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Converting streetlights to LED: it just makes sense (and cents)

Energy Ottawa teams with City to give our community a better night light

Lights comparison
Lights comparison

Energy Ottawa, an affiliate of Hydro Ottawa, doesn’t just keep the lights on for the residents in the Nation’s Capital; it’s always looking to do so in more sustainable and cost-effective ways.

Take the current project: converting 58,000 streetlights across the City from traditional high-pressure sodium and metal halide lamps to the latest in LED (Light Emitting Diode) technology.

But if it’s not broken, why fix it?

“LEDs cost less to operate, consume far less energy, and they provide enhanced quality of light on our streets for greater community safety at night,” said Greg Sergeant, LED Project Manager for the City of Ottawa.

LEDs also last longer than high-pressure sodium lights, they allow for system performance monitoring and dimming, and will reduce energy consumption by at least 50% – no trivial amount, considering that streetlighting accounts for 17% of the City of Ottawa’s energy usage. By the end of the four-year project, the City will be saving $4 million a year in energy costs.

“The LED project, with its dimming and asset management functionality, will provide the City with significant financial savings from the reduced energy consumption and also from reduced maintenance requirements,” said Roger Marsh, Chief Energy Services Officer at Energy Ottawa.

The City is taking a progressive approach with its decision to use warm colour temperature LEDs on residential roads. Main roads will have a slightly cooler colour temperature, distinguishing them from the residential areas.

This LED conversion initiative will cost the City $28.4 million after an estimated $3 million in Hydro Ottawa conservation and demand management incentives. The project cost will be recovered through savings in approximately six years.

Energy Ottawa also recently completed a contract to convert 1,731 streetlights in the City of Pembroke. This is just one example of how Hydro Ottawa, through its subsidiaries, is positioning itself as a leader in sustainable energy management. Pursuing business opportunities like this outside Ottawa allows the utility to maintain the highest level of customer service at competitive rates. 

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