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Ameren upgrading street and outdoor lights with LEDs

  • Ameren Illinois lineman Bill Frazier, of Evansville, shows off one of the new LED outdoor lights. Ameren began a new program on Aug. 1 in which it will upgrade company-owned street and area lights with LEDs over a period of 10 years.

    Ameren Illinois lineman Bill Frazier, of Evansville, shows off one of the new LED outdoor lights. Ameren began a new program on Aug. 1 in which it will upgrade company-owned street and area lights with LEDs over a period of 10 years.
    Pete Spitler/Herald Tribune

 
By Pete Spitler
Editor@heraldtrib.com
updated: 8/1/2017 6:25 PM

A change is coming from Ameren Illinois.

The electricity and natural gas provider, which serves 1.2 million electric and 816,000 natural gas customers in central and southern Illinois, started a new program on Aug. 1 in which Ameren will gradually replace more than 300,000 company-owned street and area lights with LEDs.

In a fact sheet on the 10-year initiative, Ameren stated the LEDs use 55 to 65 percent less energy than traditional bulbs, last up to 15 years and are expected to generate monthly savings of between $1.25 and $4.50 depending on the wattage of the bulb being replaced.

According to Ameren lineman Bill Frazier, of Evansville, the company will replace traditional bulbs with LEDs when the traditional bulbs burn out.

"These (LEDs) include a new fixture called a luminaire," he said, showing off the new bulb to the Herald Tribune on Tuesday. "The light is brighter than traditional bulbs."

The Ameren fact sheet states the LED lights produce a white glow similar to moonlight and the older technology is being phased out and will no longer be stocked for future replacements.

"To help keep costs low, Ameren Illinois will not take a geographical approach and go community-by-community replacing lights," the fact sheet said. "Doing so would increase the cost of installation."

Customers can request an upgrade to the LED lighting at a cost of $250. The first monthly Ameren statement after the LED is installed will reflect the installation of the new LED and removal of the older technology.

"There is only a cost involved if we are upgrading the light outside of normal routine maintenance or repair," the fact sheet states.

Ameren said customers will receive a notice on the door of their residence when the light has been exchanged. Company-owned decorative and post top streetlights are not part of the program as a cost-effective LED replacement is not available.