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Savings hefty when Arnold officials switch street light bulbs, power supplier | TribLIVE.com
Valley News Dispatch

Savings hefty when Arnold officials switch street light bulbs, power supplier

Tom Yerace
| Thursday, March 14, 2019 5:30 a.m
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Arnold officials saw the light on saving money by illuminating streets with LED bulbs, but it just got much brighter.

That’s because council on Tuesday approved switching its electrical supplier to a four-year contract with Dynegy Inc., which City Clerk Mario Bellavia said will save the city about $176,000 during that time.

The city’s previous supplier was Champion Energy, to whom the city was paying 13.2 cents per kilowatt hour. Under the contract with Dynegy, the cost will drop to 4.67 cents per kilowatt hour, a decrease of about 65 percent.

“It was costing us about $144,000 per year,” Bellavia said.

He said the city got the new rate after it decided to purchase LED street light bulbs through Connected Energy of Pittsburgh, a company that deals in low-cost lighting solutions for business.

He said he and Councilman Anthony “Butch” Sgalio worked with the company to buy 26 LED lights with $9,000 in state liquid fuels tax money.

Those lights will pay for themselves through savings from using less electricity in less than a year’s time, Bellavia said. He said the savings is about $21,300 per year.

Bellavia said company representatives asked about the city’s electric rate and said it could obtain a lower rate if it would allow Connected Energy to solicit bids on its behalf, at no cost to the city.

He said city officials agreed and the new rate was received about two weeks after Connected solicited bids.

“Through the work Butch has done and this (new rate), we’re going to save the city about $65,000 per year,” Bellavia said.

With that savings, he said he and Sgalio would like council to set up a capital improvement fund.

He said such a fund would allow city officials to get much-needed work like paving streets done in a community that has been struggling financially for years and has been woefully short on funds for such projects.

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