Photo special to Alachua County Today
Julia Holbrook, High Springs Billing Specialist, is the catalyst behind the city's switch to LED street lights.
HIGH SPRINGS – An upgrade in City-owned light fixtures to accommodate LED light bulbs is one step High Springs is taking to save money. “We hope to see a reduction of approximately $20,000 per year with this change,” said City Manager Ed Booth.
The change will not only save on the amount of energy used to power the street lights, but is also expected to save on maintenance fees, according to a Duke Energy lighting account estimate.
The estimate, which was provided by Duke's business light development manager Jarrett Daniels, was created in response to an inquiry by Julia Holbrook, Administrative Assistant to Ed Booth.
Expecting that the City would see lower electricity usage, Holbrook was delighted to find that longer lasting LED lights would also mean a reduced need to replace light bulbs, reducing the number of maintenance calls per year and associated fuel and energy costs to perform that maintenance.
Duke's estimate shows a reduction in maintenance and fuel and energy costs to the city of $14,982 per year. However, an increase in the upgraded light fixtures of $5,208 per year reduces the savings amount somewhat, but still provides an overall savings estimate of just under $10,000 per year.
“The City estimates it will save another $10,000 per year in energy usage, which amounts to an overall savings of approximately $20,000,” said Booth.
“In addition,” said Holbrook, “there will be no charge for the labor to switch out our equipment.”
According to an email received by Holbrook, Daniels said he began field data collection around the middle of June. Duke will determine a construction start time, then notify the City when it will begin to convert the light fixtures.
Holbrook has been with the City for more than a year. She was originally hired in customer service but moved into the Administrative Assistant position Oct. 1. She is now moving into the newly created billing specialist position to oversee utility billing issues and concerns.
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