Dozens of New Jersey towns and cities are looking forward to a brighter new year thanks to a partnership with the state Board of Public Utilities.

The BPU is spending millions of dollars to help communities across the Garden State upgrade their streetlights with LED technology.

According to BPU Commissioner Joe Fiordaliso, federal dollars through the New Jersey Clean Energy Program is being used to help Atlantic City replace more than 8,600 streetlights with LED streetlights, and projects are moving forward in several other New Jersey locations.

He said the new LED streetlights give towns an opportunity “to save a considerable amount of money, and of course the taxpayer is the one who benefits. It reduces energy consumption by over 50 percent."

With LED lighting installed, Atlantic City will save about $200,000 annually.

The Board of Public Utilities is also working with Hammonton, Beach Haven, Pleasantville, Ventnor City, New Hanover Township, Berlin Borough, Clementon, Gloucester Township, Lindenwold, Pine Hill, Stratford and Winslow.

According to a BPU spokesman other towns that are considering a conversion to LED lighting include:

Buena Vista
Upper Pittsgrove
Franklin Township
North Wildwood
Cape May

He said other towns that are moving ahead with plans to upgrade their lighting include:

Ocean Township
Key Port
Fair Haven
Old Bridge
Pemberton Township

So where does the money to fund these projects come from?

“The BPU gets its money primarily from the Societal Benefits Charge, which each one of us pays when we pay our electric bill,” said Fiordaliso.

He also pointed out through ongoing efforts to use renewable energy, “New Jersey believe it or not, has one of the lowest CO2 compositions in its air of any state in the union.”

He said that LED streetlights, besides saving taxpayers money, have another benefit.

“It will make communities safer because the lighting is actually brighter. The brighter the lighting, statistics have shown and studies have shown, the less crime that’s committed.”

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