The town of Burrillville, Rhode Island saved $1,710 dollars in energy costs last year after retrofitting 56 of its 1,147 street lamps with LED bulbs, reports the Providence Journal. While this may seem like a paltry sum, savings could rise into the five figures, a large amount for jurisdiction that currently spends $90,000 a year maintaining the lights.
"We're going to see substantial savings. There's no doubt about that," said Harle Round, the town official who is overseeing the project, told the source.
Although Burrillville is a small town with a population of less than 15,000, it is at the forefront of a growing trend. Los Angeles and New York City are the most notable cities that made the conversion, with the intent of cutting energy costs and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. According to a study cited by the Providence Journal, if all of the streetlights in the nation were converted to LEDs, the energy savings could power 1.5 million homes.
Not only do the LED bulbs reduce energy expenses, they produce brighter and more crisp light, according to Burrillville town officials. They acknowledge that their upfront costs are higher than traditional bulbs, but last up to four times longer.
According to the source, other Rhode Island communities, including Charlestown and South Kingstown, have announced plans to convert to LED bulbs.