MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Xcel Energy has proposed a plan to replace about 100,000 company-owned streetlights across the state with energy efficient LEDs, a move which the company says would save Minnesota communities both money and energy.

In a press release Thursday, the company said the proposal needs to be approved by the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission. If that happens, Xcel said the cost of replacing streetlights will be built into the proposed rate, so there’ll be no upfront costs to communities.

“We know customers and communities we serve want to save energy and money,” said Chris Clark, president of Northern States Power, an Xcel company. “This plan will help do both.”

As part of the press release, Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges said she looks forward to working with Xcel in making the City of Lakes greener.

“Reducing energy usage in our community is a top priority for me, and Xcel Energy’s move to make streetlights in our city more energy efficient is commendable,” she said.

LEDs produce more light per watt than regular lights, and they also have a longer lifespan. On top of that, the light they give off has a daylight quality, making it easier on the eyes.

Xcel Energy said its recently tested LED streetlights in the community of West St. Paul. The pilot program upgraded 537 streetlights with LEDs, and the result was a “significant reduction” in energy use.

On top of that, local officials said the LEDs improved nighttime visibility without being too bright.

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