Emanuel's plan to re-light Chicago reaches 100,000 streetlight, $16M rebate mark

 
 
Posted3/4/2019 6:24 PM

Mayor Rahm Emanuel's plan to relight Chicago has reached a major milestone -- 100,000 new LED streetlights installed and $12 million in energy efficiency rebates secured from ComEd.

Emanuel will be long gone by the time all 270,000 of Chicago's high-pressure sodium lights are replaced with LED fixtures at an estimated cost of $160 million.

 

But, with the much-ballyhooed project now 37 percent complete and on schedule to be finished within four years, the retiring mayor will join ComEd officials on Tuesday to hail installation of the 100,000th streetlight.

ComEd is expected to present the mayor with a ceremonial copy of a $12 million check to highlight the amount of rebates the city has received to date. Another $6 million in rebates are pending this year. That's in addition to the $1.8 million in energy cost savings.

Over time, the new LED streetlights are expected to save beleaguered Chicago taxpayers more than $100 million. That's because they last two to three times longer than the high-pressure sodium lights they're replacing and consume 50 to 75 percent less electricity, officials said.

The new lights change the overhead look of Chicago. LED lights are whiter than the yellow lights air travelers now see when flying into or out of O'Hare and Midway airports. They're also designed to be pointed downward to improve public safety, instead of upward toward the night sky.

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