Sutton makes switch to LED street lighting
By Amanda Collins
Former Sutton selectman Mike Chizy, selectmen Mike Kenney and Jesse Limanek, town administrator Jim Smith and town energy manager Doreen DeFazio mark the LED milestone with a photo on the common. Amanda Collins photo Sutton –
A bright idea a year-and-a-half old has come to fruition as Sutton officials past and present met last week to celebrate a streetlight switch that will save money and energy.
The town of Sutton is the first community in Central Massachusetts to acquire their street lights from National Grid and convert the fixtures to LED to reduce energy consumption.
In all, 214 streetlights were purchased and will be converted to use more efficient LED lights, which offer a brighter light and more visibility for a fraction of the wattage – from 100 to 24 watts per light, said town administrator Jim Smith. Brightness can be adjusted based on the needs of neighborhoods.
Energy manager Doreen DaFazio believes the project will set a precedent for other local cities and towns.
“It has been a gratifying experience to work with the Board and leadership management in supporting the details of this exciting milestone for Sutton. This acquisition will result in immediate savings for the community,” she said. “Along with decreased energy consumption and the visible commitment to efficiency, LED lights will reduce maintenance cost due to a longer lifespan and improve safety through advanced visibility.”
The lights have a lifespan of 20 years, compared to the six-year lifespan of the old sodium lights.
PRT, a maintenance company based in Wakefield, holds an agreement with the town to install and maintain the lights. Installation is already finished in the Manchaug area of town, and last week, crews were working in the center of town. The project should be finished in the next week or so, said town officials.
Year one savings will be as much as $20,000, said Smith. The project’s costs, including purchasing the streetlights and LED lights, installation and the services of a consultant, totaled $108,347. Project revenues included a $109,000 allocation by town meeting voters, $16,000 left over from energy efficiency improvements in Green Communities, and a $12,000 National Grid incentive, totaling $137,000.
Sutton was able to achieve a reduced price on the new fixtures by timing the conversion with the city of Providence, Rhode Island, and the town of Westwood, partaking in a bulk purchase.
The idea to purchase and convert the streetlights came from former Selectman Mike Chizy, who challenged the town to consider the move as a strategic goal in the summer of 2014.
“It’s great. We’re always thinking of ways to save money for the town,” Chizy said last week as officials met on the common last week to witness the switch being made to lights around the common.
“Thank you to the board and town meeting for their support with this project,” said Smith. “Together they enabled the town to become more environmentally sustainable and save money simultaneously.”