Lloydminster residents may soon notice a different type of glow in city-run facilities.
At its July 27 meeting, city council approved a recommendation to invest revenue from the 2015 electrical franchise fee rate increase into a program to replace conventional lightbulbs in city buildings with light-emitting diodes (LEDs), so long as it is determined that the switch will result in a “demonstrated cost and energy saving, which will positively impact future operational budgets.”
“The benefit to the environment and the cost-savings long-term from maintenance and bulb replacement makes sense and it aligns with our strategic plan in looking for operational efficiencies and being good stewards of the environment,” director of strategy Sharon Herbus said.
On Nov. 10, 2014, city council approved increasing the electrical franchise fee, which Atco Electric pays the city to provide its services, from 10.5 per cent to 11 per cent starting in January 2015. From January to May that 0.5 per cent increase has generated approximately $100,000.
The first city facility to undergo lightbulb placement will be the Lloydminster Golf and Curling Centre (LGCC). Herbus says the work in the LGCC is planned to begin in the basement and will be completed before the curling season begins, but the project is still in its early stages and has yet to be brought to a tender.
Herbus says the cost-savings won’t be known until “a year down the road,” but estimates put savings at approximately $5,000 each year.
Originally, the city was considering replacing all street lighting with LEDs, a project which was expected to proceed over a five-year period. But because the street lights are owned by Atco, it was decided that directing the funds towards city-owned assets would be a more prudent choice.
“We don’t own the streetlights, therefore the cost-savings wouldn’t come back to the city,” Herbus said. “So we now brought forward an administrative report to the last council meeting that say from the perspective of the city it is more responsible and will benefit the city long term, and our residents, looking at our facilities where we actually own the asset.
“So what we’re looking at is taking the additional funds from the franchise fee and replacing it into LED lighting within our facilities.”
If the funding is there, Herbus says the city hopes to ultimately convert all of its facilities to LED lighting. She says the city is identifying new projects as the funding becomes available.