With funding from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant, the City is converting 55,000 yellow and green incandescent traffic signals to energy efficient LEDs. The City’s red traffic signals were converted to LEDs when the technology became available in the 1990s. Streets Department technicians will also replace the 30,000 red signals that have now reached the end of their useful life. These high-efficiency bulbs will save the City approximately one million dollars a year in electricity costs. The City will be additionally rewarded for its energy efficiency efforts with a rebate payment from the PECO Smart Ideas program.
The City is also striving to reduce energy use at municipal facilities. The Streets Department is building the City’s first project designed to LEED standards, which is scheduled to be completed in 2011, and the City has six additional LEED projects planned. In 2010 the City won a grant from the State for over $400,000 to help renovate six recreation centers with modern lighting and controls. These updates will save the City over $100,000 annually in electricity costs and serve as models for replication across the recreation system.
To support additional energy reducing projects, the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability (MOS) established an Energy Efficiency Fund (EEF) to help departments implement high payback energy efficiency projects. Applications chosen for funding include lighting renovations and HVAC improvements, and all the projects will exemplify how the City can invest in its assets and save money. MOS will monitor energy and cost savings at project sites using its energy management database. Another round of EEF applications is planned for summer 2011. Finally, the City will complete an Investment Grade Audit of four large downtown buildings to prioritize energy conservation measures.