Bright lights and energy savings from LED upgrade

With the installation of LED streetlights, the City of St. Catharines is already noting a remarkable savings in its annual energy and maintenance costs. City of St. Catharines photo

The City’s investment in LED street lights has paid off with brighter roads and improved energy consumption.

The LED conversion project started in November 2015 and wrapped up May 2018, seven months ahead of schedule. Out of the 14,791 street lights in St. Catharines, 13,823 are now LED, or roughly 93 per cent of all street lights in St. Catharines.

The City has already experienced a reduction in its annual energy and maintenance costs as a result of the LED upgrade. Staff initially expected an annual energy cost avoidance of $720,000, but in 2017 the savings totaled $726,000, with the City’s energy costs dropping from over $2 million in 2015 to approximately $1.19 million in 2017. In terms of maintenance, staff projected savings of $350,000, but in 2017 the actual savings were over $398,000.

“The LED project is another example of the City embracing sustainable, cost-saving solutions,” said Mayor Walter Sendzik. “The project is paying for itself in the savings we’re experiencing and residents will see the benefits of improved lighting for many years to come. City staff and council will continue to pursue projects and funding that are beneficial for the environment, residents and the City.”

City staff budgeted $7 million for the project, but during installation it was discovered that many street light fixtures lacked in-line fusing, which is required under current industry standards. As a result, the cost to the contractor, Alectra Utilities, increased from $4.9 million to $5.6 million, and the total cost of the LED project came in at $7.15 million. Of that amount, $6.1 million was funded though the Capital Budget and Federal Gas Tax and just over $1 million came from funding incentives.

The only street lights not upgraded to LED were decorative street lights, post top lights and lights inside parks, as these street lights have different hardware than the street lights on roads. Staff will be investigating the cost and potential savings for upgrading the remaining street lights.

For more information on street lights, or to report any maintenance issues, residents can visit

Source – City of St. Catharines press release



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