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Department Of Energy: LED Lighting Could Save Detroit Over $1 Million Annually

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A worker installs a new LED street light in Detroit. (credit: Sandra McNeil/WWJ)

A worker installs a new LED street light in Detroit. (credit: Sandra McNeil/WWJ)

DETROIT (WWJ/AP) — The question over what to do with climate change in the city of Detroit was being tackled by the Department of Energy and the EPA this week during a special “Climate Conversation Conference.”

The Department of Energy’s Detroit Liaison Kerry Duggan said that one thing the city is doing to conserve energy is installing advanced lighting across the city.

“With LED lighting (and other things) we can save the city up to $1.5 million each year on their utility bills,” Duggan said. “From a climate or carbon perspective, that translates to 17,000 metric tons of carbon emissions annually — that’s a really big deal for this city.”

Duggan said that another way to cut down on the carbon footprint would be to use more solar energy power.

In January, the city’s Public Lighting Authority  began installing LED street lights in an east side Detroit neighborhood.

The first of the lights were put in place at Greiner and Hamburg streets. The LED lights are 150 watts — more than twice as bright as the standard 70 watt high pressure sodium lights.

Mayor Mike Duggan and Jones are expected to outline changes to Detroit’s overall plan to illuminate the city. Fewer than half of Detroit’s 88,000 streetlights are believed to work.

In September, crews armed with high-tech GPS units began a block-by-block review of streetlights in two demonstration areas. The east side project area has boundaries of 8 Mile Road, Kelly Road, Hoover Street and Houston Whittier Street. The west side project area has boundaries of McNichols Road, Southfield Road, Fenkell Street and Telegraph Road.

New lights are expected to be installed in the two demonstration areas by the end of May. Officials say all Detroit neighborhoods should have updated lights by the end of 2015.

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