Grosse Pointe Park to convert streetlights to LEDs

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published August 9, 2023

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GROSSE POINTE PARK — By going green, Grosse Pointe Park expects to also save some green.

The city has entered into an agreement with DTE Energy to convert its high-pressure sodium and mercury vapor streetlights into LEDs. The proposal was unanimously approved by the Park City Council June 12.

City Manager Nick Sizeland said the Park has about 996 streetlights, with a high concentration of mercury vapor lights on streets like Jefferson Avenue, Mack Avenue, Charlevoix Avenue and Essex Avenue.

“Of the (five) Grosse Pointes and Harper Woods, we might be the last” to have these kinds of old fixtures, Sizeland said.

The city does have some LED streetlights, but many of the older fixtures remain throughout the city’s streets and alleys.

While there is an initial expense on the city’s part, the project is slated to pay for itself in just over two years.

“This was … an opportunity to save for the long term,” Sizeland said.

Sizeland said the annual cost for street lighting is $393,691.49. By converting all the lights to LEDs — a process that’s expected to take about three months to complete — the city expects to save $108,324.72 annually on its energy bill, he said. DTE provides the replacement materials, he said.

Mayor Michele Hodges called it “another budget-relieving measure,” as it will reduce energy costs in the years to come.

The total project cost is $259,341.05, but the city qualifies for an energy optimization, or EO, rebate of $28,257. In addition, Sizeland said the Park has $94,000 in American Rescue Plan federal dollars that can be applied toward this project. That would bring the city’s actual cost to $137,084.05.

Park City Councilman Max Wiener commended Sizeland on putting together this proposal.

“This is one of those great projects,” Wiener said. “It improves the quality of service to the residents. … It saves us a ton of money.”

In addition, he said it improves sustainability in the city.

City Councilman Vikas Relan, who has long been a proponent of sustainability and green initiatives, agreed.

“I think it’s long overdue,” Relan said.

If the city later wanted to install something different, such as decorative light poles, Sizeland said those costs would be borne by the Park.