Mayors throughout the nation want and need solutions for reducing their city's energy consumption and climate emissions. In January 2016, the United States Conference of Mayors (USCM) prepared and released the results from the survey: How Energy Technologies Are Reshaping America's Cities. The survey addresses how mayors are finding cost-effective ways to improve both energy and climate goals by utilizing specific technologies.
The USCM survey, commissioned by Phillips, determined that the three "most promising" technologies to help reduce/improve energy usage and lower carbon emissions, as cited by 91-percent of respondents, are:
- - LED (light-emitting diodes) lighting
- - Low-energy buildings
- - Solar electricity generation
The remaining nine percent of the survey respondents stated that one or two of these top technologies were their "most promising" as well.
LED Lighting Leads Way
LED/energy efficient lighting ranked as the energy technology receiving the highest priority from 41-percent of the mayors responding to the survey. These mayors place the deployment of LED lighting within the next two years as the top priority in conjunction with energy savings. The survey revealed more than four in five cities have deployed LED lighting within their infrastructure. Cities are using and plan to continue to use energy-efficient LED lighting in:
- - City-owned buildings (74%)
- - Street lights (73%)
- - Traffic lights (67%)
- - Public parking structures and lots (47%)
- - Athletic fields and public parks (31%)
- - Other (10%)
The USCM survey states, "More than three-quarters of all cities (77%) are directing their energy efficiency efforts to public buildings, with nearly two-thirds (64%) prioritizing outdoor lighting for improvements."
Nearly Half Plan to Implement LED Lighting
Out of the 178 respondents, 45-percent of the mayors report they currently have a plan to implement a more expansive application of LED lighting usage throughout their city. In addition, four out of five mayors place the retrofit of their city-owned buildings as one of the highest priorities for their energy efficiency improvement plans. These retrofits include the installation of LED lighting to reduce energy usage and improve their overall green impact.
Despite the cost savings energy efficient LED lighting, solar electricity, and low-energy buildings offer a city, it's funding that often makes it difficult for mayors to deploy these technologies. However, the long-term cost savings and proven energy-efficiency of LED lighting, solar electricity, and low-energy buildings make the implementation of these technologies essential if cities and the nation wish to improve both energy and climate goals.