At their regular meeting on Monday, June 24, Ferndale City Council unanimously approved a LED streetlight conversion of all DTE owned fixtures throughout the City of Ferndale.
This recommendation came from a 2018 LED streetlight evaluation from EcoWorks, a non-profit organization focused on providing sustainability consulting services to municipalities in Michigan. Erin Quetell,City of Ferndale’s Environmental Sustainability Planner, and City Manager Joseph Gacioch reached out to EcoWorks after identifying issues with the City’slighting system. They were able to identify a solution and a plan to move forward to not only improve the streetlights, but also save money.
The push for the streetlight conversion also came from Ferndale councilwoman Melanie Piana, former council liaison for the Ferndale Environmental Sustainability Commission. The commission is comprised of residents and council members who support the continued sustainable efforts of the City.
With the approval of City Council, a total of 1,744 lights,all of which are on public property, will be converted by the end of November 2019. This number includes 1,125 mercury vapor fixtures and 619 high pressure sodium fixtures. The greatest energy savings will come from replacing the outdated mercury vapor lights, as they are the most antiquated of the City’s fixtures.
This conversion will show an energy bills savings immediately after installation and will result in a $160,000 savings annually,with just over a two-year return on investment.
The City plans to use this project to kick start a revolving energy fund—a means to fund future energy efficiency projects, pending Council approval later this summer.
“The proposed revolving energy fund will divvy the funds up 80/20—80% of realized savings will go to the revolving energy fund, and 20%will go to the department from which the project originated,” explained Quetell. “In the case of the streetlights, we will replenish the general fund and then start the revolving energy fund.”