It’s not often – at least in recent memory – the City of Trail has received a sizable cheque during a council meeting.
But that’s what happened on Monday.
Doug Lamminen, technical advisor from FortisBC’s Conservation and Energy Management team, presented Trail council with a cheque for $44,660 to complete the second phase of its street lighting upgrade project.
“To make this process a little easier, we are now doing rebates at the time of purchase,” Lamminen said. “Which means that you get your money upfront so it will help reduce your start up costs for the project.”
Each 75W LED cobra head costs $209.
As part of the retrofit, a photocell/node is installed on top of the cobra head to allow for the light to be programmed. That component costs $156, so each LED streetlight with photocell/node is $365.
“Switching to LEDs reduces each streetlight’s energy consumption by half,” Lamminen explained. “And Trail is going a step further by installing smart lighting technology that dims slightly as the night progresses to achieve even greater savings.”
The city budgeted for the replacement of 1,200 high pressure sodium bulbs with LEDs over several phases, as part of funding the cost in more than one budget year, clarified Chief Administrative Officer David Perehudoff.
“The phase this year will result in the final 600 LEDs being installed,” he said. “And a contractor has been retained to expedite the installation given considerable other work demands on the city electricians at this time.”
Perehudoff was referring to council awarding a $43,000 contract to Power Tech Electric Ltd. earlier in the day. The local contractor submitted the lowest bid of three tenders for work associated with retrofitting 300 streetlights to LEDs.
The City of Trail has committed to finishing this second and final phase by the end of November.
As a result of this upgrade, Trail is expected to reduce energy use by about 500,000 kilowatt hours (kWh) annually – or the equivalent of powering 44 average homes for a year.
This is expected to produce annual savings of $93,000.
To date, the city has earned $67,000 in rebates from FortisBC.
“It is a good time to do this because the incentive is out there,” Lamminen added. “Because when LED lights become the standard, that’s when the incentives go away, so this is a help for the adoption of new technology.”
Trail is one of the many communities across the Okanagan and the Kootenays that have made street lighting an energy-saving priority.
Over the last three years, FortisBC has helped reduce the energy used by streetlights by 1.5 million kWh, noted FortisBC’s Nicole Bogdanovic.
“This project, together with other pending projects, will quadruple these savings by 2020,” she said. “Bringing the total expected energy savings to 6.3 million kWh annually, or the equivalent of powering more than 430 average homes annually.”