THE Bulawayo City Council is forging ahead with plans to install energy-saving traffic lights that the local authority say will save it over 50% in electricity charges.
The savings are expected to boost the coffers of the struggling local authority that owes Zesa $37 million in outstanding payments as of January. Latest minutes of the Health, Housing and Education council committee show that council intends replacing the incandescent and halogen light bulbs with the light-emitting diode (LED) at 15 traffic intersections at a cost of $150 000.
“The director of engineering services reported that one of the strategic plans of the department was the replacement of obsolete traffic lights with energy saving LED lights that would save council a lot of money in energy costs and maintenance costs.
“During the 2014 financial year council intended to equip 15 traffic intersections and junctions with LED aspects and to replace 10 controllers to facilitate synchronisation of traffic flow.
“A budget of $150,000 had been allowed for this exercise . . .” the minutes read in part.
The LED technology was commissioned by the previous council led by former mayor Thaba Moyo in 2012.
According to reports, the LED system can save about 780 watts of electricity just for one street lighting pole apart from the low maintenance costs.
The council report added: “Over the years Bulawayo had seen unprecedented growth of its roads and road traffic, and as a result it was imperative for the city to provide safety by putting up traffic control measures.
“But the old traffic control technology came with a high electricity and maintenance bill and over the last ten years the city had had its fair share of problems due to economic stagnation and backward slide.”