Brighter and more energy efficient, Fresno looking to switch to LED street lights

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The City of Fresno is looking to brighten up its future by replacing old outdated street lights with new energy efficient LED lights. However city leaders Thursday delayed voting on the mega-proposal until next week.

"It's a $10 million project, so I think the council just wants to take a little more time before making that final decision," said Fresno Director of Public Works Scott Mozier.

PG&E is offering zero percent financing to pay for the conversion with a six and half year return on the principal investment.

"Meaning we keep paying our same level of electric bill, but the savings are used to pay back that $10 million capital investment."

Once the investment is paid back, the new LED lights will save the city $1.6 million annually. It is money that the city can use for everyday maintenance.

"It'll go into things like neighborhood paving, curb gutter, sidewalk repairs a lot of great news for the community," said Mozier.

Fresno must switch out over 35,000 street lights citywide. The new LED lights will provide a warm white light as opposed to the yellow-orange light from the old lamps.

PG&E was there two years ago when the City of Clovis converted all of its street lights to LED lights.

"The City of Clovis was a smaller scale, but it moved quicker than you would expect to go in and do the transfer and the changeover," said PG&E Spokesman Denny Boyles.

According to officials, Fresno is one of the last remaining cities to make the switch.

"We're the largest city in PG&E's entire service territory that has not converted the lights citywide," said Mozier.

City leaders are expected to approve the retrofit project during next Thursday's council meeting.
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