Bright ideas for municipalities to save money, energy

It’s not cheap to light a city or village.

In Wayne County, the village of Newark pays $165,000 a year to New York State Electric & Gas for approximately 1,209 cobrahead and 164 decorative streetlights that are not only inefficient but costly to maintain.

However, Newark, Geneva and other Wayne and Ontario county communities are taking advantage of a state program approved by the Legislature three years ago that allows municipalities to buy utility-owned streetlights. Those high-pressure sodium lamps are being converted to more efficient LED fixtures.

The conversions are projected to save governments thousands of dollars each year by reducing energy use, while providing higher quality lighting for residents.

“These are assets nobody has owned before,” said Casey Mastro, energy manager for the Power Authority, speaking at a recent Wayne County Board of Supervisors meeting.

He is helping Wayne County communities purchase utility- owned streetlights for conversion to LEDs through Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s Smart Street Lighting NY program.

In Geneva, Acting City Manager Sage Gerling said the city is in the midst of a streetlight conversion program, which began downtown and is moving into the residential streets. The project is expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

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