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San Diego city moneySAN DIEGO — The City of San Diego and General Electric announced Tuesday that a program to replace 3,000 street lamps around the downtown area with energy-efficient LED lighting is underway.

The new lights are expected to shine brighter while saving the city $254,000 annually in utility costs.

A digital system will provide status updates on the condition of the lights, and allow the Environmental Services Department to adjust the brightness of individual lamps.

“Light controls are going to be a game-changer for the city of San Diego,” said Interim Mayor Todd Gloria. “This innovation will provide us with real-time data on lights that are malfunctioning or not working at all, so communities can feel safe with improved lighting while the historic look of the lights is preserved.”

The $5.3 million project, due to be completed this spring, is being financed by state and federal loans and grants, and San Diego Gas & Electric rebate funds, according to the city.