New York City is to lead the way on energy efficient street lighting by refitting all 250,000 of its standard streetlights with LED bulbs.
The Big Apple’s scheme was announced by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan at a news conference in Brooklyn.
Lights along one boulevard in the district have already been replaced and are predicted to save $70,000 (£43,500) and nearly 248,000 kilowatt-hours each year, the New York Times reports.
Ms Sadik-Khan is quoted as saying: “People tend to like them. It’s clear. It’s bright. It really does a good job in providing fresher light.”
The project started as a pilot scheme in 2009 and so far 3,625 lights have been switched across the city. The full project will be rolled out in three phases – finishing the job in Brooklyn, before heading to Queens and then on to the rest of the city.
Mayor Bloomberg has described the swap as a “large and necessary feat”.
The scheme is part of a long-term plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the city 30% by 2017.
The LED bulbs can run for 20 years without being replaced and the administration expects the project to save $14 million (£8.7m) a year in energy and maintenance costs. With a price tag of $76.5 million (£47.6m), it will be a few years before the investment pays off.