Hartford is the latest municipality to give the green light for a change to LED streetlights.
Both the town and village of Granville recently made the switch as well.
Town supervisor Dana Haff brought the issue up to the Hartford Town Board at its Nov. 10 meeting.
“We have 40 streetlights, and these are all going to be converted over to LED,” Haff said.
The total cost for the work to be done comes to $2,655, but the town is going to be receiving roughly $2,015 in rebates. In the end it will only really cost Hartford around $640 to complete the transition to LED.
Haff said that National Grid told highway superintendent Greg Brown that the town should expect to save about $900 per year on the electricity used for streetlights.
After hearing this Haff wanted to look at numbers from years past to see how much they had been spending on streetlights.
“Looking at the 2019 Supervisors Report in all of 2019 we spent $4,952 on our electric bill for streetlights,” he said.
Haff said that this project will in turn decrease the amount of electricity the town uses. But Hartford gets two bills, one from National Grid and one from Constellation.
Only one of these bills will decrease in cost thanks to the LED lights.
“We get a bill from National Grid for delivering the electricity to us,” Haff said. “We’re still going to be paying $400 a month for National Grid to deliver us the electricity.”
The savings will be going to the Constellation bill, which is a bill for the town’s electricity usage.
In the grand scheme of things, the amount of savings this will bring to the town won’t be equivalent to the king’s ransom.
But Haff and the rest of the board agreed that it was the right move to make.
“Money saved is money saved, right? Even if we do save $900 a year that’s worth it. I think the first year is going to pay for what we do since we are only going to be out of pocket $640,” Haff said.
Haff mentioned to the board that he has read about people complaining about how white the LED streetlights are in comparison to the type of light they currently use, which has a sort of amber tint to it.
He said that the complaints are because of the road glare from the LED lights when it rains, or the road is wet.
“They say they don’t see as well because the glare off the road is more,” Haff said.
“I think that is true, actually,” said board member Jennifer Perez in response.
Perez asked Haff if there was a choice in how strong they could make the LED streetlights to diminish the potential road glare issue.
Haff said that they don’t get to make that call.
“This is the NYSERDA program through National Grid so it’s whatever it is,” he said.
Haff told the board that the process itself will only take two days to switch the 40 streetlights throughout Hartford over to LED. He anticipates it being completed before the end of this year.