Yukon Energy is replacing all of its existing streetlights with energy efficient Light Emitting Diode (LED) lights. The energy corporation will begin changing out the streetlights in Dawson City within the next few weeks. Later in the year it will install LED streetlights in the rest of Yukon Energy’s service areas, including Mayo, Faro, Champagne and Mendenhall.
“Switching to LED streetlights will mean lower power bills for those rural communities we serve and is a better choice for the environment,” Yukon Energy President Andrew Hall said.
“Energy efficiency and conservation are key pillars in Yukon Energy’s operation,” Hall added. “A megawatt saved through initiatives like this is a megawatt we don’t have to build.”
The Dawson project should see a reduction of around 32 megawatt hours per year, which is equivalent to the amount of power used in one year by three average Yukon homes.
LED streetlights now cost less than traditional streetlights ($184 per LED light compared to $240 per traditional HPS light). They are also expected to last much longer: 25 years as opposed to four years for HPS bulbs.
“As an emissions-cutting and money saving technology, LED street lighting is a no-brainer,” Dawson City’s Protective Services Manager Jim Regimbal said, who has been working with Yukon Energy in moving this project forward.
“Switching to LEDs is not only beneficial in terms of savings and emissions, the light quality improvements result in better visibility and reductions in road accidents. Energy savings and a safer community – now that’s a win all around,” Regimbal added.
Yukon Energy has run LED streetlight pilot projects over the last five years in Dawson City and Mendenhall, in partnership with the Yukon government’s Energy Solution Centre (for Dawson) and ATCO Electric Yukon (for Mendenhall). The research shows that LEDs work well in the territory’s cold climate and that they use about half as much electricity as the traditional high pressure sodium (HPS) streetlights. This means municipalities will see reduced power bills by about $29 a year per light. Dawson has approximately 170 residential streetlights, giving the town an annual savings of nearly $5,000.
Feedback from residents in Dawson and Mendenhall indicates most people like the quality of the LED light. LED lights also produce much lower levels of light pollution.
The cost of switching out the Dawson streetlights will be about $50,000. With the energy and maintenance savings, the project is a very cost effective way of meeting the territory’s energy needs, particularly during the dark winters when demand on the grid is at its highest.
Residential customers can also see savings by switching to LED lights. Yukon’s electricity conservation and efficiency program inCharge is currently offering $7 rebates on each package of ENERGY STAR® LED lights. Learn more about this program by visiting www.inchargeyukon.ca.
Communications, Yukon Energy Corporation
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