Energy, Lighting, and Communications



Downed Wires

Report downed power or phone lines to Consumers Energy.

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Service Areas

The ELC Department provides power to our city from the Coldbrook substation. We buy the power from Consumers Energy and use it to power these City assets:

  • City street lights
  • City traffic signals
  • City buildings
  • City parks & cemeteries
  • Fire stations
  • The fish ladder
  • The Fulton Street Market
  • The Impound Lot
  • John Ball Zoo
  • Various parking lots & ramps
  • Receptacles for events

8 circuits distribute the electricity from the substation to the City. Cables run mostly in two areas:

  1. Underground (in conduits located in duct banks, which run from manhole to manhole)
  2. Aerial (on poles)

Most underground lines are in the downtown area. Those downtown cables extend out of the downtown area along major streets.



Report issues with streetlights on your block or throughout Grand Rapids. You can report several issues through our mobile app.

  • Streetlight Out
  • Streetlight Blinking
  • Streetlight Dim
  • Streetlight Always On

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Lighting Pole Ownership

Our street lighting system has 209 secondary circuits and 18,037 street lights.

We mount street light fixtures on poles owned by different entities:

  • City owned poles
  • Consumers Energy
  • AT&T

The City-owned poles are made of different materials:

  • Wood
  • Fiberglass
  • Cast iron
  • Aluminum

Over the years, the City has rebuilt roads and associated infrastructure. This process includes rebuilding or replacing portions of the street lighting system. So, the age and condition of the street lighting system varies from new to over 50 years old. The condition also ranges from good to poor. We also maintain portions of the Cities of Kentwood's and Walker's street lighting systems.


We also own and operate a Pole Line and Duct System (PLDS). The PLDS provides service through a network of underground conduits and overhead poles. Communication companies use our conduits to provide service to the City.

More Details

  • Review frequently asked questions
  • Learn about State and Federal policy for small cell devices
  • View a map of permits with status details
  • And more

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Does your company need access to the City's pole line and duct system? We allow companies to request access so they don't need to dig into the roadway for their own infrastructure. Granting access also eliminates the need for companies to get private utility easements.

We regulate excess capacity in these systems through the Pole Line and Duct System ordinance.

We provide information on our usage through annual rate studies. Check out past rate studies below: