Stimulus pays for energy-saving lights

New Mexico Business Weekly

Feb 2009




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The State Energy Program has been allocated $5 million in federal stimulus funds to provide retrofits on traffic and pedestrian lights.

Old incandescent bulbs will be replaced with light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs, which use much less electricity.

Gov. Bill Richardson said the documented savings from switching to LED bulbs at a traffic intersection is at least 80 percent compared to incandescent bulbs. Communities should see immediate reductions in their electric bills as a result, he said.

The Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department manages the State Energy Program funding and projects through its Energy Conservation and Management Division. This project has been on the departments radar for a long time, said Joanna Prukop, cabinet secretary for the department.

The department will partner with the New Mexico Department of Transportation to purchase and install commercially available LED traffic signal lighting at designated sites statewide. Las Cruces (Transportation District 1) and Roswell (Transportation District 2) are slated for a retrofit completion by Oct. 30. Districts 3, 4, 5 and 6, which cover the rest of the state, will be completed by July 30, 2010.

Additional traffic control devices, such as school crossing flashers and other warning flashers also will be retrofitted.