Fall River upgrading to energy-efficient streetlights

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — Fall River Mayor Sam Sutter announced Monday that the city is in the process of replacing all 5,983 of its streetlights with energy-efficient LED lights.

As of July 1, more than 2,400 lights were already installed.

In the contract Fall River signed with Ameresco Inc., the company overseeing the project, the city is guaranteed to save over $350,000 in electricity costs within the first year of using the LED lights.

According to Director of Community Maintenance Kenneth Pacheco, there will be further savings in addition to the reduced cost of energy

“LEDs can last much, much longer before burning out than traditional light bulbs can. Our new lights can last at least ten years each before they will need replacing, while the older lights would only last for usually a year or two,” Pacheco said. “The only time Community Maintenance workers will need to tend to these lights is when something unusual happens, like a car or a tree limb striking the lamppost. In comparison to the older lights we are removing, these LEDs will not require nearly as much time or money to maintain.”

A majority of Fall River’s streetlights are currently 100 watt bulbs, which emit a “yellow” light, and will all be replaced with 48 watt LED lights, which will emit a brighter and more natural “white light.”

“We began by replacing the older streetlights in the South End with our new, brighter LEDs, and the difference is immediately noticeable. As we move to the neighborhoods in the north and center of Fall River, our city is becoming better lit and safer block by block,” said Sutter. “And at the same time, we are reducing our city’s carbon footprint by lowering our energy usage and making a significant cost savings every night. While replacing streetlights may sound like a minor project, this is exactly the kind of step we need to be taking to make Fall River a safer, more sustainable city.”

In total, Fall River is expected to generate 2,530,275 kWh fewer than last year because of the upgrade.

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