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Naturally in Niagara

Niagara Lights it Up!

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Where in the world is there a greater natural source of power than Niagara Falls?

So what better place could there be, therefore, for an initiative to encourage energy responsibility?

Niagara Falls is the province’s hub for hydro electricity and a centre for advancements in green energy. Recently, it launched the first public/private assessment program in Canada – the Niagara Luminaire Project!

Every year, hundreds of new light bulb suppliers make claims for their products’ energy efficiency, but the Niagara Luminaire Project has determined that no single perfect bulb exists for all conditions.  In order to assess products on an individual basis, Niagara Falls has initiated a real-world LED street lighting pilot project. There are 17 manufacturers outfitting street lights across 16 different locations.

LED technology has been proven to decrease annual maintenance costs by 50 to 70 percent. In Niagara Falls, annual maintenance costs are currently $1 million, but if various areas are outfitted with LED lights, that cost could drop to $300,000 – an incredible $700,000 or more in savings each year!

The plan is to use the savings to cover the cost of the new LED lights, thereby making the new infrastructure pay for itself.

“We’ve done all the legwork to get this off the ground,” says Larry Vaughan, vice-president of Ground Aerial Maintenance Services (GAMS). “We’ve brokered global leaders in street lighting as well as six of largest manufacturers of LED lighting in the world to come to Niagara to do the conversion of the city. We chose Niagara Falls because it’s a marquee venue, because we’re from the area, and it just (made) sense to start here.”

The plan is to have Niagara Falls become a centre for excellence in LED technology and take a position at the forefront of these new technologies.  To have other cities asking for Niagara Falls’ expertise is a huge accomplishment.

Residents are being encouraged to participate in the gathering of information and a survey can be found on the City of Niagara Falls website here. Non-residents are also welcome to participate and a map of the sites is available here. Hop in your car, take a look and then let the city know exactly what you think so you can be a part of this complete lighting makeover.

The Author

Liz Fleming, Managing Editor of NaturallyinNiagara.ca, is an award-winning journalist who writes a weekly travel gear column for The Toronto Star as well as regular travel features for The Toronto Star, The Toronto Sun, Cruise and Travel Lifestyles Magazine and CAA Travel. She’s currently a featured commentator on the Astral Media radio stations in southern Ontario, providing daily travel ‘minutes’ and is the editor of WO, the White Oaks Magazine.

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