Marysville looks to expand LED streetlight initiative

MARYSVILLE — New lights could soon be coming to city streets.

Officials want to use a federal grant and rebate money from Snohomish County PUD to install 81 energy efficient LED streetlights.

The city plans to pay for the majority of the retrofit lighting project with about $69,500 from an Energy Efficient Conservation Block Grant award, administered by the state Department of Commerce. A nearly $13,000 rebate from PUD also is expected to fund the installation.

A contract for the project is scheduled to be voted on by the City Council Monday night during a meeting at City Hall. The city received five bids. City staff recommend awarding the roughly $86,000 contract to Totem Electric of Tacoma.

If a bid is approved, the lights could be installed by April, said John Tatum, a city traffic engineer.

“We’re under contract with the Department of Energy to be done by the end of April but we’re expecting it to be done before then,” he said.

It will be the second major installation of LED, or light emitting diodes, in the city. The first included a dozen lights installed more than a year ago on Ingraham Boulevard. The bulk of the new lights are expected to be installed at existing street light fixtures at signalized intersections along 67th Avenue, State Avenue and Highway 528, Tatum said.

The city expects to save 64,000 kilowatts of electricity annually by making the switch from high pressure sodium lights. The energy savings should translate to between $4,000 to $5,000 every year, Tatum said.

“It’s a good thing,” he said. “We get some future savings and PUD gets the energy savings. We think we get better light, too.”

The LED streetlights can last up to 20 years, said Neil Neroutsos, a PUD spokesman. The City of Everett in 2008 installed about 4,000 LED lights in traffic signals at 170 intersections. The city saves about $112,000 in annual utility bills because of the switch, Neroutsos said.

“For the City of Everett, payback was less than two years,” he said. “It’s very attractive for municipalities.”

Since the lights last longer, they also require less maintenance work, Tatum said. That makes them a good fit for large fixtures, including those on bridges.

The city contracted to have the energy-saving lights installed on as part of the construction of a new bridge across the Ebey Slough on Highway 529 and a bridge at 156th Street NE and Smokey Point Boulevard.

Amy Daybert: 425-339-3491; adaybert@heraldnet.com.

LED for home use

Snohomish PUD now offers LED price discounts of up to 40 percent at local retailers. For more information on discounts on LEDs, as well as compact fluorescent light bulbs, visit www.snopud.com/efficientlighting.

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