The City of Seguin is giving the rest of Texas a lesson in going green. This month, Seguin became one of the first cities in the state to switch out all its streetlights for LEDs. It’s a move that city leaders say not only saves energy, but massive amounts of money.
Electric Utility Director Clarence Smith says he's the one who championed the idea, convincing city leaders to go all-in, not just one outdated bulb at a time, but all at once.
"You're going to be under an LED, it's the only thing on the streets," Smith said. “"I wanna see the savings now. I don't wanna see the savings after five years."
Smith says that the project started in January and finished this month. In total, it cost $400,000 to install all the new fixtures, but he says that the payoff will come soon.
"I'm probably looking at $120,000 a year in savings,” Smith said. “I'm looking at a three-year payback."
And that’s just the monetary side. Smith says that the new fixtures allow his department to cut down on maintenance costs drastically because the lights almost never burn out. He also says that he’s received positive feedback from police officers, who believe the increased brightness and clarity will improve public safety.
Now Smith hopes that many Texas cities that have already begun slowly installing LEDs will start speeding up the process. He says he’ll start by trying to illuminate not just the roads in Seguin, but everything.
"Not just street lights, citywide; parks, buildings and stuff like that on the outside,” Smith said. “I'm trying to get all those converted to LED."