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Converting Guelph’s streetlights to LED to cost an extra $1 million: report

Modern LED overhead street light.
Modern LED overhead street light. Getty Images

A new report being presented to Guelph city council is recommending that the budget to convert nearly 13,000 streetlight fixtures to LED be increased by $1 million.

It states that a potential funding gap has been identified due to “inadequate electrical infrastructure.”

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Council approved the $8-million project in July 2017 and installation began this past October.

Crews have found that nearly all of the wiring for the “top hat” style streetlights will require replacement because the wires are too small and do not have an electrical ground connection.

Staff are asking city council to increase the project’s budget, which is being funded through a reserve, to $9 million.

With the additional funding, the city expects to repay the borrowed funds through operating savings in eight years instead of six as originally planned.

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Health warning about LED streetlights
Health warning about LED streetlights

However, the anticipated annual savings when it comes to energy and maintenance costs are expected to be over $1 million.

The new LED fixtures have a 10-year warranty and should last over 23 years, according to the city. That far exceeds the five-year replacement scheduled of the current high-pressure sodium (HPS) lighting fixtures.

The project, being headed up by Alectra Power Services, is supposed to be completed by the summer. About 2,000 lights have already been replaced.

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Residents can follow the progress with an interactive map posted on the city’s website.

The report going to city council’s committee of the whole meeting on Jan. 13 can also be found online.

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