Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Boston Globe: Energy efficient streetlights coming to....

Energy efficient streetlights coming to Lexington

Posted August 3, 2010 08:58 AM
Lexington’s streetlights are slated for energy-efficient upgrades this fall, as the Board of Selectmen approved $930,500 for the town-wide conversion at their Monday meeting.

According to William Hadley, the director of public works, installing more energy efficient bulbs and fixtures for the town’s 3,400 streetlights will save Lexington almost $190,000 a year, offsetting the cost of the project in 3.6 years.

The town will also receive $237,724 from energy company NStar for replacing the old incandescent lights with the more efficient lights by November 30.

About 700 streetlights have already been fitted with compact florescent light bulbs, the bulb recommended by the Department of Public Works and the Electric Utility Committee. Paul Chernick represented the Committee at the meeting.

With the change, Hadley said, the streetlights’ energy use would shrink by an estimated 1.3 million kilowatt-hours each year, from 1,989,243 to 668,556.

“Energy efficiency is something that is a goal for the community,” said Selectman Deborah Mauger.

The initiative will also help the town meet their Community Energy Reduction Plan, which was established by the Selectmen. The plan calls for reducing the total town government energy use by 20 percent over five years.

Rob Addelson, the town’s finance manager, said the project would be funded by a third party lease financial agreement, costing the town about $100,000 for the current fiscal year.

After a nearly hour-long discussion about the switch, selectman Peter Kelley said he “didn’t feel comfortable with voting on this tonight,” considering the nearly million dollar initial cost and the “gray areas” involved.

The selectmen eventually agreed to the proposal, with a 4-0 vote and Kelley abstaining. The agreement to proceed came with the condition that the selectmen would monitor the process and discuss it at their next meeting, August 30.

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