By Jamie Rieger
With approximately 130 streetlights in town, the cost of switching from HPS (high-pressure sodium) fixtures to LED (light emitting diode) fixtures would be too costly for small communities like Bow Island.
However, when the Town was approached by FortisAlberta with a plan that could significantly reduce that cost, town council decided to give the proposal serious consideration.
According to the Town’s Committee of Whole (COW) council notes, Ruhin Sachedina, customer service representative for Fortis attended the Town’s COW meeting on Oct. 17, providing council with a presentation on LED streelights.
The notes went on to say that switching to LED lighting would provide monetary savings to the Town, as well as reduce usage to 51,800 kWh/year; the equivalent of taking seven cars off the road, operating seven homes, or planting 1,521 trees.
The proposal was then brought to the regular council meeting on Oct. 24.
Initially, the Town would see a savings of approximately $700 a year until the maintenance multiplier (net incremental distribution cost of conversion) is removed and the the LED fixtures. At that time, the savings for Bow Island would increase.
The motion to sign the LED conversion option was carried by council.
Energy efficiency committee
On a similar note, Mayor Gordon Reynolds put forth a recommendation to form an energy efficiency committee to look at ways the Town can conserve energy.
“Our energy costs are a significant part of our operating budget and that cost will rise when the carbon tax takes effect,” said Reynolds.
The committee will be responsible for developing policies, finding funding opportunities such as available grants, and to share information with the public. The committee will also be mandated to conduct an energy audit of the Town’s operations and facilities.
“This is something we need to do. We need to be proactive,” said Coun. Nan MacLean.
The motion put forth by mayor Reynolds was carried by council members.