Waterford Township is one of 10 recipients of a $50,000 grant to replace its current street lights with new alternative lighting fixture technology.
Department of Public Works (DPW) Director Terry Biederman, along with Engineering Superintendent Bill Fritz, met with DTE Energy officials in June. Through discussions with DTE and taking into consideration the success of the LED campus lighting grant project recently completed at the Township Hall, it was decided that new LED streetlight fixtures would provide long-term energy savings along with the best illumination.
DTE determined it would replace 48 of the township’s 400-watt mercury vapor overhead fixtures with 156-watt LED fixtures in the commercial corridor along Dixie Highway, from the Williams Lake/Walton intersection to the Hatchery Road intersection.
There are currently 3,084 streetlights in the township’s commercial corridor along Dixie Highway.
“The mercury vapor will no longer be available in a year, so DTE will need to replace them with LED eventually anyway,” Biederman said. “The lighting fixtures are operated and maintained by DTE — the township pays only for commercial corridor lighting bills like those on Dixie Highway and M-59.”
The replacement project will result in the township saving approximately $7,300 per year in energy costs.
“This is a pilot program,” Biederman said. “We’ll be crunching numbers to make sure we’re saving what they’ve said and see the light fixtures’ reliability in winter cycles and see how they’re holding up.”
To replace every light out of the 3,084 within the Dixie Highway commercial corridor, the cost would be about $2.7 million for an overall energy savings of $456,000.
“Theoretically it could pay for itself over six years, so it’s worth considering in the future,” Biederman said. “We could escalate the project by approaching DTE. It might be cheaper for us not to wait.”
As a stipulation of the grant, the work must be completed by the end of this year.