News From Harlingen, Texas

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Hundreds of LED Lights Installed as Part of AEP Pilot Program

Harlingen, Texas– Many lights in highly traveled areas are shining brighter today thanks to an agreement with AEP Texas.  In February of 2018, the Harlingen City Commission approved an agreement with the electric company to replace 376 light fixtures with LED lights.


It’s part of a Pilot Program that AEP has made available to municipalities as an option to upgrade existing AEP High Pressure Sodium (HPS) Street lights the kind most commonly seen on roadways and parking lots.  The purpose is two-fold, first, it is an opportunity for AEP to create costs associated with this emerging technology as they make it available; and two, it’s an opportunity for customers such as the City of Harlingen to get better lights for less cost.


For each HPS light fixture, the City pays $15.40 per month.  The LED lights will cost $11.81 per unit so it’s a saving of $3.59 for each light.  Additionally, LED lights are known to be brighter, energy efficient, and have a lifespan of 10-15 years whereas the HPS lights last about five years.  This means the City will save even more money because the lights won’t have to be replaced as often.


The 376 lights identified by the City are along Harrison Avenue between the Frontage to Business 77; Tyler Avenue from the Frontage to Business 77; Dixieland Road between the Frontage and Lincoln Avenue; Business 77 between Loop 499 to SH 509; and Jackson Street from 4th  to Commerce.  They are being replaced in four phases with the City funding 100 lights yearly the first three years and the remaining 76 lights during the fourth year.


The conversion began the summer of 2018 and AEP has already completed the 200 budgeted for 2018 and 2019 at a cost of $51,615.21.


The new lights can be seen on Tyler Avenue where 76 were installed, on Harrison Avenue where 96 were converted, and on Jackson Street where 28 have been replaced.


Downtown business owner Bill Debrooke says they’ve noticed the difference and are simply thrilled with how much brighter the area looks. “OMG, the LED lights made a tremendous difference in lighting downtown Harlingen at night.  It is brighter downtown.”


Carlito’s Wine House Owner Luis Betancourt says the lights make downtown look like a whole new area.  “The change of street lamps from standard to LED has made it livelier in Downtown Harlingen and illuminates the entire atmosphere at night.”


Meantime, the proposed 2019-2020 Fiscal Year Budget includes funding for 100 more lights with the remaining 76 scheduled for conversion in 2021.  The pilot program allows for the rates to remain the same so the cost to the City to replace all 376 lights will not change.


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