LED lights brighten work day at town hall

The Board of Selectmen had said over the summer to let there be LED light at town hall, and now they are seeing that it is good.

Selectman Lori Bufano was the first to notice during a meeting of the board on Oct. 4 that the new LED lights at town hall give more light than their predecessors.

“They really are brighter,” Bufano told her fellow selectmen, pleased that the lights are delivering on their promise.

Workers have noticed too.

“They definitely are brighter. I like the brightness, especially on an overcast day, yes,” said Jackie Rochester, administrative assistant to First Selectman Lynne Vanderslice.

The board gave its stamp of approval in July for the town’s director of facilities and energy management to enter an agreement with power utility Eversource to install nearly 1,000 LED bulbs this summer at town hall, the town hall annex, and the public works garage.

The modern, high-efficiency bulbs will save money on the town’s electric bill.

“I think it makes sense to do it,” First Selectman Lynne A. Vanderslice said at the time.

The savings will be greater than the cost of the conversion in the first year of the switch, so there will be an improved bottom line for the town from the beginning, said Chris Burney, the director of facilities and energy management.

Eversource is offering an $18,471 rebate and the state Green Bank is providing a $14,500 grant to reduce the cost of the installation. Additionally, Eversource is providing a four-year loan to pay for the installation at no interest, Burney said.

That means the cost is $32,393, as opposed to $65,364 without the rebate and grant.

‘We’ll be saving $677 a month, and after four years, that money for the loan will go to the savings, so after four years we’ll be saving almost $1,000 a month,” Burney said.

The new LED bulbs are made to look like standard fluorescent and incandescent bulbs. They last longer, though, so he said there is less maintenance cost going forward.

There were 487 lamps to be changed in town hall, 236 in the annex, and 235 in the garage, he said.

That’s 958 lamps total.