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Lakewood Will Apply For LED-Light Grant

The City of Lakewood will apply for a grant of up to $500,000 to convert a majority of its 3,500 or so streetlights to the light emitting diode (LED) variety.

The City Council unanimously voted Monday night to apply for the Department of Commerce Energy Efficiency Grant, which awards some $25 Million in energy efficiency and solar grants to various public agencies.

The grant money would be used to convert approximately 2,000 or so of the city’s streetlights to energy efficient LEDs. That figure is about 1,000 less than the City had originally projected, but Lakewood learned recently that because the remaining lights are "leased" from Tacoma Power and Puget Sound Energy, they would not be covered by the grant.

Still, the City's Public Works Department says the potential cost savings with LED is at least worth exploring. LED's provide benefits such as:

  • Lower energy costs because the lights produce the same light level with less power
  • Lower maintenance costs because LED's can last up to seven times longer than high-pressure, sodium lights
  • Better lighting via higher light quality

If the City wins a grant and chooses to move forward with this project, it would be required financing the outstanding capital costs of about $2 million. A successful streetlight-replacement project is one in which the energy and maintenance savings over 12 years will be able to pay for the project costs.

The City will learn in a few months whether it won the grant, said Public Works Director/City Engineer Don Wickstrom.