GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) - Before Grand Rapids's Traffic Safety Department can put LED bulbs in all street lights by next year, the City will determine which lights it owns, and how well they work in an assessment costing $500,000.
Utility Supervisor Tom Drake says the audit, beginning Tuesday, is a necessary first-step to a long-term investment. " We spend about $2 million a year in electricity for street lights. Five years down the road maybe, if we have them all replaced, there may be a savings equal to 45% of $2 million."
Crews in white trucks are now making stops at the 18,000 utility poles in Grand Rapids. They will check if they actually belong to the City, and make a record of all the bulb types and statuses. "Some people might say, well, don't you already know that? Well the fact is, no; it's been a growing and expanding system and no efforts ever been expended to do this sort of survey."