TOLEDO (WTVG) - Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz announced Wednesday the city would soon begin converting the city’s 28,000 conventional high-pressure sodium bulb streetlights to energy-efficient LEDs with the help of Toledo Edison.
The switch is expected to save $580,000 annually on energy costs.
“We committed to converting every streetlight to LED by the end of 2021, and we are now following through with that promise to make our streets safer, more illuminated, and do so less expensively over the long run through the efficiency of LED lights,” Mayor Kapszukiewicz said. “This will save the residents and business owners of Toledo significantly over the next decade.”
The mayor says the $580,000 annual savings will cover the cost of the infrastructure upgrades. He claims there is a 10-year or better return on investment for the conversion.
The mayor was joined by Toledo Edison Regional President Rich Sweeney for the announcement.
“LED streetlights represent a significant improvement over existing street lighting technology, providing a longer service life, reduced energy consumption, and brighter, higher quality light,” Mr. Sweeney said. “We are pleased to be working with the city of Toledo on this project, which we plan to complete in 2021, which also marks Toledo Edison’s 100th year of service to the community.”
A pilot program in the Old South End converted 200 streetlights to LED.
“That change in the Old South End led to brighter, safer streets, and that is what we expect citywide through this upgrade,” the mayor said. “Our community will be safer as a result of this long-overdue conversion.”
The mayor says Toledo City Council will receive legislation Friday that will authorize an agreement with Toledo Edison to begin the upgrades and allocate necessary funds. The proposed 2020 city budget includes $1.5 million for the first phase of the LED conversion. The cost for the upgrade was initially estimated to be about $9.6 million but that was recently reduced to $5.8 million through tariff modifications with the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.
The citywide conversion will begin in The Junction neighborhood of Toledo. All of the streetlights in Central Toledo and East Toledo should be converted in the first year, the mayor said.
“LEDs are more efficient – they consume 50 to 75 percent less electricity than the sodium lights – so Toledo can recover the conversion cost through energy-bill savings within 10 years,” Mayor Kapszukiewicz said. “The city has been working on this for several years and we are extremely excited to get this started now and completed by end of 2021.”
A Toledo Edison crew replaced the sodium bulb streetlight at the southwest corner of Indiana Avenue and Hawley Street to an energy-efficient LED so residents can see the significant difference.