Science, Health and Technology
11:48 am
Thu June 27, 2013

Independence, Mo., going green with lighting

A new hue will brighten the city of Independence, Mo., over the next three to four years. 

The 81st annual meeting of the U.S. Conference of Mayors happened in Las Vegas this past weekend.  At the conference, Independence announced its plans to partner with Philips Lighting on an energy and maintenance saving project.

The Mayors’ Lighting Partnership is working to help implement new energy and maintenance saving technologies.  Independence is one of the first cities in Missouri to embrace this lighting technology, but Independence Mayor Don Reimal said replacing the city’s street lights with LED lighting will significantly improve its carbon footprint.

“We want to make sure that we are doing what is green for the community,” Reimal said.  “We’re going to eliminate 10,000 pounds of carbon dioxide that goes into the atmosphere.  It’s kind of like removing 900 cars a year from the streets.”

Reimal also said this partnership with Philips has a cost-saving benefit for consumers.  The conversion to LED street lighting is expected to reduce energy costs by 50 percent or four million dollars in energy and maintenance costs over the next 10 years.  Reimal says the partnership with Philips will give the citizens the best lighting for the least amount of money and will improve the safety of the city and increase social activity.

“Well people will feel more comfortable getting out and about in the evening because they can see better, they can be seen better,” Reimal said.

Reimal also said the city will not lose any money by implementing these projects.  All 12,000 street lamps are expected to be replaced over the next three to four years.  Riemal said he hopes Independence will set the standard for other communities in Missouri to convert.  The first lighting kickoff will be early Friday morning in Independence.

This story originally aired as part of Business Beat, a weekly program about business and economics in mid-Missouri.