A proposal from Columbus Mayor Robert Smith would save Columbus taxpayers almost $400,000 every year in utility costs while also replacing every streetlight with bright white LED fixtures.
Including the cost of the equipment and other expenses, the city would save $96,000 starting immediately.
“This is a wonderful program,” said Mayor Smith on Monday. “We have 4,309 street lights in the city, and the bill for maintenance and electricity is currently $515,658 a year. By changing over to the latest and greatest LED lights, we will start to see savings immediately,” Mayor Smith added.
The cost for changing out every street light to LED fixtures totals approximately $2.8 million, according to Mayor Smith. The city would pay that cost with a bond that would be paid back over 15 years. Even with the construction cost, the city would save the $96,000 a year because of the lower costs to operate the lights. Each year the savings will increase. After five years the annual cash flow savings is $135,063.
“It costs about 60 percent less to operate an LED fixture than it does a regular yellow fixture,” said Mayor Smith. “These savings would be used to pay for the lights,” he added.
The Columbus City Council voted Friday in a special meeting to continue the process of studying the lights and request proposals from energy specialists. Columbus Light and Water manager Todd Gale attended the meeting and supports the plan.
In the past 18 months that the LED lights have been readily available, the city has replaced 371 yellow fixtures with the white LED lights.
“We have only replaced less than ten percent of the lights in the city, and they have made those areas brighter and safer,” said Mayor Smith. “I greatly support this program and will continue to work with the City Council and Columbus Light and Water to make it happen. I appreciate the cooperation of our city officials and Columbus Light and Water,” Mayor Smith added.
In just 20 years, the City of Columbus will save $10.6 million when compared to the current lights in place.