HAYWARD -- The city has started converting its streetlights to energy-efficient ones that use LED fixtures, which will cut energy usage by an estimated 60 percent.

More than 7,700 streetlights are being upgraded. The conversion also will reduce maintenance expense because the lights will not need to be replaced as often as the older high pressure sodium ones.

City crews are starting the conversion in southeast Hayward before moving to other areas. The project is expected to be finished in October, and will include lights in both commercial and residential areas.

The conversion is being funded by a loan from the California Energy Commission and rebates from Pacific Gas & Electric. The city will repay the loan over the next 10 years with the energy savings resulting from the project.