The United States Conference of Mayors just completed their 2016 Winter Meeting in Washington D.C. With 279 mayors in attendance, there were a wide range of subjects and issues to tackle, not the least of which was Energy. Perhaps one of the the most remarkable outcomes was that, when surveyed, it was found that by an overwhelming margin, LED and other energy-efficient lighting was the current top priority for the mayors’ implementation plans for helping their cities.
The survey also revealed that more than 10 cities are making LED/energy efficient lighting technology their #1 goal in the next 24 months with 41% of the respondents saying it was the top priority. This is up from just two years ago when LED lighting only garnered 29% of city mayors’ attention. Solar electricity and low-energy buildings came in at 18% and 17 % of top priority, according to the survey, about the same percentage as in 2014.
Top Priority Energy Technologies for U.S. Cities
Source: United States Conference of Mayors
Additionally, the U.S. mayors called on Congress and presidential candidates to invest and protect America’s cities and their metropolitan areas by accelerating deployment in these and other energy technologies.
Public buildings and outdoor lighting remain the top services that cities are targeting for improved energy efficiency and reduced energy consumption, with 77% of cities directing their energy efforts to public buildings and 65% prioritizing outdoor lighting.
The biggest challenges faced by the mayors are budget and funding constraints, the high up-front costs of energy efficient technology and lack of federal funding.
Jon Mitchell, chairman of the Conference’s Energy Committee and mayor of New Bedford, Massachusetts stated, “Mayors continue to lead the way on innovation and deploying new technologies in their cities. And, the survey findings show that they could do much more if they had better partners helping cities accelerate the deployment of these technologies which we know as so vital to reducing carbon emissions and energy use throughout the U.S.”
The mayors say the energy savings initiatives are practical solutions to help reduce energy consumption and help climate goals, yet the commitment from other members of the government are not enough to help mayors and cities to do more.
The good news is that, although some municipalities may be having difficulty with funding LED upgrades, CES has multiple financing programs that can make LED lighting for businesses and municipalities a reality sooner rather than later. Payments are often LESS than what is already budgeted and paid in electric and maintenance costs. It’s a fact that often, even with financing, the result is a positive cash flow. Then in a relatively short amount of time, the return on investment is realized and one sees the lighting expenses drop drastically after any financing is paid off.
The energy efficiency evolution continues in all sectors of life and continues to be driven forward, in large, by LED lighting. It’s not difficult to understand why these U.S. mayors find it so important when you simply look at money that can be saved and the great environmental advantages to be had but it’s not just for municipalities. It’s for individual businesses as well as individual homes so if you have not yet made the change to LED, it is definitely worth a close look.