ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability
Homepage About Members Supporters Themes Services News & Events Contact us

<< Back to: ICLEI e-News | issue 8, June - July 2007

Ann Arbor Wins Climate Innovation Invitational Award

The City of Ann Arbor (Michigan, U.S.A.) took home top honors at the ICLEI U.S.A. National Workshop (11-13 July 2007) in the Climate Innovation Invitational for their groundbreaking design and implementation of energy-efficient LED street lighting. As the recipient of this inaugural award launched by the ICLEI-U.S.A. Office, Ann Arbor receives $1,000 and the opportunity to present at the Sundance Summit: A Mayor’s Gathering on Climate Change in September. “We’re honored to receive this award and to be recognized for the hard work and positive results of our LED street lights project,” said Dave Konkle, Energy Coordinator in Ann Arbor who attended the workshop. “This was a remarkable team effort, from Mayor Heiftje to our lighting expert Mike Bergren.” The city was honored for its plans to switch the downtown street lights to LED lights, which use just a fraction of the electricity, in the next few years and is considering expanding the program across the city. The cost of the change will be paid back in energy cost savings within less than 5 years. A recent study by city officials in Ann Arbor found that about 25 percent of its energy budget was spent on traffic signals and streets lights, and of that almost all of it was due to street lighting. “ICLEI is pleased to crown Ann Arbor the winner in the first-ever Climate Innovation Invitational, and we thank them for their tremendous leadership on climate and sustainability,” said Ms Michelle Wyman, Executive Director of ICLEI-U.S.A. “Ann Arbor is one of the first cities to embrace this cutting-edge technology and determine how to make it work at the municipal level.” While cities across the country have taken the important step of converting traffic signals to LEDs, doing the same for street lighting is considered a largely untapped opportunity that can save tremendous amount of energy and money. The award was based on the projects’ innovative nature, cost-savings, potential or realized emissions reductions, and ability for other municipalities to adopt it. “We gathered together in Fayetteville to learn from one another and honor innovative solutions to the climate challenge,” said Ms Wyman. “One of the best aspects of the Ann Arbor LED street lighting project is the example it sets for other municipalities. We truly hope there is a domino effect based on Ann Arbor’s leadership and success.”