With help from a Nebraska Energy Office grant, Central City is going green, and saving money.
In a time when city and county governments are working with tight budgets, Central City is saving money through energy efficiency. The city has converted all street light bulbs to LED lights.
City Administrator Chris Anderson says it's a change most people wouldn't notice right away.
"It is a different light, an old street light has a globe to it, this is a little bit more like shining a flashlight at the ground," Anderson says.
But he says the small change has made a big difference in the city's budget.
"We're anticipating about $20,000 a year in savings off of the project," Anderson says. "So we have a project with a two year payback which is a really great thing for us."
Just a couple months after the installation, Electric Superintendent Sid Lewis says they're already seeing huge cutbacks in energy use.
Lewis says the 400 new LED light bulbs throughout town will also last about five times longer than the previous bulbs.
"The bulbs were good for about three years, so hopefully we can get 15 years out of these lights without having to do anything with the lights," Lewis says.
It's just one way the city is going green.
"It's been a focus in Central City to reduce the amount of energy that we consume in town," Anderson says. "We want to see people reduce the amount of electricity that they use. That keeps more money in town."
Central City is just one Nebraska community taking advantage of the Nebraska Energy Office's Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant program. Broken Bow, Blair, Gothenburg and Holdrege have also added energy efficient lights to their city streets, and more towns are hoping to get on board.
Anderson says he's received numerous inquiries from other towns asking about the program.