Township of Severn: LED Streetlight Replacement and LED Signage at Washago Community Centre

Municipal Profile

Severn is a rural township in south-central Ontario, located in the Severn Sound watershed between Lake Couchiching, and the Severn River (both are part of the Trent–Severn Waterway) in Simcoe County. The current township was founded on January 1, 1994, as part of the restructuring of Simcoe County, by amalgamating the village of Coldwater with the townships of Matchedash and Orillia, plus portions of the townships of Medonte and Tay. The current population is approximately 12,377 (+2.9% from 2006, Statistics Canada, 2011), and growth projections indicate that the Township’s population will increase by 5,200 during the period of 1996-2016, with the majority of that growth to be located to the communities of Coldwater, Washago, and Westshore.

Project Name and Description

The Township put in Light Emitting Diode (LED) Signage at Washago Community Centre, 4361 Hamilton Street, Washago, ON, with the signage maintenance and updates being managed by the volunteers of the Washago Community Centre, per the Township’s Municipal Signage and Outdoor Notice Board policies. The installation of the sign was contracted to Paul Leskew and Associates, with the key responsibilities to supply and install the LED sign and sign ‘topper’* structure and supply and install ground support system per the Townships Request for Quotation #REC - 2016 - 03.

Date of Implementation

July, 2016 (LED Signage)
On-Going (LED Streetlight Replacement)

Project Goals

The replacement of the Township’s streetlights with LED technology will result in the street lighting network consuming 182,723 kWh as opposed to 383,421 kWh before the upgrade. This represents a 52% total reduction in street lighting energy use, reducing energy consumption and minimizing the Township’s ecological impact.
The installation of the sign reduces the staff time allocated to managing the signage, and also promotes the use of energy efficiency technologies within the Township, establishing Council and staff as sustainability leaders in the community and delivering
on their Energy Efficiency Project as outlined in their Energy Management Plan.
The Energy Management Plan identifies the replacement of streetlights and signage with LED’s per the Energy Efficiency Project, with ‘new Installations taking into account new technologies and industry trends’, plus in regards to on-going maintenance – all
street/traffic lights when repaired or replaced shall upgrade to LED lighting.

Strategic Plan Linkages

Fiscal Responsibility: Cost Sharing Partnerships
‘Any projects where multiple partnerships are available should be pursued. The partnerships would be with other levels of government and/or private sources.’

Service Excellence: Meeting the Needs of the Public in a Professional and Supportive Manner and Timely Fashion


What was your municipalities’ main reason for moving this project forward? Who was the biggest champion for the project?

The signage at the Township’s facilities and parks was in need of updating, and has been identified as a priority in the Parks and Recreation Master Plan. Also, staff are required to visit multiple facilities to change messaging and manage the boards, and by partnering with the Washago Seniors Organization, staff can reallocate their time to other tasks while the volunteers have more control over advertising and community information which is shared with the community.

Financial Considerations

What was the cost of the project? How was the project funded? Internally or externally? If externally, where was the support acquired (i.e., grant program, community donations, multiple methods)?

The total LED Streetlight project costs was originally estimated by Realterm Energy Corporation at $430,633, and was revised to $382,878 based on a $67,723 financial incentive from the Independent Electricity Service Operators (IESO). The Washago Community Centre Seniors Organization provided $4,000 to contribute to the purchase of the keyboard and monitor needed to manage the sign messaging with the Township contributing $16,000 for the contracted services from Paul Leskew and Associates from Orillia.

Measures of Success/Impacts

Current Status Before Upgrade After Upgrade Variance Percent
Number of Fixtures
  • 744
  • 744
  • 0
  • 0
Annual Electricity Consumption (kWh)
  • 383,421
  • 182,723
  • 200,698
  • 52%
Annual Electricity Costs
  • $76,654
  • $37,625
  • $39,229
  • 51%
Annual Maintenance Cost (5 yr. avg.)
  • $37,158
  • $7,432
  • $29,727
  • 80%
Total Street Lights Expenditures 60% 43.
  • $114,012
  • $45,057
  • $68,955
  • 60%
Average Annual Cost per Fixture
  • $153
  • $61
  • $93
  • 60%

Retrieved from,%202015.pdf

Project Rationale (Summary)

Why would you encourage other municipalities to adopt/implement a similar practice?

The Townships streetlight network consists of 744 fixtures, which use approximately 383,421 kWh of electricity per year, resulting in an expense of $76,654. By switching to LEDs, the municipality can save over 50% in costs, while also reducing the electricity demand by 50%, or 200,698 kWh per year.

As a smaller, rural municipality, the Township’s signage and facilities can at times be located a fair distance from another. Not only can the use of LEDs reduce the need for staff time in managing the signage, it reduces the travel required to do so – thereby reducing fuel use ad reducing the Township’s greenhouse gas emissions. Plus, LED signage has other long-term and life-cycle benefits, including:

    • Energy Efficiency (in comparison to other lighted signs or floods on a static sign),
    • Aesthetically Pleasing and a Visual Example of the Municipalities’ Sustainability Commitment,
    • Easy to Maintain (no changing of letters, height work, reduced transportation),
    • Durable (as LED’s are not made of glass) than other available illuminated signage,
    • Life expectancy of an LED sign ranges from 40k to 50k hours all pending upon the environment (high temperatures can reduce life expectancy), and
    • Functionality (LED signs include many different aspects of having the ability to use different types of substrates, programming with animations, and the ability to externally dim as needed).

Municipal Contact Information

  • W. Henry Sander
  • Chief Administrative Officer
  • P.O. Box 159
  • 1024 Hurlwood Lane
  • Orillia, ON
  • L3V 6J3
  • E:
  • P: 705.325.2315 x. 227
  • Patricia J. Harwood
  • Manager of Recreation and Facilities
  • P.O. Box 159
  • 1024 Hurlwood Lane
  • Orillia, ON
  • L3V 6J3
  • E:
  • P: 705.325.2315 x.253

Document Link or Attachment

Type of Case Study

☒Education and Outreach

☐Policy Adjustment or Development

☒Partnerships & Collaboration

☐Enforcements & Incentives

☒Implementation of Programs & Services

☒Facilities & Infrastructure Improvements

Website: Visit Site


1024 Hurlwood Lane
Orillia, Ontario, L3V 6H4