Norwich streets will be lit by LED lights in 2018

Norwich — Norwich Public Utilities is moving forward with a $1.8 million project to retrofit the city’s more than 4,200 streetlights with energy efficient LED bulbs.

Officials said the new bulbs will provide better lighting on the streets, with less spillover onto lawns and residents’ homes.

Jeff Brining, NPU energy efficiency manager, presented a summary of the project to the Board of Public Utilities Commissioners last week, and the board approved a resolution unanimously to proceed with the project, although early work started in 2014 and a contractor already has been selected.

The new lighting is expected to be installed starting next April, with the project completion by July 31, 2018 Brining said. The city has 4,296 public streetlights and 770 private lights, Brining said.

NPU received three responses to a request for proposals to install the new LED lights. Officials from NPU, the city planning office, police and public works departments selected Tanko Lighting, Inc., based in San Francisco, for the project. The contract will call for a lease-purchase arrangement, avoiding the need to bond for the cost, which will be covered in the NPU operating budget, NPU General Manager John Bilda said.

At the end of seven years, NPU will own the lights, which are expected to last 20 years.

NPU officials have not yet calculated the projected savings for the city in utility costs, but they said maintenance cost will be lower, and the project will use existing light poles. The new LED lights are expected to offer improved lighting, better directed at the roads than with standardized bulbs and are easier to replace, Brining said.

Tanko has been selected to install LED streetlighting in more than 25 towns in Connecticut, including Groton, New London, East Lyme and Jewett City.

New London completed the installation of new LED lights throughout the city last November, a mix of cobra head and decorative fixtures for places such as the downtown.

New London Public Works Director Brian Sear said the city obtained $426,000 in rebates from Eversource for the $1.1 million project. He said other than some wattage adjustments in some areas of the city the project went smoothly. The city is expected to save $373,000 annually, Sear said.

c.bessette@theday.com

Staff Reporter Greg Smith contributed to this report.

g.smith@theday.com

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