LED streetlights future for Guelph-Eramosa Hydro One customers

New streetlights are coming to Hydro One customers in Guelph-Eramosa Township.

On Aug. 10 Guelph-Eramosa council agreed to replace 212 streetlights with new LED lights for Hydro One customers, a move that will save about $20,000 a year, said director of public works Harry Niemi.

The project will cost the township approximately $99,774, which CAO Kim Wingrove said will be taken from reserves.

However, Niemi said there was a rebate available that could lower that cost to about $77,000.

Originally the township looked at replacing all the streetlights in the municipality – not only for Hydro One customers but also those serviced by Guelph Hydro in Rockwood.

Towards the end of 2014, Realterm Energy, an Ontario Municipalities partner in the LED change-out program, did an investment grade audit on the existing streetlights within the township.

Based on the audit $330,000 was included in the 2015 capital budget to cover the cost for new lights for the entire township.

But upon closer inspection it was discovered there were about 30 additional streetlights and about 160 decorative lantern-style fixtures in Rockwood that cost more per unit than the standard streetlight.

The total cost was almost 60% over budget, so Realterm broke the audit down, with the Rockwood replacements costing about $421,125 and the Hydro One replacements  about $99,774.

Niemi said it was decided the team would look at options for upgrading Rockwood lights and look at working the cost into the 2016 capital budget.

“The whole reason we did this was that at the end of the day there’s a bit of up-front money, but over the course of time they will be saving 20 to 30 per cent in hydro cost, which more than compensates for putting in the new bulbs and going forward everybody saves,” Mayor Chris White explained.

“So at the end of the day we’re putting some money in and stuff but it all comes back. It’s a money saver, bottom line.”

White said an alternative option may be to replace all of the streetlights excluding the decorative fixtures in Rockwood with LED lights and over time there may be lower cost options for the decorative fixtures.

“The smart thing is we’re getting going,” White said. “The ones that make sense in the rest of the township, let’s get at it and we’ll sort it out.”

He made it clear that once a decision was made surrounding the streetlights it didn’t mean alternative plans couldn’t be considered as new options become available.

“We could do something else in five years, this isn’t for forever,” he said.

But only Hydro One customers will receive new LED streetlights for now.

“The sooner we do this the sooner the system starts saving money,” White said. “It’s that simple right?”