Kelowna City Hall. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

City of Kelowna to spend over $1 million upgrading streetlights to LED

City says costs will be recuperated within eight years through savings on energy and maintenance

Kelowna’s decorative streetlights will soon be getting the LED treatment.

Through 2018, the city worked with FortisBC to retrofit more than 10,000 streetlights with LED lighting, resulting in $900,000 of savings in electricity and maintenance costs.

However, there were nearly 3,000 streetlights the city could not switch over at the time. Those remaining lights will now be upgraded over the next four years.

“When we originally looked to replace the entire inventory of the city’s streetlights with LED lighting, it wasn’t feasible to replace the 2,945 decorative and post-top lighting styles that we have in a handful of areas,” said Brian Cairney, traffic signals and systems supervisor with the City of Kelowna.“We’ve continued to explore cost-effective options as technology changes have occurred and now, we’re able to move ahead and switch over the remaining streetlights to LED.”

The project comes at a cost of around $1.16 million, sourced from Kelowna’s energy reserve. The city said that cost would be recuperated within eight years through energy savings and a decrease in annual maintenance costs.

City councillors voted unanimously in favour of the project, expressing confidence not only in the financials but the environmental impact as well.

“It’s actually going to reduce our greenhouse gas potential and I think that — as we’re hearing all the time — we need to be doing more than we’re doing,” said Coun. Charlie Hodge.

While the project will result in all of Kelowna’s streetlights donning LED bulbs, parks and pathway lights will remain the same for now.

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