Brownstown looking into cost of switching to LED lighting around town



LED lighting is known to last longer, save people money and energy and be better for the environment compared to incandescent lighting.

The Brownstown Town Council has taken note of those benefits and is looking into making the switch around town.

Town officials have received information and payment options from Duke Energy involving converting to LED lighting at the town park, on the 71 decorative lights along Main Street and around the downtown district and other streetlights around town.

Now, it’s a matter of looking at the Duke Energy bills the town receives and comparing those to the cost estimates and benefits of switching to LED.

Clerk-Treasurer David Willey said Duke Energy sends the town several different bills, each one a separate account containing various amounts of light poles. The bills include the cost of the light and a maintenance fee.

He said the bill for the decorative light poles is the largest because there are 71 of them, while other bills have different numbers of light poles on them.

“Most of the other ones are just sections of town, maybe as they put in lighting or maybe that’s how they grouped them,” he said.

If the town chooses to covert to LED lighting, Willey said the wiring and fixtures may be able to remain in place if both are still good. If either needs to be fixed, he said that should be a part of the maintenance of the pole that the town already is paying.

Councilman Mark Reynolds said while recently speaking to a Duke Energy representative, he learned North Vernon converted city buildings, streetlights and park lighting to solar energy. The city buildings’ interior lighting also was replaced by LED, and that type of lighting was used on park sports fields and recreational areas and at the city pool.

Also, Seymour is exploring tapping into solar energy to cut down on the city’s electric costs and as a way to save enough money to pay for renovations to city hall. The project would include installing solar panels to generate enough electricity to power the city’s department of public works, wastewater treatment plant and city hall.

The technology also would allow the city to use solar power for the 1,400 streetlights it currently rents from Duke Energy. Streetlights would be changed over to LED lighting, which would be brighter and more efficient.

Reynolds said Duke Energy is going to look at Brownstown’s accounts and determine a cost estimate for changing the streetlights to LED.

“Duke offers some rebates back for switching, for updating, for using less electric,” Reynolds said. “Sometimes, those rebates can pay back up to half of the cost.”

As he receives information from Duke Energy, Reynolds said he would forward it to the other four council members to review. He also hopes to share that at the next council meeting, set for 6 p.m. Feb. 4 at the town hall.

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