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EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – There’s a huge upgrade in technology for Ameren Illinois customers; one that they will notice right away. It offers safer neighborhoods and lower energy costs. 

Approximately 350,000 LED street lights are being installed across the Ameren Illinois service area for free. 

“It took us a while to get them but we got them,” East St. Louis Mayor Robert Eastern III said. 

Eastern said residents on Market Street have been pleading for better outdoor lighting for years now they finally have it. 

“It means a lot,” Eastern said. 

Nearly 1,200 new LED lights are being installed in Metro East right now, many are placed in underserved communities. The lights will save towns money on their electric bills, offering not only safety but higher visibility as well. 

“It reduces energy usage up to 65 percent and these lights last up to three time longer than the older technology,” said Paula Nixon, an Ameren Illinois spokeswoman.

Communities will have more money to spend on other pressing problems.

“We have some issues with potholes in this area,” Eastern said. 

Ameren Illinois expects to complete the huge lighting project in about four years. 

“It makes me feel safe and good we need lights all the lights we can see,” said Casandra Carpenter, an East St. Louis resident. 

At the end of this year, Ameren will have installed 50,000 of 350,000 of the new lights.

“I think the East St. Louis Police Department is very excited being able to come down the street that is not dark it helps them do their job with more efficiency,” Easter said.