This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

April 13, 2011

How Energy Efficiency is "Lighting Up" the Streets of Philadelphia

President Obama has made building a secure, prosperous energy future a top priority. On April 6, the President held a town hall meeting just outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at the Gamesa Technology Corporation, a manufacturer of large-scale wind turbines, to further discuss our energy future. President Obama has proposed an ambitious, but achievable, goal of generating 80% of our electricity from clean energy sources by 2035. This includes sources like wind, produced in part by Gamesa turbines, as well as other renewables, natural gas, clean coal, and nuclear power.

The City of Brotherly Love certainly hasn't been shy about scaling up their energy efficiency efforts, namely through the Greenworks Philadelphia project. As part of the project, the Philadelphia Streets Department is converting 58,000 yellow and green traffic signals to light-emitting diodes (LEDs), in addition to replacing the approximately 27,000 red LED lights that have come to the end of their useful life. The project will use approximately $3 million in Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant funds, matched with $3 million in PECO (Public Education Capital Outlay) funding, and will save the city approximately $1 million in electric costs each year. Other goals of the larger Greenworks Philadelphia project include by 2015 generating 20% of citywide electricity from renewable sources, diverting 70% of solid waste from landfills, and reducing vehicle miles traveled by 10% from 2005 levels. See the Energy Blog post and the Greenworks Philadelphia website.