Kelowna Curbs Light Pollution, Saves Money with new Efficient Bulbs

You could call it a light bulb moment for the City of Kelowna.

The municipality is shedding light on a subtle, yet significant cost saving measure implemented last year.

The project replaced over 10,000 streetlights in the city with energy efficient LED bulbs. According to Energy Program Manager Brydan Tollefson, the new bulbs have a dual benefit of reducing light pollution and increasing energy savings.

"We're looking at pretty well a million dollars a year in electricity cost reduction, which is also about the equivalent of over 400 homes annual electricity use."

Not including a Fortis BC rebate of $670,000, the project cost Kelowna $3.75 million. Money that the city fully expects to recover over the next four years.

"The cost savings is a big one but, really, the maintenance as well. We were replacing the lights previously every five to seven years and now we're expecting life of 15 to 20. So it really has a significant impact on just the time we have to spend being out there, dealing with the burn outs, and replacing all of the fixtures."

A photo on the city of Kelowna website (and at the top of this article) demonstrates the LED's effects on local light pollution, showing the Kelowna skyline both before (left) and after (right) the new bulbs were installed.