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Long Beach boardwalk lights going green

Long Beach's boardwalk is 2.5 miles long and

Long Beach's boardwalk is 2.5 miles long and serves as the venue for many events. It also boasts a bicycle route. (June 21, 2011) Photo Credit: T.C. McCarthy

All 98 lights along the city’s boardwalk soon will be refitted with energy-efficient lightbulbs and new fixtures, thanks in large part to a $500,000 grant from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

The city council already had plans in motion to replace 762 lights throughout the community with more energy-efficient lightbulbs as part of a resolution to spend $416,570 of the grant. Then the city decided to swap out all 98 boardwalk lights as part of the same grant for an additional $43,120.

Spokesman Gordon Tepper said the city received the grant money last year. He said the new lightbulbs are “significantly” more energy-efficient and cost less to maintain. “The city will recover most of the money spent in short order,” he said.

Under the terms of the grant, the city will be reimbursed for 93.5 percent of the costs. Tepper said the cost to the city will be $2,800 for all the boardwalk light replacements.

“This cuts our kilowatt hour use by 1,309 kilowatt hours per year, and that equates to $2,700 [in savings] in the first year,” Tepper said. “The bulbs last five times longer, and have 100,000 burning hours.”

City Council vice president Len Torres called it “a remarkable” return on investment. “We’ll just about make our money back in the first year,” he said. “Going green pays dividends.”

The project to replace the boardwalk lights will begin in April and should be completed by Memorial Day weekend, Tepper said. The citywide lighting project is expected to be completed by the end of June.

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