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Cutting energy use a priority for Champaign

Think your home energy bills are rough? Try powering an entire city. Taxpayers in Champaign spend tens of thousands of dollars every month to keep the city running. There are the obvious costs, like heating, cooling and lighting at the police department, fire stations and City Building. On Oct. 6, the city paid a $5,834.41 power bill for the library. LED street lights use one-third the electricity of a traditional light, said Glen Berger, the city's traffic and lighting supervisor. The energy-saving lights also cost four times what a traditional light costs: $1,000 for LEDs compared to $250 for a traditional light. The expected payback on LED lights is about 15 to 20 years.

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