LED Streetlights Coming to Stoneham

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LED Streetlights Coming to Stoneham, Funded by Green Communities Grant

From the Office of Planning and Community Development by Jennifer Tomase

With the aid of a state grant from the Department of Energy Resources (DOER), the Town of Stoneham will begin switching its streetlights to LEDs later in 2018. The project stands to save Stoneham significant money since energy-efficient LED bulbs use less electricity and last far longer than traditional bulbs, resulting in lower utility bills and far less overall maintenance. An additional benefit will be better-quality lighting throughout town.

The initial two-phase project will begin this summer with an audit of existing streetlights, followed soon after by the retrofitting of existing light poles on major thoroughfares with new LED cobra head fixtures. This first grant will fund approximately $123,000 worth of LEDs, concentrating initially on the busiest streets in Stoneham. The town hopes to complete the project by year's end. 

Future grants and utility incentives will hopefully help pay for retrofitting the rest of Stoneham’s 1,551 streetlights.

The majority of the funding for the LED project comes from DOER’s Green Communities Program, an initiative that provides grant funding to support communities’ investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that further the clean energy goals determined by the designated communities. Just last December, Stoneham was designated as a Green Community, allowing it access to grant money from DOER for energy-saving efforts such as this one.

“I am so proud that Stoneham was recently designated a Green Community and streetlight conversion is a great first step in reducing our municipal energy consumption by 20% over the next five years. By participating in the Green Communities program, we have additional resources to become more energy efficient, secure energy savings, and invest in renewable energy,” said Erin Wortman, Director of Community Planning and Development.

The upcoming move to energy-efficient LEDs will save Stoneham approximately $19,000 a year in energy expenses.

As a new Green Community, Stoneham received a designation grant, a large portion of which will fund the entirety of the streetlight audit component as well as a significant portion of the LED upgrade. In addition, a one-time grant from DOER, coordinated by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), will contribute $22,000 towards LED cobra head fixtures. A final funding source will come in the form of utility incentives from Eversource. At just over $160,000, the LED project is funded with no Stoneham tax dollars.

Stoneham’s Green Communities designation grant will also fund new LED lighting for the exterior of the town rink and the exterior of the DPW, increasing the amount and quality of light in both places and resulting in enhanced safety. It will also provide welcome new interior LED lighting for the Town Hall auditorium, which should improve the quality of light in the frequently used room.  As with the LED streetlights, the Green Communities grant fully funds these projects and does not spend any town taxpayer dollars.