If switching to LED light bulbs saves homeowners money on their utility bills, why not try it with streetlights, too?
Xcel Energy is making that suggestion.
The utility company is asking the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to approve the switch to light emitting diode fixtures in the 100,000 streetlights Xcel Energy owns across Minnesota, KSTP reports.
Xcel estimates the change would cut the energy use in half, KSTP says, and would reduce maintenance costs because the LED lights last longer.
If it's approved by regulators, Xcel expects it would take about five years to make the conversion in all 200 or so Minnesota cities where the utility provides street lighting, MPR News reports.
LED streetlights are already being tested in some areas and seem to be getting good reviews. A city council member in West St. Paul tells KSTP that lowering both energy consumption and maintenance needs "make it a win for our community."
The Star Tribune reports the request in Minnesota is part of a five-year, $100 million streetlight upgrade Xcel is planning in all eight states it serves.