New York City is ending the week on a bright note following the news that all of the city’s street lights will be swapped out soon with more energy-efficient versions. The announcement was made yesterday by Mayor Bloomberg and transportation commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan, who explained that all 250,000 of the city’s street lamps will be replaced with LEDs by 2017. The retrofit will cut energy consumption and costs, while still ensuring well-lit streets for public safety.
Cities around the world like Los Angeles and Buenos Aires have already begun the energy-efficient retrofitting of their city street lights, and New York will soon follow suit. The retrofit will be another part of Bloomberg’s PlaNYC scheme to cut the city’s carbon footprint by 30 percent by 2017. Each of the 250,000 targeted incandescent bulbs will be replaced with energy efficient LEDs, which will not only cut costs on energy consumption, but also on maintenance and repair costs, as the LEDs last far longer than traditional bulbs.
The retrofit project received funding through the Accelerated Conservation and Efficiency Initiative, which will allocate $100 million to projects around the city that aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Bulb replacement has already begun, with popular areas like Eastern Parkway to Grand Army Plaza, FDR Drive, East River Bridges and Central Park already benefiting from low-energy LEDs. The new LEDs can last 20 years, as compared to the six years that traditional incandescent lights last.
By 2017, the 250,000 converted street lights will save the city $6 million in energy and $8 million in maintenance per year- a whopping $14 million in savings just by switching out light bulbs.