Local Government and Politics, News

Lynn’s street lights are going LED

LYNN — Motorists and pedestrians may not notice, but the city is switching to LED street lights because they’re more efficient, last longer, and save money.

In an effort to reduce energy costs and take advantage of cash incentives, Lynn will spend $2.3 million to outfit the 6,500 so-called cobra head street lights.

“This was a no brainer,”said Michael Donovan, director of the Inspectional Services Department (ISD). “Nearly 50 percent of the cost is being covered and we will save $450,000 in energy costs, or 53 percent annually, by converting to LED.”  

The Metropolitan Area Planning Council, a regional planning agency, is contributing a $780,000 grant to the effort and National Grid, one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the world will contribute $420,000.

In 2009, the city bought the street lights from National Grid for $1.2 million. Following the purchase, ISD replaced worn lamps and fixtures.

LED proponents say among the chief advantages of the lights is they have extremely long lives, don’t have filaments that can quickly burn out, and they don’t contain toxic chemicals.

Work is expected to get started after Labor Day and completed next spring, Donovan said.

Lynn is in the process of seeking a “Green Community” designation by the state Department of Energy Resources on how they can go green and earn green.

In order to qualify, the city must adopt new rules that allow for as-of-right permitting for renewable or alternative energy facilities and agree to purchase fuel efficient vehicles.

The state funds could be used to buy electric vehicles, energy efficient or renewable energy HVAC systems, and LED lighting.

Marblehead is also wants to go green. This week Town Meeting directed officials to seek the state’s “Green Communities” designation late Monday.

If the town gets the green light from the state Department of Energy Resources, Marblehead will join the 210 Bay State communities who have reduced their energy consumption and saved money.

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