Town of Fort Erie Council flips the switch on LED Streetlighting

At its Council-in-Budget Committee meeting on Wednesday night, Fort Erie Council approved a $2.2 million debenture for the design and conversion of the town-wide streetlights to more energy efficient LED (light emitting diode) luminaires. This places Fort Erie in the vanguard of progressive communities seeking efficient and environmentally sensitive solutions to energy issues.

The Town has approximately 3,320 street lights that cost the taxpayer $570,000 per year in electricity and maintenance costs. Municipalities that have LED streetlighting report that their annual savings range from 30 – 70% on power consumption based on current electricity rates and 75 – 95% on maintenance costs.

Innovations in LED technology and production methods have resulted in dramatically reduced pricing for LED streetlights and have become more prevalent in Ontario municipalities over the past several years. Some of the benefits1 of replacing the Town’s streetlights with the new LED lights:

Why LEDs by LAS

  • Long, predictable lifetime – LED lights do not burn out. Instead, they lose brightness over time, while generally lasting many times longer than a conventional fluorescent or incandescent light – up to 100,000 hours. This lower servicing need results in extremely reduced maintenance costs.
  • Environmental Impact – LED lights do not contain mercury or lead, and do not release poisonous gases if damaged. The LED lights are less attractive to nocturnal insects that are attracted to ultraviolet, blue and green light emitted by conventional light sources.
  • Higher light output, even at low temperatures.
  • Less wasted light – light from LEDS is more focused and does not require diffusers or reflectors that reduce lighting efficiency. As a result, light does not shine where it is not wanted, such as into street-side bedroom windows.
  • Enhanced safety – LED lights have a longer life and will never leave an area in complete darkness. As well, enhanced colour rendering makes areas appear better lit.
  • Controls – LED lights can be dimmed when less street lighting is needed, such as late at night, and at dusk or early dawn. This can be an enhanced feature added in the future.

“We heard all of the reasons why switching to LED streetlighting makes sense from a financial and environmental perspective”, stated Mayor Wayne Redekop. “The payback of ten years or so through reduced energy use and maintenance costs helped Council make the decision to move forward with this important project in 2015”.

“Government funding (grants) may be available to help offset the upfront capital cost to install the LED streetlights”, noted Interim CAO, Tom Kuchyt. “Staff will continue to monitor and review grant criteria that may help reduce the cost of the conversion”.

Once the Capital budget is approved by By-law and the project begins, residents and businesses will be made aware of the assessments and installations that will be taking place.

The Town’s Budget process continues:

  • February 9, 2015 – Water and Wastewater Budget and User Fee By-law
  • February 18, 2015 – Economic Development and Tourism Corporation and Fort Erie Public Library Board
  • March 5, 2015 – General Levy Operating Budget

For further information and to view 2015 Budget presentations, visit us on the web at www.forterie.on.ca and click on the Budget banner. All Council-in-Budget Committee meetings are also broadcast live on-line.

For more information, contact:

Tom Kuchyt
Interim Chief Administrative Officer
905.871.1600 Ext. 2400
Email address: tkuchyt@forterie.on.ca

Jonathan Janzen
Director of Financial Services
905.871.1600 Ext. 2300
Email address: jjanzen@forterie.on.ca

 

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