Williams Lake wants to convert city-owned buildings and infrastructure to LED lighting, including streetlights and crosswalks to reduce its annual $500,000 electricity bill.
During a committee of the whole meeting Tuesday, Nov. 27, council voted unanimously in favour of the change.
Coun. Scott Nelson has been working on the proposal with the city’s director of municipal services Gary Muraca and submitted a report for council’s approval.
“Thanks to Gary’s eagle eyes he highlighted the fact that our utility poles are rented from BC Hydro to the cost of $12,000 a month,” Nelson said during the meeting, noting he recommended they request BC Hydro to convert the 862 old streetlights they own to new LED lights at no cost to the city.
His report also requested that staff review options of purchasing the poles currently rented from BC Hydro.
The city owns the metal poles, whereas all of the wooden poles are owned by BC Hydro.
Dave Mosure, community relations co-ordinator with BC Hydro, told the Tribune currently there is a government purchase program where municipalities are able to convert the streetlights they own, but BC Hydro is still in the process of developing a plan for the ones it owns.
As for purchasing the poles from BC Hydro, Mosure said the odds are from “slim to zero.”
“There is more than streetlights on the majority of those poles,” he said. “There’s the Telus infrastructure, the cable vision, there’s our stuff and then there might be a light.”
— BC Hydro (@bchydro) November 28, 2018
Mosure said communities across B.C. are excited about switching to LEDs and the opportunities they are going to bring.
“We are working towards it,” he said of the BC Hydro’s efforts. “We just have to do our due diligence to make sure what we bring is the right option at the right timing at the right cost.”
Nelson said the plan is to see the conversion take place over the next four years.
LED lighting, he noted, reduces electricity consumption and carbon emissions, provides better quality, safer street lighting, making objects appear clearer and more defined and reduces the amount of wasted light, ensuring light is focused on streets and sidewalks.