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OPPD crews install energy-efficient LED lights Thursday along Harvell Drive across from Bellevue East High School. OPPD plans to install 100,000 such lights during the next five years in all 13 counties within its coverage area.

OPPD crews are replacing Bellevue’s sodium streetlights with new, energy-efficient light-emitting diode lights, commonly known as LED lights.

Members of the Bellevue City Council began pushing for the transition in 2015 before fully committing to the changeover in July 2018.

A news release from OPPD said about 100,000 lights will be replaced during the next five years across OPPD’s coverage area, which embraces 13 counties in eastern Nebraska.

Of that number, 26,000 lights are expected to be replaced this year.

Lower utility bills are expected to result from the transition.

Bellevue City Councilman Don Preister, who led the charge to switch to LED lights, has estimated the city’s OPPD bill could fall $300,000 from its current level of $1 million a year.

The total cost of the changeover was expected to reach $39 million, although the OPPD news released said reductions in technology costs may reduce that figure.

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