Ameren replaces lights

Ameren Missouri has begun switching current Kirksville street lights to energy efficient LEDs.

This change will save energy and money, according to Ameren.

Gene Unverfehrt, director of Ameren’s Northeast Missouri division, says the new LEDs are 55-65 percent more energy efficient, which will result in about $1 per month of savings for Ameren Rate 5M customers. Rate 5M customers include municipalities, neighborhoods and individual customers.

“We have about 125,000 affected lights, and we will change them out as we do maintenance on the light,” Unverfehrt says.

Unverfehrt also says plans to change the majority of company owned lights in the next five years.

Unverfehrt says technology and cost have been a focus for the past three years and finally have hit the price point where it became economical for the customers.

Once the change is complete, customers will save a combined total of $1.9 million per year compared to current rates, according to Ameren.

The new LED lights are different from the old high-pressured sodium lights. The LED lights are more reliable and will last three times longer than standard bulbs, according to Ameren. LED lights also will decrease energy generation and cut down on the city’s carbon emissions, according to Ameren’s website.

“The great thing about it … at the end of the five years, the equivalent energy savings will be about the same as taking 5,000 houses off the grid,” Unverfehrt says.

This story originally appeared in the April 21 edition of the Index. Be sure to pick up a copy on newsstands now.