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Cities Spend Stimulus Funds to Retrofit Lighting

citylightsSeveral U.S. cities are planning to use federal stimulus funds to retrofit streetlights with energy-efficient technology.

Seattle plans to use the federal stimulus funds to replace all 40,000 residential streetlights with energy- and cost-efficient light-emitting diode (LED) technology, reports the West Seattle Herald. The city estimates that it will take about four to six years to replace all streetlights with LED versions.

Seattle is the first Washington city to finalize its stimulus plan for the new Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) program with $6.1 million in block grants, part of a $3.2 billion Department of Energy program, for a variety of energy conservation programs, reports the Washington state newspaper.

The funding is expected to create 76 new clean energy jobs, help reduce energy use in buildings by 20 percent citywide, and accelerate the Seattle City Light’s five-year conservation plan and install energy efficiency products in residences and small businesses.

In the Midwest, Arlington Heights, Illinois, has similar projects. The city will spend part of its federal stimulus funds to retrofit decorative lighting in downtown Arlington Heights with LEDs, which should save the village $6,100 annually, more than half the yearly electricity bill for lights, reports the Daily Herald.

The project is expected to cost $460,000 of the $714,100 that has been set aside for Arlington Heights under the Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant, according to the newspaper.

In Boise, Idaho, the city council’s recommendations on how to spend $2.04 million from the federal economic stimulus package includes the retrofit of five city parks and conversion of about 725 historic, 150-watt high-pressure sodium streetlights to LED technology, reports the Idaho Statesman. The conversion is estimated to deliver a 50 to 60 percent savings in electricity costs.

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