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Why It’s Dark Outside

Cities are cutting their energy bills.

If you go outside and find your streetlights off, it could mean two things. First, there’s black out. Second, there’s no black out – your city may just be one of the many areas cutting down their energy bills and reducing their generation of greenhouse gasses. USA Today lists the following:

• In July, Santa Rosa, Calif., started a two-year effort to remove 6,000 of the city’s 15,000 streetlights. An additional 3,000 will be placed on a timer that shuts lights off from midnight to 5:30 a.m. Savings: $400,000 a year.

• Dennis, Mass., on Cape Cod, is considering shutting off 832 lights to save $50,000 a year.

• Montgomery, Pa., had its police department choose which lights would go. The town turned off 31 lights, one-third of the total, to save $6,000.

• South Portland, Maine, joined several other Maine towns when the City Council voted to turn off 112 lights, saving $20,000 a year.

• In Minnesota, cities and towns are starting to charge “streetlight fees” to cover the cost. Northfield, Minn., a city of 19,000 will decide next month whether to add a $2.25 streetlight fee to monthly water and sewer bills. More than 30 Minnesota towns have added the fee.

For environmental and budgetary reasons, this is a good solution. But still, there are consequences. How are you supposed to maintain clear visibility every time you go out? In fact, illumination is much needed by senior citizens and children too.

This makes us wonder that if a homebuyer is considering a two-bedroom option in Dennis, MA, wouldn’t the “light issue” deter him from pursuing his plan? Unless of course if he’s a member of Green Peace. It’s a double-edged sword if you ask us.

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