HAYWARD -- The city is replacing its old streetlights with energy-efficient LED ones, and city staff members want residents to weigh in on which style of fixture would be best.
City staff members narrowed the choices to three styles, and workers installed some of the three different types along C Street in downtown from Watkins Street to Foothill Boulevard. The poles are marked A, B and C, and city staff members are asking residents to say which style they prefer and why.
"We felt that since this was a very large scope project and because there are so many different kinds of products, we wanted to get public feedback on their preferences," said Don Frascinella, transportation manager for the city.
Hayward will be replacing about 7,700 of its 8,200 streetlights throughout the city starting later this year, switching from the current high-pressure sodium lighting.
"You will see a difference in the quality of lighting. The light looks cleaner, better," Frascinella said.
The three types of LED, or light emitting diode, lights along C Street were chosen based on the city staff's experience with different streetlights and by looking at what is being used in other cities. The three also are PG&E-approved.
Feedback from residents "should be based on quality of light, amount of light, color, etc. We are trying to evaluate the light that is emitted from the fixture, not the fixture itself," he said.
The new lights are being
Currently, the city spends $650,000 annually on street lighting energy.
"Some agencies that have switched over to LED have seen well over 60 percent savings," he said. Hayward staff members estimate the city will cut its energy consumption by about half, with the savings being used to pay off the $3 million loan.
The city is scheduled to pay off the loan in seven to 10 years, but it could be sooner if energy savings exceed 50 percent.
In addition, the city will save in maintenance costs, especially the first year, when the new lights are under warranty. The city spends about $200,000 a year for streetlight maintenance.
Because the lights meet PG&E criteria, they should qualify for a rebate, which could run as high as $500,000, Frascinella said.
There already are some LED streetlights in the city, including along part of Tennyson Road.
And most noticeably, LED streetlights on green poles now line much of Foothill Boulevard and the streets that will be part of the downtown traffic "loop" being created as part of the Route 238 Corridor Improvement Project. Similar LED lights on green poles also are being installed along Mission Boulevard down to Industrial Boulevard as part of that same improvement project. Funding for those lights largely came from Measure B, Alameda County's half-cent sales tax.
But the city will keep the older silver poles elsewhere in the city. The California Energy Commission loan is just replacing the actual lights on those poles.
The deadline to submit comments on the LED streetlight fixtures is Oct. 1.
"As people leave Off the Grid on Monday nights, we hope as they're walking back to their cars they will take a look at the lights and give us some feedback," Frascinella said.
Contact Rebecca Parr at 510-293-2473 or follow her at Twitter.com/rdparr1.
Hayward residents can make their streetlight preference known by:
Calling streetlight hotline at 510-583-4735
Putting a note in a drop box at Public Works, Engineering and Transportation, Hayward City Hall, second floor, 777 B. St,; Main Library, 835 C. St.; or Weekes Branch Library, 27300 Patrick Ave.
Comments will be accepted until Oct. 1.