Manchester Making LED Streetlight Swap

Jul 8, 2015

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The City of Manchester is halfway into replacing all of its streetlights with energy efficient LEDs.

The total price tag for replacing 9,000 street lights? $3.7 million dollars.  

But the savings, according to the city’s Deputy Public Works Director Tim Clougherty are “in the neighborhood of $550,000 dollars a year.”

The city says the upgrade will pay for itself in less than six years.

The city first started talking about swapping its outdoor light bulbs in 2013, but it first had to wrangle with Eversource Energy – then Public Service of New Hampshire – over the rate Manchester would be charged.

After reaching a settlement last year, and sorting through competing bids from Philips and Siemens, the city council voted for the upgrade, though it didn’t spring for the “smart controls” that would let workers monitor and control the lights back at HQ. Those controls would have added between $1.2 and $1.4 million.

“It would definitely make our lives easier from a reporting perspective,” says Clougherty, “but I don’t know that we could definitely say it would be cost-effective in the long run,”

Clougherty says the upgrade will be finished in September.

LED lighting has been rolled out in many major cities across the country. In some places the change has been met with complaints about the harshness of the light, while others have clamored for better lit streets. According to Siemens, which is installing the lights, Manchester is the first New Hampshire city to make the change, though according to its website the town of Durham did so in 2011.