U.S. Mayors Look to Expand Energy Technologies in Nation’s Cities

WASHINGTON — Nearly 30 percent of U.S. cities will make LED and energy-efficient lighting a top priority over the next two years, according to a survey released at The U.S. Conference of Mayors (USCM) 82nd Winter Meeting.

Entitled Energy Efficiency and Technologies in America’s Cities, the survey reviewed 288 cities across the nation in order to gain understanding into city energy priorities. Approximately 67 percent of mayors reported that their respective cities would deploy new energy technologies over the next five years.

“This survey shows again how mayors are leaders in energy innovation, deploying new technologies, pursuing new efficiency systems, reducing their communities’ energy use and lowering costs for their taxpayers. Their best practices as well as the findings of this survey confirm that investing dollars in city energy efforts is a very good investment for the private sector and the nation,” said Scott Smith, USCM president and mayor of Mesa, Ariz., in a statement.

The survey was sponsored by one of the world’s largest lighting manufacturers, Phillips, which holds U.S. headquarters in Andover, Mass. LED lighting was considered the “most promising” energy conservation technologies by 82 percent of reporting cities.

“The impact of lighting on an urban environment cannot be underestimated. It is simply one of the most important steps that mayors can take to make their cities feel safer and meet the sustainability goals of the 21st century city,” said Bruno Biasiotta, president and CEO of Philips Lighting Americas, in a statement. “When we partner with forward-thinking communities, making their city buildings more energy-efficient, their streets brighter and safer, and turn darkened structures into iconic symbols of their cities, we not only aid in cost savings, urban recovery and civic pride, we provide truly meaningful innovations. Our survey results show that mayors recognize this and we can help them take action.”

Retrofitting public buildings was also a top priority in energy efficiency. Also, due to a recent upsurge in weather-associated power outages, three in four cities have plans in the works to keep vital city services operating during sustained outages. A reported 90 percent of cities would like to have such plans in place within three years.

The survey will assist in the growth of energy technologies throughout the country, according to Tom Cochran, UCSM CEO and executive director.

“This survey provides timely and useful information on how mayors are leading in ways that save taxpayers money, reduce dependency on foreign energy, curb harmful air emissions, and grow jobs, businesses and the economy,” he said in a statement. “With this survey data, we are establishing a record of local success that continues to build over time.”