LED street light plan to get review
Published 11:03 am, Thursday, June 25, 2015
The town’s Board of Selectmen is considering a plan to buy up street lamps to swap out 843 sodium lights this summer and roll out more energy efficient LED ones that emit bright white light.
Under the proposal by Eversource which will be presented in the near future, the town would buy lights and poles from Connecticut Light & Power, and assume the maintenance responsibility for the lights, First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said.
A preliminary projection provided by Eversource shows the town would save nearly $90,000 a year on reduced energy costs from switching to LED lights, which last longer and use much less energy.
Stevenson said she has been working toward the plan with Eversource for four years, after noticing the LED technology while driving in Stamford and believing it provided better quality light.
“The improved quality of light from the fixtures was so notable to me,” Stevenson said. “The proposal that is coming forward is the culmination of a lot of years of thought and research to weight the cost benefits of acquiring the street lights.”
The total initial cost of acquiring the CL&P lighting fixtures and the LED retrofitting is projected as $424,000, according to a copy of the proposal.
If the plan is approved by the Board of Selectmen, it would go before the Board of Finance and Representative Town Meeting, the town’s legislature, for approval, Stevenson said.
In addition to possibly financing the first costs of the changeover as a capital project or with a non-budget appropriation, the town has a third option of paying for the work on it’s monthly utility bill, Stevenson said.
“The idea of on-bill financing is a very general concept which I need to hear more detail about from Eversource,” Stevenson said.
The town has already converted some street lamps it owns in the central business district to LED bulbs, which have been well-received for improving lighting, Stevenson said.
While the projected savings on maintenance costs are estimates, if the plan moves forward, the town would probably set aside the saved money for future repairs of lights, Town Administrator Karl Kilduff said. The town would hire a private contractor to do the maintenance, Kilduff said.
“LEDS have a longer life span than traditional street lights which could reduce the cost of maintenance,” Kilduff said. “... Some of the operating savings would have to be escrowed for future repairs(by a vendor).”