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Welland receives kudos for energy efficiency

Thursday, December 6th 2007 10:38:00am

Media Release: For Immediate Release

Welland receives kudos for energy efficiency

Chief Energy Conservation Officer presents award for LED Streetlights

(Welland, December 5, 2007) Peter Love, Ontario's Chief Energy Conservation Officer, awarded the Mayor of Welland a Certificate of recognition for the city's installation of LED (Light Emitting Diode) streetlights. The ceremony took place during this evening's Council meeting.

LED lights typically use less that half of the electricity used for regular streetlights. They also can last up to 3 times longer, so City maintenance costs are reduced significantly.

As a first step, Welland has replaced all the current streetlights on Fitch Street between Prince Charles Drive and South Pelham Road, the first such installation on a complete street in any municipality in Canada and, possibly, North America. The LED streetlights are controlled by a photocell which triggers power to a pre-determined level as daylight decreases. With significant improvements in LED technology over the past several years LED streetlight products have become appropriate for roadway lighting applications.

If the Fitch Street pilot project is successful then streetlights may be converted to LED technology city-wide over a 3 to 5 year period, with a possible savings of $185,000 per year from the current annual street lighting costs of over $350,000.

"We at the Ontario Power Authority believe that energy efficiency is one of the best ways to save electricity, and LED lights are extremely energy efficient," said Love.  "The City will save money that can be put to use elsewhere.  Welland is definitely setting an example for others to follow."

Earlier in the evening at an event held on Fitch Street in Welland, Mr. Love was joined by Welland Mayor Damian Goulbourne; Ross Peever, President and CEO, and Tim Clutterbuck, Chair, both of Welland Hydro-Electric Systems Corp.; Peter Hochstein, founder and Chairman of Relume Technologies, the company that manufactured the approximately 40 lights that have been installed along Fitch Street; and, Max Mariani, Customer Service Manager from Inforesight Products Inc. who is the Canadian representative for Relume/Lumecon.

"Relume/Lumecon is pleased to be selected by Welland for this groundbreaking event. Welland is truly on the cutting edge using technology to save energy and creating a greener environment," states Mr. Hochstein of Relume/Lumecon.  "LED lighting is quickly proving to be the most cost-effective, longest-lasting solution to reducing the city's carbon footprint."

Mr. Clutterbuck of Welland Hydro provided some background on the partnership between the City and Welland Hydro, as well as some of the programs offered through Welland Hydro that encourage energy efficiency.  "LED streetlights are a bright idea", said Clutterbuck.  "LED is an old technology that has been re-engineered into a new conservation use.  We are pleased to be a partner in this innovative project.  It is this type of innovation and partnering that will lead to less energy consumption and a more sustainable environment.  In a nutshell, we all win!"

The City of Welland has contracted greenTbiz, an energy efficiency and environmental practices program, to conduct a public consultation process regarding the acceptance and perception of new Welland LED street lighting through door-to-door and online surveys.

Welland's Mayor, Damian Goulbourne, is encouraged by the changes he is seeing in Welland.  "Focusing on projects that enhance the environment while ensuring responsible use of taxpayers' dollars is just one way the City is working toward achieving its strategic goals and objectives.  The installation of LED streetlights on Fitch Street is a good example of such projects.  We look forward to getting as much feedback as possible from our citizens about the new streetlights by accessing the online survey or by simply calling City Hall."

Citizens are encouraged to visit Fitch Street in the evening to see the new street lighting and provide their input through completion of the online survey available at www.welland.ca and look for the LED light fixture button to connect to the survey.  Results of the greenTbiz survey will help Council decide if, how, and when they should proceed with further implementation of LED lights across the City.

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For more information or to arrange an interview, contact:

Christine Mintoff
Communications Assistant
Corporation of the City of Welland
(905) 735-1700 ext.2280

GreenTbiz develops and delivers energy and environmental conservation programs that will benefit the environment, while improving the bottom line of businesses ( www.greemtbiz.org).

Relume / Lumecon is an innovation leader in LED research and is a single source for pioneering LED light engine solutions for corporate signage, automotive, airlines, safety devices and the U.S. military (www.relume.com ).

The City of Welland is a truly unique canal city located in the heart of Niagara Region.  In 2008, Welland celebrates its 150th Anniversary as an incorporated municipality.  Known officially as "The Rose City," Welland is home to 50,331 residents who represent a blend of many different ethnic cultures.  Part of the City's mission is to plan and provide for a vibrant, safe and to respond to the needs of our diverse community in a timely, innovative and effective manner, through teamwork and partnerships ( www.city.welland.on.ca)

The Ontario Power Authority creates and implements conservation and demand management programs, ensures adequate investment in new supply infrastructure, performs long-term, electricity system planning. The Chief Energy Conservation Officer and the Conservation Bureau are part of the OPA, and work toward promoting a culture of conservation throughout the province ( www.powerauthority.on.ca).