2017-02-04 / Local

2 towns save money with LED lighting

In an effort to trim expenses, two area communities have taken the easy way out, and with a great deal of success.

Both New London and Newbury have trimmed their streetlight electrical bills in half by removing High Intensity Discharge streetlights and replacing them with high efficiency Light Emitting Diode fixtures.

The savings are already proving to be substantial in both Merrimack County communities.

In the current 2016-17 fiscal year, New London budgeted $17,000 to cover the monthly bills for its 115 streetlights. In the upcoming 2017-18 fiscal year the annual streetlight budget has been sliced in half to $8,500.

A few miles away in Newbury, its annual appropriation for 75 streetlights has dropped from $13,000 to $7,000.

And there is one more plus. The LED lights come with a minimum lifespan of 10 years.

“We had to replace our old light fixtures every five years,” said Kimberly Hallquist, town administrator in New London.

“We were scheduled to swap our lights out next year so the timing for the switch to LED fixtures was perfect,” according to Hallquist.

Installation of the 115 fixtures in New London was completed on Sept. 23. With the help of a lighting incentive rebate of $11,500 from Eversource, New London had to kick in $5,000 as its share of the installation fee. “We’ll have that paid back in less than one year,” Hallquist said.

“These lights are just brighter and we’re very happy so far,” Hallquist said.

And so are New London citizens, based on feedback town officials have received.

In Newbury, Town Administrator Dennis Pavlicek said the monthly bill for November was $1,083.27 and with the new LED fixtures it dropped to $402.98 in December.

Newbury’s former High Intensity Discharge streetlights were replaced with High Efficiency Phillips, Road Focus LED fixtures.

Eversource gave Newbury a grant for $7,500 to help offset the cost of its installation.

“We’re pretty happy about our new lights,” Pavlicek revealed. Highway Administrator Cal Prussman drives around at night and told Pavlicek the new lights are as good as the ones they replaced.

“We’re very happy and have no complaints,” Pavlicek said.

“We are currently in discussions with other towns in the area, so this type of news will eventually become commonplace,” said Peter Salvetti, Director, Business Development, at American Energy Efficiency Company Inc. in Boston.

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