Thursday, March 15, 2012

Grant project lights up Kingsburg

The City of Kingsburg can be viewed in a new light.

A total of 216 new light emitting diode, or LED, street lights have been installed, casting a brighter glow on City streets than the old high-pressure sodium bulbs they replaced. The new lights are also significantly more energy efficient, saving the City much needed cash on its utility bills.

City Manager Don Pauley said this is the first part of a three-phase project to replace 364 of the 436 city-owned streetlights with LED lamps as funding becomes available. "The City Council has designated this a priority project because it saves money by using energy-efficient LED lamps that comply with mandates... to reduce green house gas emissions, and the sense of safety it provides residents," Pauley said.

This means significant savings to City coffers through lower utility bills. The energy-efficiency retrofits, when complete, will save the City about 68,000 kilowatt hours and roughly $8,400 in energy costs per year. The reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is roughly equivalent to removing 9.2 vehicles from the roadway.

Those are big deals these days.

Another big deal is that the entire project isn’t costing the City a dime. The money to do the project comes from an Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and an on-bill financing program by Pacific Gas & Electric Co. The conservation block grant program is administered through the U.S. Department of Energy and the California Energy Commission.

The City worked directly with PG&E to install lights through the utility’s LED Streetlight Replacement program. Kingsburg joined with 35 other cities and counties in the region to form the San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Partnership, which is led by the San Joaquin Valley Unified Air Pollution Control District with the assistance of the nonprofit San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization. The Partnership administers the more than $4 million in grants and provides technical assistance to local governments."

For more information, contact Don Pauley or 559-897-5821.

Photo of Kingsburg Historical Park courtesy of the City of Kingsburg.

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