“This LED conversion project also helps the city demonstrate how sound financial management and environmental stewardship are not mutually exclusive.” Stated Cranston Mayor Allan W. Fung.
CRANSTON, RI—Cranston Mayor Allan W. Fung announced Wednesday that the city has just been awarded a $300,000 grant that will be used for an ongoing LED streetlight conversion project.
The grant is through the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources and comes with no strings attached. The city expects the money to be delivered in full by the end of the year.
The project will save the city thousands of dollars in energy costs because the new fixtures are more energy efficient than traditional streetlights. The LED lights also have a much longer lifespan than traditional fixtures, which will help reduce maintenance costs.
“I am pleased that Cranston has received this grant, which will help the city complete its long-term plan to convert traditional streetlights into new LED streetlights,” commented Mayor Allan Fung. “I commend my staff, particularly in the Department of Public Works, for applying for the grant and securing these funds. This grant will help us complete our conversion project in a timely fashion without burdening taxpayers.”
The city applied for the grant in September and was notified of the award on Monday. A total of about 9,500 streetlights are expected to be converted over time. So far, 1,000 have been installed.
In addition to the $300,000 grant, the city expects to secure additional savings through National Grid rebates.
The conversion plan follows similar plans enacted in other communities in Rhode Island to take control of streetlights from National Grid, the region’s largest energy provider, for short-term and long-term savings.
According to a study authorized by the city earlier this year, purchasing the lights from National Grid could save the city upwards of $400,000 per year in maintenance costs without any LED conversions at all. Converting to LEDs will bring additional savings, reported to be between $480,000 and $780,000, according to the study.
The study indicated that Cranston was paying more than $1.5 million per year to National Grid for streetlight costs before taking ownership. The city bought the streetlights for a mere $168,000. By owning its own streetlights, the city can deploy city workers for maintenance and repairs at a much lower cost than the rate previously charged by National Grid.
Mayor Fung noted that in addition to the savings, the conversion helps the city make progress toward a long-term goal of reducing the city’s energy consumption and environmental footprint.
“During my time in office, I’ve worked hard to keep costs down and find savings for Cranston taxpayers,” Mayor Fung said. “This LED conversion project also helps the city demonstrate how sound financial management and environmental stewardship are not mutually exclusive.”