ST. CHARLES – Last year, the city of St. Charles launched a program to replace street lights with more energy-efficient LED lights and completed more than 300 retrofits in various areas of the city.
The program netted the city an estimated $12,000 in energy savings last year, according to a news release from the city. The city is continuing the program this year and expects to replace approximately another 400 street lights.
Following the success of last year's program, the St. Charles Electric Utility applied for an energy efficiency grant from the Illinois Municipal Electric Agency, the city’s wholesale power supplier. IMEA awarded the city $33,762, which has allowed the program to expand for this year, the release stated.
The city owns and maintains more than 3,300 street lights throughout St. Charles, according to the release. Retrofits are expected to continue over the coming years.
“Our streetlight LED retrofit program supports the city’s goals in a number of ways," St. Charles Electric Services Manager Thomas Bruhl said in the release. "First, the LED fixtures provide better visibility for pedestrians and motorists. The new lights also fulfill our sustainability mission as they typically use just 40% of the energy that the old high-pressure sodium lights consume. Also, because the LED lights have a longer lifespan, we will realize reduced maintenance costs.”