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Cost-Saving Strategy Allows Minto to Pursue LED Streetlights

October 10, 2014

Pursuing multiple infrastructure projects at one time can be challenging for a town. But when a streetlight upgrade opportunity projected benefits in only its first year, the town of Minto found a way to make it happen alongside an infrastructure project already in progress. Crews will soon be installing light-emitting diode (LED) streetlights across Minto’s 733-light system and, in the first year, the upgrade is expected to reduce streetlight energy consumption by 66% and cut streetlight maintenance costs by 80%.

LED light install“We realized we could add LED street lighting without paying upfront costs and going into debt, and we could realize savings right off the bat, too,” said Minto Treasurer Gordon Duff. “The benefits of doing it now outweigh the benefits of waiting,” Duff continued. Minto’s streetlight installation will begin in late September, at the same time the town is already in progress of installing water meters at each house to encourage conservation.

The program allowing Minto to act now on LEDs is an innovative, cost-saving strategy known as an Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC). The ESPC provides initial project financing from RealTerm Energy, the company managing the purchase and installation of the new streetlights. In return, Minto will fund the project by sharing the savings in energy and maintenance costs once the LEDs are in use.

“Towns are often presented with more than one infrastructure upgrade opportunity in the same period,” said RealTerm Energy Associate Director of Business Development Michelle Hjort, who works directly with Duff and the Minto council. “The ESPC allows towns like Minto to take advantage of rare projects like an LED upgrade that see savings returned in the first year.”

In the last 12 months, more than 75 Ontario municipalities have chosen RealTerm Energy and its project partner, Ontario’s Local Authority Services (LAS), to lead their LED streetlight upgrade, including Mapleton, Kincardine and Owen Sound.


Total number of fixtures

Electrical consumption savings 66%
Greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction over the life of the LEDs 


607 metric tons over lifetime of LEDs – the equivalent of the GHG removed by 15,500 tree seedlings grown for ten years.

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