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SLO to see the light 

Nighttime city streets in downtown San Luis Obispo may soon be a bit brighter thanks to a new public-private partnership that promises to bring energy-saving LED street lamps to the city.

On Dec. 4, the city council voted unanimously to move ahead with a special California Energy Commission and Pacific Gas & Electric program to replace the city’s current high-pressure sodium lamps with brighter and more efficient light-emitting
diodes (LED).

Under the plan, the city will apply for a CEC loan that will have PG&E workers replace existing lamps with the new LEDs over the next year, according to City Engineer Barbara Lynch.

City Manager Katie Lichtig told the council that many of the existing lights are at the end of their useful lives.

The overall anticipated cost for the replacement is approximately $1.1 million, and the city’s projected energy savings—estimated at roughly $99,000 a year—will pay back the loan over the course of some 13 years.

Lynch is to go before the CEC at its Dec. 12 meeting to seal the deal.

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