Joliet to Get LED Street Lights

The city of Joliet, Illinois expects to save money with the installation of more than 1000 LED street lights that will replace the city’s high-pressure sodium lights, according to an article in The Herald News.
The city anticipates that the new LED street lights will last for 20 years, five times longer than the four-year lifetime of the previous street lights.

City-owned streetlights line major thoroughfares, while ComEd typically owns the streetlights in residential subdivisions and neighborhoods.

Changes in the grant program that gets money from an energy efficiency tax on electric and gas bills may slow the switch to LED lighting. However, the city expects the grant program to continue in some form.

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So far in the first phase, four streets including Essington Road between Jefferson Street and the Louis Joliet Mall now have LED lighting.

City Manager Jim Hock expects that LED lighting to pay for itself in just a few years. During the first phase that began in 2016, the city paid about $113,000 to replace 289 high-pressure sodium fixtures. The Illinois Energy Now program will reimburse the city almost $59,000 for this first phase.

In 2017, the city plans to pay about $340,000 to replace 759 high-pressure sodium with LED-based street lights but will be reimbursed with almost $300,000. With the reimbursements, the city anticipates that the lights will pay for themselves in less than one-and-a-half years.

According to the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, Joliet is among 36 municipalities that have used funding from the Illinois Energy Now program for installation of LED street lights.

City officials are waiting to find out how the program will administer funds in the future.