cases they are not, and are actually dimmer when considering the actual lumen measurement on the ground.
Many people report a perception of increased brightness despite less lumens emitted from the new LED fixtures. The LEDs seem to be brighter because they emit a much more even lighting pattern across a roadway than their predecessors that dumped a lot of light right below the fixture, and didn’t light the area midway between two fixtures well.
The even light helps with visual acuity and causes less glare because your eyes aren’t constantly adjusting to areas of light and dark as you travel down the roadway. The specific color light we have chosen is optimal for night vision and being able to identify targets/obstacles at a maximum distance according to some studies, and other studies have shown people simply perceive that white color to be brighter.
There’s a streetlight(s) on my block shining in my window and it’s bothering me. Is there anything can I do?
For an existing older-style streetlight causing the nuisance, there might be a significant improvement just by switching to LED.
If the light causing the issue is already an LED, Westar has a few options available to help alleviate the issue. Please call Customer Service at (800) 383-1183 and they will request the local design team evaluate the situation free of charge or obligation. This may or may not include a site visit.
What costs are my city bearing for this change-out? What are the monthly fees my city is paying for the streetlights?
The cities are not being charged for any LED lights installed on this project. Westar purchases and owns the lights, and the cities pay a monthly lease rate to Westar for the service. If the light were to burn out or quit working Westar fixes or replaces the light, and allowance for those costs are included in the monthly rate. The monthly rates paid can be found on the Westar Energy website here. Other rates such as the charge for electric services can also be found here.
Please note, on the subject of city streetlights that some cities do choose to own their own fixtures in areas that may or may not be LEDs. Many cities have a mix of their own lights and Westar lighting. In this project, only Westar Energy-owned lights are being replaced.
Will switching the streetlights to LEDs make my bill go up?
No, your Westar bill will not increase as a result of this project.