City embarks on pilot project
The city will conduct a pilot project involving new streetlights in an effort to reduce energy consumption.
About 90 new LED (light-emitting diodes) lights will be installed on the east side of South Dogwood Street from Jubilee Parkway north to Robron Road.
The initiative falls in line with the city’s commitment to the British Columbia Action Charter to become carbon neutral in its operations by 2012.
“We’re replacing the existing lights with LED lights which are quite a bit more energy efficient,” said Ron Neufeld, the city’s manager of operations. “The existing lights are high-pressure sodium, 150-watt lights. The LED lights are 55 watts and use a third of the amount of energy.”
The new lights will only be installed on one side of the street to allow the city to do a side-by-side comparison.
Neufeld said it will size up the new technology and compare illumination and colouring.
City council approved funding for a new streetlight program during budget planning in March to reduce operating costs, reduce the city’s carbon footprint and reduce overall energy consumption.
Neufeld expects the new lights to be installed in either January or February, depending on when supplies arrive.
If the pilot project is successful, the city may expand it.
“Part of the reason we’re doing this is to find out how the lights perform and the level of light that is produced,” Neufeld said. “Once we have the chance to evaluate the lights properly, then we’ll be in a better position to determine whether we want to do it on a larger scale or not.”
Funding for the pilot project will come from the federal gas tax rebate.
The streetlight pilot is just one of a number of ‘green’ initiatives undertaken by the city in recent years which include installing solar panels on the roofs of the downtown Fire Hall, RCMP stations, the Sportsplex and the new Simms Creek lift station on Highway 19A; using solar-powered crosswalk lights; and a green roof on City Hall.