October 25, 2020 North Bay Nugget – An LED streetlight conversion project in Powassan is resulting in tremendous savings for the municipality after it traded all 242 streetlights for the more energy-efficient lights.

RealTerm Energy helped with the switch and figures from the company show that from June 2019 to June 2020, the municipality achieved an energy saving  rate of 66 per cent.

In terms of dollars, Mayor Peter McIsaac says the municipality saved about $30,000.

Prior to the conversion the older lights would have cost the community $46,145 to run, he says.

However, that bill fell to $15,963 for the period in question thanks to the energy-efficient nature of the LEDs.

RealTerm Energy says the outcome confirms its earlier calculations that an energy  savings of 66 per cent would be achieved.

The switchover didn’t cost the community anything because it’s paying the provider each year for a 10-year period from the savings it realizes with the reduced energy bills.

After the 10 years are up, McIsaac says the savings will flow directly to the municipality.

There’s another savings the switchover created for the community, something that’s not contained in the RealTerm Energy report to the municipality.

McIsaac says it has to do with lighting equipment inventory.

“A big problem with the old lights was we carried a lot of inventory to repair the street lights,” he explains. “We had different styles and different models, and that was quite costly and it took up a lot of room at the public works department to carry all those supplies.”

But now the community no longer faces that problem.

McIsaac says the conversion program was a win-win for the municipality from the outset.

“We got to upgrade our entire outdoor lighting system basically at zero cost to the municipality,” he said.

Once the payback period ends, taxpayers will realize another benefit, McIsaac adds.

“For a community our size with the tax base that we have, every $30,000 is a one per cent (tax) increase,” he said.

“It means that eventually we’ll see a one per cent tax savings to the municipality.  This is a program that goes unnoticed.  But in the long run, it’s going to have a positive impact on our bottom line as the program runs its course.”

On the company website, RealTerm Energy describes itself as a North American leader in the LED and Smart Lighting field with more than 300 successful projects spread across the United States and Canada.

Its Canadian head office is housed in Montreal while Annapolis, Maryland serves as the company’s headquarters south of the border.

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