East Providence will soon be a little darker at night.
The first phase of a budget commission mandated management program that will shut off 1,125 streetlights is expected to start before the end of January. Lights at intersections, pedestrian crossings, schools and parks will not be shut off.
The goal is to save at least $150,000 a year by turning out about 20 percent of the city’s more than 5,000 street lights, said East Providence City Manager Peter Graczykowski.
The city spends approximately $750,000 a year for the streetlights owned and maintained by National Grid.
The Department of Public Works has come up with a list of lights to be turned off based primarily on areas identified as being over-illuminated. The plan does not mean every fifth light in the city will be turned off. And lights that were not operating count toward the goal.
Click here to see the list on the East Providence website. Or look at the PDF above.
Lights to be turned off will get “red caps” to identify them for National Grid. Those red-capped lights will stay off for at least a year. After a year, they will be turned off permanently or turned back on if the savings goal is reached.
The program actually calls for eventually removing 1,100 streetlights permanently. The city also is looking at other options with National Grid, including purchasing streetlights to rid the city of fixed maintenance costs charged by the utility.
East Providence would then pay only for the energy each light used and the maintenance of the fixtures, which it believes could be less expensive than paying National Grid for maintenance.