A brighter path

A utility worker installs an LED streetlight in the city of Cleveland. Tribune News Service

The village of Norwood stands to save 94 percent on what it spends to illuminate roadways by switching to LED streetlights.

Village officials met with representatives of the New York Power Authority on Aug. 19 to discuss the LED Street Lighting Aggregation Project. Norwood plans to replace up to 173 streetlight fixtures.

This project is estimated to cost about $150,000. The changeover from conventional lighting to LED lighting would reduce expenses in electricity usage from $30,000 to $1,800 — a savings of $28,200.

“As far as pricing, we’re doing this as a village to save money because it’s tight,” village Trustee Glen Webster, who has been spearheading the project, said in a story published Aug. 24 in the Watertown Daily Times. “This is something that could offset stuff that is coming up next year so we don’t have to raise taxes.”

Other St. Lawrence County municipalities that have either projects underway or are considering them are Canton, DeKalb, Potsdam, Stockholm and Waddington. In Jefferson County, the villages of Adams, Carthage, West Carthage, Deferiet and Sackets Harbor as well as the towns of Adams, Champion and Wilna have become involved. The Lewis County villages of Castorland, Copenhagen, Lowville and Lyons Falls along with the town of Denmark also have chosen this route.

NYPA’s involvement in this initiative is part of the state’s Smart Street Lighting NY program. In his 2018 State of the State address, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced his goal of seeing 500,000 streetlights across New York converted to LED technology by 2025. He predicted this will save taxpayers about $87 million annually and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“NYPA is working with cities, towns, villages and counties throughout New York to fully manage and implement a customer’s transition to LED streetlight technology. NYPA provides upfront financing for the project, with payments to NYPA made in the years following from the cost-savings created by the reduced energy use of the LED streetlights, which are 50 to 65 percent more efficient than alternative street lighting options,” according to a June 17 news release issued by NYPA. “Through this statewide street lighting program, NYPA’s government customers are provided a wide array of lighting options to help meet their individual needs, including specifications on the lights to incorporate SMART technology, which can be used for dozens of other functions, such as cameras and other safety features, weather sensors, Wi-Fi and energy meters.”

This is a great way for municipalities to save money on streetlights expenses and provide better technology. Norwood is wise to follow other north country communities in participating in this program.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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