National Grid official sheds some light on LED conversion program for City of Batavia
The Batavia City Council may consider exploring a “brighter” future for its residents through participation in the National Grid LED Streetlight Conversion program.
At Monday night’s Business Meeting at City Hall, the board heard from Paul Gister, customer and community management manager for National Grid, who presented three options designed to save money and direct more light upon city streets.
Gister said the power company offers three options for towns and villages in Upstate New York.
In this case, the City can:
-- Purchase the lighting system owned by National Grid;
-- Opt-in when a high-pressure sodium fixture fails and replace it with an LED;
-- Pay the net book value of its remaining high-pressure sodium fixtures on roadway lighting only (not decorative or post-top lamps) and change it to LED.
“There are currently 946 fixtures owned and maintained by National Grid that could be converted to LED, with the net book value of about $1.50 per head,” Gister said. “That puts the value at around $1,500.
“Since the value is less than the energy efficient dollars that National Grid would pay out (that would be a viable option for Batavia).”
Gister said that National Grid pays in the $50 to $100 range per fixture for LED conversions, which translates into at least $47,000 in incentives to the City.
He also noted that National Grid would provide the labor for the conversions while City officials would choose the wattage (or strength) of the LED bulbs, which provide better lighting more efficiently.
The program started in Massachusetts about four years ago, Gister said, and came to Upstate New York in 2016 after authorization by the NYS Public Service Commission.
The Town of Batavia was one of the first municipalities to sign up for the program (in 2017) and since then 10 towns and villages in this area have converted, Gister said.
“And the remaining 40 or so are somewhere in the process – either considering it or getting ready for conversion,” he said.
City Council President Eugene Jankowski touted the savings, improved lighting and incentives as reason to discuss the matter further.
Council Member Adam Tabelski noted that many communities are buying back the complete light fixtures from National Grid and finding significant savings.
“I’d like to look at both options, and if any analysis has been done, I’d like to see it,” he said. “If we owned the infrastructure, maybe we would realize more savings.”
To which Jankowski replied that Council should look at all the options.
Gister said he hopes that Council would eventually provide National Grid with a recommendation and move forward with the LED conversion. If that happens, the utility would bill the City for the net value of the fixture heads, approximately $1,500.
I agree with Tabelski and Jankowski that we should look at all the options before moving forward. Improving our lighting in terms of efficiency and light output seems like a fantastic decision.