FREMONT – With our neighbors in Lincoln having begun a yearlong project to convert all streetlights to LED lighting, many in Fremont are ready to see the new technology take over here, too.
The City of Lincoln will replace all street lights with LED lighting, and the project is expected to pay for itself – over time. Lincoln is projected to recoup the entire $12.2 million dollar conversion cost over the next 12 years through savings on energy and maintenance. The City of Lincoln says the LED lights will reduce the city’s annual energy usage by 10.7 million kilowatt hours (KWH.)
As for Fremont, City Administrator Brian Newton is optimistic about converting the city’s streetlights to LED’s. “We’ve tested them,” Newton said. “We put several around town. One particular spot is on Johnson Road between 16th and Military: those are all LED lights.” Another spot that has had LED replacement lighting is the downtown Fremont Ilgenfritz parking garage.
The City of Fremont has also made a policy change: if a streetlight burns out or is damaged, it gets replaced with an LED light instead of the old mercury vapor or sodium bulbs. Since instituting that policy, the city has converted 235 Fremont streetlights to LED. (Fremont has a little more than 2700 street lights total.) If the city were to undergo a conversion project like the City of Lincoln, converting all remaining lights to LED at once, it would cost around $850,000 for the lights & the labor associated with installing them.
Currently, Fremont’s street lights consume 2.2 million KWH per year. If all were LED, Fremont would save around 86% in electricity consumption. This equates to around $100,000 a year in electricity savings – or 8.5 years until the lights would pay for themselves. Alternately, on the city’s current “replace as you go” strategy, all the street lights could be converted to LED light within 10 years.
Of a full replacement project, Newton said, “It’s a financial, budget item that we’re going to have to work into the budget over the next few years, or maybe we’ll do a portion over the next 4, 5 years and just phase them in.”