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Conversion plan for new LED streetlights gets the nod from Wellesley council

Streetlights in Wellesley Township will receive a facelift for the new year, council decided Tuesday night.

Some 537 light fixtures in the township will be replaced with LED lights over the course of the year in an effort to reduce energy consumption, bring down maintenance costs and increase the lights’ lifetime.

Fairway Electrical was awarded the contract to complete the work and it’s expected to be largely completed by the end of the year.

Coun. Carl Smit asked Kevin Beggs of the public works department if the township would be adding the SmartCity controls, which Kitchener has gone ahead with for their LED streetlight conversion. Smart controls allow municipalities to monitor outages in real time. They also give municipalities full control over dimming specific lights remotely.

“It’s pretty new technology. I’m not saying in the future we may not. We may add that to them. But right now I think it’s pretty new and I don’t see the advantage to the township,” Beggs said.

The total cost to replace the lights is $164,040, which includes a contingency. The project will be funded through the streetlighting reserve of $146,008, with the remainder being funded as an internal debt to be repaid through streetlighting savings. The township will also be applying for an incentive rebate for updating to LED streetlights through the saveONenergy retrofit program.

Smit asked what the contingency is involved with the project.

“Right now they basically did a paper audit, so when they actually go out to the field there’s going to be some where we may have to add stuff to them. So I’ve added a contingency and it’s pretty well standard across the table with all the municipalities,” Beggs said.

He noted if they don’t need it then they just won’t use it.

Beggs estimates they’ll be looking at about 50 per cent of the energy consumption with the LED streetlights compared to what they’re seeing with the current streetlights. He says maintenance costs will also be essentially nothing.

“We’re kind of looking at a three- to four-year return,” Beggs said.

He said they’re always getting requests from residents for more streetlights, but he didn’t include the addition of streetlights in his report, which would create additional costs.

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