Easton selectmen officially signed paperwork last week to purchase nearly 1,500 street lights from National Grid.
The $24,000 purchase, which was approved by Town Meeting voters in November, will eventually save the town an average of $75,000 a year, Department of Public Works Director David Field told selectmen.
Eliminating fees and charges to National Grid and taking on maintenance with town-hired contractors will be a huge savings, he said. National Grid will still be the energy provider.
"Right now, we pay about $112,000 in what’s called “facilities charges,” Field said. "When we buy these lights, those facilities charges go away. There are still about $7 or $8,000 dollars for some underground lights which we’re not purchasing at this time."
Field hopes owning the light fixtures will eventually allow the town to set up more energy-efficient LED lights, which will cut cost for the town in the long run.
While the town plans to set up a pilot program for LED lighting, it is not cost-saving at this time because National Grid has not set a tarrif rate for that type of lighting, Field said.
"NStar does have an LED tarrif rate and National Grid does not," Field said. "There are several communities in the National Grid service area that are looking for LED conversions so its something I hope will be coming sooner rather than later."
Town Administrator David Colton said he hopes Easton's delegation of State Senators and Representatives will be helpful with the issue.
"National Grid is a regulated public utility and the legislative delegation can be helpful in getting them to move," he said.