City offers an update on sustainability goals


The City of Philadelphia released an update on its progress detailing sustainability goals and the Citywide LED Street Lighting Conversion Project. 

The Office of Sustainability’s report details the city’s progress towards making it’s four primary goals: Expanding renewable energy, reducing energy use, reducing energy associated energy costs, and lowering carbon pollution. 

“This report highlights the progress that City departments have made towards our aggressive climate mitigation goals and show how the City continues to lead on climate,” Mayor Jim Kenney said in a release.

Some highlights from the report include that the city is officially on track for its carbon reduction goal of reducing climate change caused by carbon pollution by 50-percent by 2030. The goal is to reduce this via city facilities and street lighting. 

The report shared that the city’s emission shows a 33-percent reduction in carbon emissions from the 2006 starting point. 

The city is on track for a few other goals as well, such as reducing primary heat consumption, cutting greenhouse gas emissions, renewable electricity, and the total cost of energy.

Another notable highlight includes that the city and its partners are almost finished completing a multi-million-dollar energy investment at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The project is helping reduce energy, create diverse business opportunities, and aid in job creation. 

When it comes to electricity consumption, the city noted that it needs improvement. 

One of the big ways Philly is hoping to combat climate change is by the Citywide LED Street Lighting Conversion Project. The reports state that “converting the city’s more than 100,000 streetlights to LED lighting remains the single largest carbon-reducing energy efficiency project that City government can complete.”

Philly wants to replace all or most of the city-owned and operated streetlights with LED streetlights, which are energy efficient and low maintenance. This program will help city services be more effective via technology. 

“Projects like LED street lighting will sustain our progress while providing all Philadelphians with safer streets and better service,” Kenney added.

The City of Philadelphia, together with the Philadelphia Energy Authority, announced a Request for Qualifications (RFQ), which is the first phase of a procurement process for citywide LED street lighting conversion. The goal is to shorten a list of qualified vendors who can respond to a future Request for Proposals. The RFQ outlines all the steps for the project. 

The goal of the project is to improve public lighting throughout the city. They will help lower the cost of overall street lighting and reduce carbon pollution. 

“Data from other cities shows that converting our streetlights to LED will have a significant impact on gun violence, public safety and quality of life in neighborhoods citywide,” Council President Darrell Clarke said in a release. “That it also has a huge impact on the environment and pays for itself through energy savings makes it a win-win for all Philadelphians.”

Although the city is making big strides when it comes to streetlights, 105,000 of them still use older technology. 

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