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Workers install the final LED streetlight for DC's EECBG-funded energy efficient lighting upgrade. | Energy Department photo, credit Chris Galm.

Workers install the final LED streetlight for DC's EECBG-funded energy efficient lighting upgrade. | Energy Department photo, credit Chris Galm.

Thanks to support from an Energy Department Recovery Act grant, Washington, DC streets are becoming brighter. These energy efficiency upgrades are saving energy and saving taxpayer dollars in the long run – but most importantly this means better lighting and safer neighborhoods for the nation’s capital.

This week, Washington, DC completed its recent effort to install 1,360 light emitting-diode (LED) streetlights across the city. District officials estimate the upgrade will save approximately $59,000 in energy costs every year in addition to the reduced maintenance and replacement costs. The new lights will also cut greenhouse gas emissions by 719 tons.

Mayor Vincent Gray, city council members, and city staff gathered in a rainy alley near the National Zoo this past Monday to mark the installation of the last of the new streetlights.

The District has already replaced all of its traffic signals with LED bulbs, and Mayor Gray said their new goal is to use the energy savings to fund additional streetlight conversions across the city.

Annamaria Garcia, the Program Manager for the Office of Weatherization and Intergovernmental Program that administers the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant funding (EECBG) program, told attendees at the final installation that the DC streetlight project has helped bring the total number of energy efficient streetlights installed across the country to more than 135,000 since the start of the EECBG program in 2009.

The project used $1.1 million in Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant funding from the Energy Department that was made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.