Meriden councilors favor program with Eversource to upgrade lights in city buildings

Meriden councilors favor program with Eversource to upgrade lights in city buildings


MERIDEN — The City Council finance committee voted Tuesday to approve a $452,000 program with Eversource Energy to upgrade to LED lights at six municipal buildings. The program will let the city finance the project with a 40 percent incentive from Eversource and no up-front cost, paying back Eversource over 5½ years with no interest. Payments will be incorporated into the city’s electric bills, which would otherwise be lower due to the energy savings associated with LED conversion.

“Essentially, we’re going to borrow the money and we’re going to use the calculated savings on the utility bills to do the payments,” said Russ Ford, the city’s facilities and technology management director.

Through Eversource’s Energize Connecticut program, the city hopes to upgrade the lights and fixtures at City Hall, the health department, the police station, Meriden-Markham Airport, the water pollution control division, the Engine 1 fire station, and the Augusta Curtis Cultural Center. Converting to LEDs will result in a 75 percent savings in electric costs for those buildings, Ford said. The LED lights have a 20-year life expectancy.

“Over a 10-year period we’re estimating a positive cash flow of $481,000 to the city,” Ford said.

Eversource will cover 40-percent of the conversion cost and essentially provide an interest-free loan for the project. The program has no start-up cost and once conversion is complete, the money saved on electric bills will be offset by the payments to Eversource over 66 months, Ford said.

“The electric usage for that building will drop and that difference is what we’re using to pay,” Ford said.

City Manager Guy Scaife urged the committee to approve the program, noting he had been involved with similar LED conversions in his previous two town management positions.

“The sooner we start, the sooner we reap savings,” Scaife said.

The finance committee’s vote was unanimous. The matter still needs approval of the full City Council. 203-317-2231 Twitter: @LeighTaussRJ

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