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Glendale becomes first in Arizona to replace streetlights with LED bulbs

(KTAR News/Tom Perumean)
LISTEN: Glendale illuminates the way with new L-E-D streetlights

PHOENIX — It isn’t every day a city council gets a treat like the one Glendale enjoyed Tuesday night.

The city was honored for its work to change out all of their old energy draining high-pressure sodium arc lights with efficient LED replacements.

The project was achieved with help from Arizona State University’s Sustainable Cities Network. As a founding member of the network, Glendale has worked with the university and other member cities to reduce energy use, carbon footprint, recycling and other efforts.

According to the network’s director Anne Reichman, Glendale and Phoenix worked closely as Phoenix started to negotiate to replace its 92,000 streetlights.

“As part of this LED purchase, Glendale was able to piggyback the city of Phoenix originated for their LED streetlight replacement,” she said.

Since Glendale only has 18,000 streetlights, they were able to join Phoenix’s order and get a reduced cost per unit.  They also were able to contract with AMERESCO, the contractor performing the change for Phoenix, to do the same in Glendale.

“It only takes about 10 minutes,” said Dennis Scanlon with AMERESCO.

Scanlon said advances in LED units make the installation much simpler, enabling contractors to change out the lights faster and more efficiently than in years past.

That also allows Glendale to get the job done ahead of Phoenix and snag the title as the first city in Valley to convert to all its streetlights.

Financially, the lights are boon to Glendale. The LEDs are longer-lasting, require less maintenance and use 4 million less kilowatt hours annually, which results in savings of about $674,000 a year.

And the good news keeps coming, as Patty McLaughlin with Arizona Public Service explained: “Through the Solutions for Business Program, [residents] receive a rebate for energy efficiency.”

That means the utility presented Glendale with a rebate check totaling $431,794.99 at their city council meeting Tuesday. That sizable amount of money aided in subsidizing the replacement program.

Reichman said she hopes the success Glendale is enjoying with their LED replacement program inspires other Valley and sustainable cities to get moving on more projects.

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