WHYY – Philly starts replacing its street lights with more efficient LEDs

The long-awaited conversion of more than 100,000 Philadelphia street lights to LEDs starts this month.

The project is expected to improve safety and quality of life in places plagued by street light outages. City officials say the project will also mean major energy savings and help reduce the city’s carbon footprint.

“This is going to be the largest energy efficiency project that this city could undertake,” said Dominic McGraw, deputy director of municipal energy services in the city’s Office of Sustainability, in an interview late last month. “And it’s going to happen very quickly.”

Installation of the lights by engineering services company Ameresco is expected to happen over two years. The quasi-governmental Philadelphia Energy Authority issued the bond to pay for the effort, which will cost over $90 million but is expected to save the city more than $200 million over the life of the project.

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