Town Times Requester



Stay Connected

Durham explores LED streetlight conversion


Durham officials are considering entering into a program run by the Connecticut Conference of Municipalities to replace the town’s halogen streetlights with more energy efficient LED lights.

An agreement, as described by First Selectman Laura Francis at the regular Dec. 9 Board of Selectmen meeting, would allow the engineering and electronics giant Siemens to study the lights in Durham and commit Durham to using Siemens if the town decides to convert to LED in the next year.

According to Francis, Durham spends approximately $40,000 on energy and maintenance costs for its streetlights yearly.

LED lights use less energy, but produce a better quality light than other energy efficient lights like CFLs. According to Francis, public safety officials generally endorse LED lights in streetlights because the light is clearer.

“CCM is hoping to get enough towns to participate so they reach what they call critical mass to achieve the most savings,” Francis said.

Saving money under the program depends on the bulk power of joining other municipalities for purchasing, energy, and maintenance expenses. LED lights cost significantly more than regular lights, usually requiring towns to make investments before realizing future savings.

Durham has previously explored conversion with a smaller group of towns but could not realize the savings of CCM’s program. “We will never be able to do this on our own,” Francis said. “Even with five towns it was hard for us to get the capital investment down to where it was manageable.”

In theory, the lights will last 20 years. According to a CCM handout, some towns have achieved savings in the range of 54% to 69% in their kilowatt hour consumption.

Durham’s Clean Energy and Sustainability Task Force has approved the program.

The selectmen estimated that Durham has about 400 streetlights. The streetlights are owned by Connecticut Light & Power and the town pays for running them. According to Francis, the conversion could be done in as little as one to two weeks.

Selectman John Szewczyk suggested putting off entering the program until the next meeting and wondered about hidden or future costs and the commitment of signing a letter of intent. “As long as we can say no afterward, I’m fine with it,” Szewczyk said.

“There is nothing here that requires us to go forward with the project. All this agreement says is if we do then we would do it with this program” for the next year, Francis said.

The BOS has scheduled their next meeting on Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. at the Town Hall.



Back to AllNews
Top Stories of the Week

Durham to eliminate town Round Up use …
The Roadside Management Task Force was charged with researching ways the town could reduce or eliminate the use of hazardous chemicals while controlling roadside weeds … more ...

Busy day at the Durham Public Library …
On Saturday, May 16, the library booster group PALS held its annual book sale in the Durham Public Library’s lower level. On the same day … more ...

School budget reduced after down vote at referendum …
The first regular Board of Education meeting after voters rejected the proposed 2015-2016 school budget at the May 5 referendum was better attended than any … more ...

Caruso named parade Grand Marshal …
The 2015 Memorial Day Parade Grand Marshal is Vincent Caruso, a former U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class and U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class. … more ...

Matty’s drops game slugfest to Killingworth …
Matty’s Next Door Sports Bar let an early lead evaporate, losing 25 – 19 to Killingworth in an eight-inning game called due to darkness. Visiting … more ...

Comments