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06/26/2012 ~ Light Emitting Diode (LED) street lights are set to be installed in a Key West neighborhood for a two-year field test in order to gauge their feasibility for wider use. Twenty-five (25) lights will be installed on Pine and Olivia streets in the Meadows section of Key West beginning on Wednesday, June 27th. The project was the result of Keys Energy Services (KEYS) active participation on the Lighting Task Force of the Pedestrian Action Committee, a grass-roots citizens group devoted to making Key West sidewalks accessible and safe.

KEYS committed $25,000 for the project and the Meadows test will allow KEYS to evaluate the accuracy of claims made by the manufacturer as to ease of maintenance and energy savings. “Such a test is a good first step before any service area-wide conversion to LEDs is planned,” added Lynne Tejeda, KEYS’ General Manager & CEO.

KEYS stocks, installs, and maintains street lights on behalf of the City of Key West and in the Lower Keys on behalf of Monroe County. When a new street light or fixture is installed, the City/County pays no capital or initial cost. The initial cost is paid by KEYS, which is standard practice in the industry. KEYS then amortizes the initial fixture and installment cost over the expected life of the light, and recovers it as part of the City or County’s monthly utility bill.

LED street lights have a much lower wattage than the existing fixtures they will be replacing, although their output will not be compromised. As a result, KEYS anticipates the City should realize a significant savings in the kilowatt-hours* consumed in the test area, contributing to a reduction of the City’s carbon footprint. Currently, the typical monthly bill for street lights in Key West is approximately $28,000.

*Kilowatt-hour (kwh) – A common unit of electric energy consumption, and the basic unit of electric energy. 1,000 watts consumed for one hour equals a single kilowatt-hour.

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