By CHRISTINA GUENTHNER, Argus-Press Staff Writer | Posted: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 10:30 am
PERRY — Streetlights in downtown Perry are now shining a little bit brighter, with an added benefit — they’re also more cost-effective.
New induction lighting, approved by the Perry City Council in July, is being installed downtown, and a different style of fixture soon will be installed on city side streets.
City Council approved a contract in July with the Energy Alliance Group of Michigan for an amount not to exceed $30,168, but officials say the city will save more than $6,000 a year by making the change.“They reduce energy by so much it pays for itself,” Scott Ringlein, director of business development for the Energy Alliance Group of Michigan, said Tuesday. “(The city is) going to see it in their utility bill in the next two to three months… that’s the proof in the pudding.”
According to the Energy Alliance Group, Perry was spending nearly $10,000 in utility and maintenance costs each year. With the new technology installed, the average annual cost will fall to less than $5,000, information provided by the company states.
The city council chose to use a combination of two styles offered by the Energy Alliance Group — an acorn fixture that is being installed downtown, and a retrofit fixture for more residential areas.
“I really like the idea of using different fixtures in different areas of town,” council member Tom Chaput said in July. “I really did like the acorn fixtures downtown because the lights shine off the walls of the city buildings down there, and that really lit up the downtown area. The other fixtures I thought really work well in the outlying sections. The lights shine down on the highway, where they should be, and not going into people’s homes as much as the acorn fixtures that we’re looking to have downtown.”
Information provided to council by the company states that both options would produce an average savings of $6,593 a year.
“From my perspective, I like the long-term cost savings,” Mayor James Huguelet said in July. “The lights last longer, and we end up with cost savings.”
Ringlein said the induction lights have a life of about 100,000 hours, or 15 to 20 years with normal use.
DPW employees say they were changing out the old bulbs about once a year.
In addition, Ringlein said the shape of the new fixtures lights up a larger area than the old fixtures.
“They have the ability to produce a whiter light,” he said.