Thousands of new high-efficiency streetlights being installed by the City of Glendale are expected to save taxpayers an estimated $674,000 annually through reduced electricity and maintenance costs.

Jan. 9, the new streetlights paid off in another way. During a brief ceremony at City Hall, APS presented Mayor Jerry Weiers with a check for $431,795, representing the rebates the city earned last year for its energy-efficient public lighting upgrades.

“Incentives like this make it easier for forward-thinking cities like Glendale to convert to environmentally-friendly LED lighting,” the mayor told APS officials. “The new lights are more energy-efficient, they cost way less than the older lights and will last for years and years.”

The city is receiving the APS EnergyStar rebates for removing 18,500 high-pressure sodium lights and replacing them with energy-efficient LED lights, according to City Engineer David Beard.

“There are still a few hundred streetlights pending conversion through February and the total rebate from APS is expected to approach $500,000 upon completion,” Beard said.

In all, the switch will reduce the city’s energy usage by more than four million kilowatt-hours every year, resulting in the lower electric bills, utility officials said.

“Modernizing our streetlights is helping to make Glendale a more sustainable city. LED lights are proven to be a greener, longer-lasting, more cost-effective alternative,” Assistant City Manager Jack Friedline said. “Saving millions in taxpayer dollars also demonstrates how the city is consistently looking for innovative ways to become more efficient, while underscoring the city’s good business practices.”

Patty McLaughlin, APS Key Accounts Manager, said it’s about offering choice and control to customers when it comes to their energy usage. “Customers are looking for ways to manage their energy bill, and we are providing them opportunities to do so through a variety of energy efficiency programs, education efforts and behavioral tips,” McLaughlin said.

“The wide spread industry adoption of sustainable LED technology presents an important opportunity to provide tangible upgrades to our municipal infrastructure,” Beard said.

Along with a significant reduction in energy consumption and maintenance costs, Glendale expects to experience the added benefit of improved visibility and safety on city streets.

“Innovations in LED lighting applications and technology are changing the way we use and consume energy,” said Anne Reichman, director of ASU’s Sustainable Cities Network. “Cities like Glendale are on the frontlines of the sustainable technology insurgency. Leading by example through retrofit programs like this, they are striking a balance between necessary energy consumption and fiscally and environmentally responsible energy conservation.”

Overall, the LED conversions are projected to save the city $494,000 in yearly energy costs and an estimated $180,000 reduction in ongoing annual maintenance.

Including the APS rebate, city officials expect to recoup all of the $4.72 million front-end capital investment spent on the LED conversions over the next seven years through ongoing annual energy and maintenance cost savings.

The Citywide LED Streetlight Conversion project began last fall and is expected to be completed this spring.

Representatives of ASU’s Sustainable Cities Network, AMERESCO, the city’s lighting contractor and APS, which implements the commercial rebate program, were present during the check presentation.