CIVIC CENTER — Lighten up, New York.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Thursday that the city will upgrade 250,000 streetlights with LED bulbs, saving taxpayers an estimated $14 million a year in energy and maintenance costs.
The city plans to spend $76.5 million on replacing the standard “cobra-head” high-pressure sodium lamp heads with LED-compatible lamp heads, over the course of three phases beginning in Dec. 2015, according to the mayor's office.
Once completed, the city says it will begin upgrading decorative fixtures in the business and commercial districts to LEDs.
According to the mayor’s office, LEDs have already been installed in streetlights along Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn, on the FDR Drive, along Central Park’s pedestrian paths and on the lights along the cables of East River Bridges.
“With roughly a quarter-million street lights in our City, upgrading to more energy efficient lights is a large and necessary feat,” Bloomberg said in a statement. “It will save taxpayers millions of dollars, move us closer to achieving our ambitious sustainability goals, and help us to continue reducing City government’s day-to-day costs and improving its operations.”
The move is part of PlaNYC, the city’s long-term sustainability program aimed at reducing government’s carbon footprint 30 percent by 2017.