We take it for granted that outdoor lights are there to help keep America moving after the sun goes down. But the outdoor lighting when you drive your car down the road at night, cheer for your favorite baseball team, or load groceries into your car after work uses energy and takes a bite out of budgets in cities and towns across the country.
Outdoor lighting in the U.S. will consume enough energy to power 6 million homes this year, costing cities about $10 billion annually.
That is why we are working with mayors to deploy the latest technologies to determine how best to light their cities while saving money. Using today's new technologies, local governments can cut their outdoor lighting bills by 50 percent or more. Today we are launching the Presidential Challenge for Advanced Outdoor Lighting, and tripling the DOE Better Buildings program goal of upgrading 500,000 poles to 1.5 million, to encourage more mayors to lead their cities with this win-win solution.
Through the Better Buildings Outdoor Lighting Accelerator, the Presidential Challenge for Advanced Outdoor Lighting will work with dozens of municipalities to accelerate the adoption and use of high-efficiency outdoor lighting, driving carbon pollution reductions in communities across the nation. Given that streetlight systems can account for up to 60 percent of a city’s electric utility bill, more are taking advantage of the savings that come with upgrading outdoor lighting.
LED light bulbs are an example of a lighting success story that, when taken to the streets, makes a lot of sense. The technology has rapidly improved over the past several years, and the price has dropped. As the technology advances, communities are installing LEDs, and showcasing market acceptance and satisfaction with the technology. Some communities are showing even greater energy savings — as much as 70 percent more with lighting controls. Together with new light bulbs, advanced lighting systems are paying off.
We are excited to recognize the cities stepping up to the President’s Outdoor Lighting Challenge. Through the Better Buildings Outdoor Lighting Accelerator, we are combining the technical expertise at the Energy Department with the shared experiences across a network of leading cities — which you can be a part of — to accelerate the deployment of highly efficient lighting, while helping you realize energy and cost savings for your communities.