FULTON, NY – After discussing the possibility to switch to LED street lights for years for the sake of cost savings, National Grid has given city of Fulton officials approval to begin the conversion.
Fulton City Clerk Daniel O’Brien said National Grid gave a tentative start date between November 28 and December 5 to begin converting the first phase of street lights throughout the city.
The first phase will target 413 street lights currently occupying the highest wattage as to garner the greatest cost savings.
The city will transition from 400 watt high pressure sodium lights to 96 watt LED lights in the first phase.
These street lights are located primarily in the city’s downtown including parking lots and along the most frequently traveled roads such as both bridges and State Route 481.
City officials were notified of approval from National Grid to participate in incentive programs that cut local shares to a minimal amount.
To start the process, the city must purchase the net book value of the existing features. For the primary 413 street lights, the total amounted to $33,085.
With the current incentives offered, National Grid will provide $32,450 of conversion cost cutting the local share to $635.
After the first phase of conversion, O’Brien estimates an annual cost savings of $21,470.
Each year, the city will use the money saved on energy cost to continue the transition to LED in the next phase until all street lights in the city are converted.
With 1576 total street lights throughout the city, O’Brien anticipates total transition to happen within three years, if not sooner given incentive program rates.
Currently, the city budgets $330,000 per year for the cost of street lights.
“I think a lot of people don’t realize that. They see the lights come on and don’t think anything of it, they don’t realize that of course we have to pay for that,” O’Brien said.
The city of Fulton has experience in transitioning their lighting to extract savings, Mayor Ronald Woodward Sr. said.
Currently, all lighting in the Fulton Municipal Building is LED after transitioning from T12 bulbs to T4 bulbs and then finally from T4 bulbs to LED.
Additionally, all traffic lights run on LED lighting as well.
With each transition, the city saw significant cost savings, Woodward said.
City officials are eager to continue the transition with street lights to see ongoing cost savings.