Arlington, VA

Arlington is devoting $500,000 in stimulus funds to convert old county-owned streetlights to energy-efficient LED streetlights, the county announced today.

Officials hope to replace 1,800 streetlights, or 40 percent of all county-owned lights, by the spring of 2011. The funds for the project will come from a federal energy efficiency and conservation grant.

After the initial push, the county will install 500 new streetlights per year. The conversion will take about six years to complete, and will produce a significant cost savings for the county.

The new lights are expected to cut energy consumption by about 60 percent and save more than $1 million per year, according to one estimate.

Even after the conversion, however, most streetlights in the county will be of the older, less energy-efficient variety. That’s because the vast majority of streetlights in Arlington are owned by Dominion Power. Dominion operates 11,700 lights under contract with the county, and those have not yet been scheduled for an upgrade.

“Arlington and Dominion are exploring options to improve the energy efficiency of those [streetlights] in the future,” the county said in a statement.

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