It will take BC Hydro about 10 days to replace 350 high-pressure sodium (HPS) street lights in Sidney with energy-efficient LEDs in February, according to Ted Olynk, BC Hydro’s manager of community relations for Vancouver Island-Sunshine Coast.
“Each community pays for the lights, not BC Hydro or residents,” said Olynk. “Exact dollar figures or potential savings for each community would depend on their individual lighting selection(s … the initial savings are offset by the capital costs of replacing the lights.”
Sidney’s chief administrative officer (CAO) Randy Humble said BC Hydro is applying a monthly surcharge to cover the expense of the replacement lights with this cost slowly being paid through energy savings.
“As a result of this gradual payback program that will span many decades, the transition to LED lights will not significantly alter costs for the town or lead to noticeable savings for some time,” he said. “However the change will make a meaningful and immediate difference in local energy consumption from street lights.”
The municipality said on its website that the LED fixtures may appear brighter, but they are very close to the same lumen output as before.
“The colour spectrum has shifted from the old orange style colour to a warm white colour,” it reads. “This colour helps improve public safety by increasing the visibility of sidewalks and roads at night and reducing light pollution.”
The municipality said on its website that the installation is expected to have minimal impacts on residents and businesses with no outages planned.
While installation times will vary depending on conditions, it should take crews about 30 minutes to install each street light.
Crews are slated to start replacing lights in North and Central Saanich in the spring and summer of 2022 respectively.
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