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SEATTLE — On Saturday, the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) adopted Mayor Mike McGinn’s resolution endorsing the nationwide use of LED streetlights at the group’s annual meeting in Orlando. The resolution, sponsored by McGinn and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, recognizes the inefficiency of our nation’s 26.5 million streetlights and how converting to LEDs would contribute to established goals of greenhouse gas reduction, energy conservation and cost savings.
According to U.S. Department of Energy estimates, the energy to operate streetlights across the country costs tax payers over $2 billion annually. The resolution acknowledges how a number of U.S. cities are faced with the choice of turning off streetlights due to their high costs, or reducing funding to other city services, such as police and fire. Some cities that have adopted LED streetlights reduced costs by as much as 50 percent.
“The City of Seattle is already saving $1.2 million annually by using LEDs on some residential streets and expects savings of $2.4 million when all residential streets have been converted by the end of 2014,” said McGinn. “Greater use of this technology makes sense to cut costs and meet greenhouse gas reduction goals. I thank Mayor Villaraigosa for his continued national leadership on this effort to make our country’s infrastructure more sustainable for the environment and city budgets.”
“Seattle City Light recognized the benefits of LED street lighting early on. That is why we have chosen to aggressively implement the technology and welcomed the opportunity to lead the U.S. Department of Energy’s Municipal Solid-State Street Lighting Consortium,” City Light Superintendent Jorge Carrasco said.
Among others, the resolution was cosponsored by Mayor of San Francisco Ed Lee, Mayor of Boston Thomas M. Menino, Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of Philadelphia Michael A. Nutter, Mayor of Portland, Oregon Sam Adams, Mayor of Tucson Jonathan Rothschild and mayor of St. Louis Francis G. Slay.
McGinn and Consortium Director Edward Smalley addressed the USCM’s Energy Independence and Jobs Taskforce on the benefits of LED street lighting to garner support for the resolution.
“The benefits of LED street lighting now outweigh the costs and the time is right to convert,” Smalley said. “The experience of early adopters has shown how this technology can positively change the landscape of the American night sky while enhancing safety on streets and in neighborhoods.”