Cities in northeastern Ontario are hoping that outfitting streetlights with light-emitting diode bulbs will save taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars every year.

That would be welcome news for the city of Greater Sudbury, whose electricity bill runs more than $1 million per year.

"The purchase price of the LED lights is considerably more than the incandescent light bulb," said Greg Clausen, general manager of infrastructure.

"But with the fact that the power consumption costs are only about a third [of incandescent bulbs], over a number of years there will be a payback."

Sudbury plans to move to LED bulbs gradually, and will take a few years to do so. But over in North Bay, the light bulb change will be much faster.

North Bay will spend $2.3 million to make every streetlight bulb to LED, by the end of the year.

John Severino, North Bay's manager of environmental services, said the public doesn't pay much attention to street lighting.

"It's probably one of those things you don't really notice, except when the light goes out," he said.

But Severino says once every bulb has been changed, the city's power bill should be $200,000 lighter.

"It's not one of those items that is talked about very much, but realizing savings in today's environment is very important,’ he said.