Lighting the Way to Savings

Richmond Hill awards contract for LED conversion project that will save the community $1.5 million a year

RICHMOND HILL – Richmond Hill has awarded Ameresco, Inc. the contract to design, supply and install LED lights and a Smart Lighting Control System on its outdoor lighting network. The contract was awarded as a result of a competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) process.

Richmond Hill operates and maintains a network of approximately 17,000 street, park and parking lot lights. This represents a significant portion of the Town’s overall energy consumption and cost. The $8 million (approximately) project to convert more than 15,000 of the outdoor lights is expected to result in an estimated savings of $1.5 million in operations and maintenance costs annually.

“This is an upfront and forward thinking investment that will pay for itself in roughly six to seven years,” said Mayor Dave Barrow. “Switching to LED lights will help us conserve energy, save money and protect the environment.”

Research has shown that LED lights are better than the current High Pressure Sodium lights because they consume 50 to 60 per cent less energy, they have a 20-year life expectancy, reducing maintenance costs by up to 80 per cent and they have superior light quality, making our community safer for drivers and pedestrians. In addition, the LED lights will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our lighting network by 575 tonnes per year – that’s the equivalent to taking 121 passenger cars off the road!

Smart lighting controls installed on each light will allow staff to monitor and operate the lights remotely. Staff will be able to monitor electricity consumption more accurately, program certain operations like dimming, and receive real-time lights-out or trouble notifications. These features will help save energy and cost, and improve service.

The inclusion of smart lighting controls is significant because it essentially creates a wireless narrow band communications network throughout Richmond Hill. With this wireless network in place, Richmond Hill is one of the few Canadian municipalities to lay the foundation for high-tech systems management and is establishing the foundation for future ‘smart cities’ applications such as smart traffic lights, water and gas metering.

Ameresco, Inc. is an independent provider of comprehensive energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions throughout North America and the United Kingdom. Work will begin in October with installation starting in January 2017. The project is expected to take one year to complete. Once work is underway, progress updates will be available on the Town’s website at

Contact:Terry Ricketts, Director, Environment Services,, 905-771-9996, ext. 6504 (opens in new window)


Ameresco: CarolAnn Hibbard, 508-661-2264,