By Jim Melwert

NORRISTOWN, Pa. (CBS) — Thirty-five municipalities across the Philadelphia suburbs are getting new street lights in a collaborative effort that organizers say will save taxpayers millions.

More than 26,000 new street lights will be installed in each of the four suburban counties in a cooperative effort headed up by the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission.

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“By pooling their collective buying power, these 35 municipalities are achieving economies of scale in purchasing, construction and finance, resulting in lower upfront costs for each municipality,” said DVRPC Chairwoman and Montgomery County Commissioner Val Arkoosh.

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Stephanie Teoli Kuhls, township manager for Middletown Township Bucks County, says the savings from the LED lights means their $1.3 million project will have paid for itself in 11 years.

“For those of us in municipal government, our energy costs are really made up primarily of street light costs, 60-70 percent.”

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DVRPC says in addition to $1.4 million in annual savings, the new LED lights will also see an annual reduction of 5,500 metric tons of CO2 emissions.