2010-07-08 / Front Page

City adds energy info on its website

BY ROBERTO ACOSTA 810-452-2645 • RACOSTA@MIHOMEPAPER.COM

GRAND BLANC — The city of Grand Blanc has dedicated a page on their website on changes taking place to save money on lighting costs, as well as offer resources to residents on how to lower their bills and become more environmentally conscious.

The Energy News page, located online at www.cityofgrandblanc.com/News Events/EnergyNews/tabid/6653/D efault.aspx, shares information on light-emitting diode, or LED, traffic signals; links to the U.S. Department of Energy, Energy Star, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), as well as links to teach children on how to become an “Energy Star” and save energy.

The page’s main focus revolves around the implementation of LED lights into the community, as street lights and traffic signals will begin to change in the area.

“You may soon notice some differences in the City’s traffic signal operations,” the page reads. “Most traffic lights will be brighter and easier to view than before, even when the sun is shining on them. That’s because the City of Grand Blanc has received a grant to install Light Emitting Diode (LED) traffic lights in place of existing incandescent lights.”

Bids were accepted during the April 21 City Council meeting to make use of two energy grants the city was awarded earlier this year.

Metropolitan Power and Light will receive $126,880 for the installation of 22 lightemitting diode, or LED, streetlights, while $47,000 in energy grant money will go to low bidder J. Ranck toward installing traffic lights.

The 22 LED streetlights will go up along Saginaw Road, from south of Perry Road and north of Holly Road. Money for the streetlights was split between $58,000 in grant money, with the city providing a local match of $68,880. The lighting is similar to the style being installed on 58 streetlights amongst the Grand Blanc Road streetscape project.

Traffic lights and crosswalk signals will also be upgraded at Bella Vista Drive, between $58,000 in grant money, with the city providing a local match of $68,880. Traffic lights and crosswalk signals at Bella Vista Drive, Holly Road, Perry Road, Grand Blanc Road, Center Road and Old Bridge Road will be paid for with part of the $82,008 in federal grant money received.

The grant money was received by the city through the state’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program.

The Energy News page states LED lights “have a greater light intensity and are designed to absorb, not reflect, most sunlight that enters the lenses,” while being more visible, lasting longer and using less energy. The page also breaks down the differences in efficiency between LED and incandescent lights.

City Manager Randall Byrne previously estimated savings from LED fixtures versus conventional lighting would save the city 60 percent in energy costs. Fifty residents were given a free LED lightbulb for trading in an old, non-LED lightbulb at the Grand Blanc Farmer’s Market on July 4.

Residents can find tips to cut on down energy usage on the web page as well as having the chance to measure their own carbon footprint with a link provided to “see how your actions affect global warming, through the emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHG).” The link provided on the page takes web goers to the EPA’s Household Emissions Calculator located at www.epa.gov/climatechange/ emissions/ind_calculator. html.

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