The city of Columbus, Wisconsin, has officially confirmed that it will receive $159,200 in stimulus funds that will be used for the installation of energy efficient LED streetlights. City officials voted to authorize an additional $109,505 in matching funds to increase the number of LED fixtures during the first phase of deployment.
The total funding of $268,705 will enable the city of Columbus to convert nearly 80 percent of its 642 existing streetlights. City officials intend to convert the remaining streetlights as additional funding becomes available.
The federal funds are from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program.
Currently, local municipal utility Columbus Water and Light (CW&L) owns, maintains and operates the city’s streetlights. According to Steve Sobiek, director of economic development and energy sustainability for the city of Columbus, “We are possibly looking at purchasing the streetlights from CW&L and then contracting with them for streetlight maintenance.” This business model, along with the reduced energy consumption and longer life of LED luminaires, would result in significant economic benefits to the city. Sobiek has calculated that the reduced energy consumption of LED streetlights will result in energy cost savings of about $10,000 per year.
The LED streetlight installation will be done by CW&L and the LED fixtures will be sourced through a competitive bid. “We should have the official bid document released in about two weeks, around late July” said Sobiek. The EECBG funded phase of the deployment is scheduled for completion by June 2011 and the subsequent installation, funded by city matching funds, will be completed during 2012.