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Mayor Proposes Two Energy-Saving Initiatives

Municipality of Anchorage

P.O. Box 196650
Anchorage, Alaska 99519-6650
Telephone: (907) 343-7100
Fax: (907) 343-7180
Email :
Mark Begich, Mayor



Jenny Evans, 343-7103
July 29, 2008 Communications Director

Mayor Mark Begich today introduced two energy-saving initiatives, one of which will use 50 percent less energy and save the city $360,000 annually. The two initiativesinclude a Sustainable Building Ordinance that will move the city to more efficient buildings and an initiative to upgrade city streetlights with high-efficiency LED fixtures.

“The two initiatives outlined today prove that we are serious about reducing energy usage in our community,” said Mayor Begich. “Our efforts not only improve our bottom line, but will also create a healthier environment for our citizens.”

The Sustainable Building Ordinance was developed in consultation with citizens, local design professionals, developers and builders. The ordinance requires public buildings to meet high performance building standards known as Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). It also provides a fee-reduction incentive for private construction that meets LEED or National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) standards.

“In the U.S., buildings account for 39 percent of energy usage. The adoption of this ordinance will move us closer toward constructing our buildings to a standard of high performance,” said Peter Briggs, local landscape architect and chair of the Sustainable Building Initiative steering committee. “This standard will not only result in lower energy bills, but will contribute to healthier working and learning environments, and the preservation of our unique Alaskan ecologies.”

The streetlight initiative will retrofit all 16,000 Anchorage roadway lights with high efficiency LED fixtures. Today’s action is the appropriation of $2.2 million enabling the city to purchase enough LED fixtures to change out roughly one-quarter of Anchorage’s streetlights. After studying new lighting technology extensively, the city conducted a lighting conference and public survey in March of this year to determine the best lighting application for Anchorage’s roadways.

Once installed, the LED lights use 50 percent less energy than current streetlights, saving the city $360,000 annually at today’s energy prices. The LED fixtures also last up to seven times longer than high pressure sodium fixtures, allowing the city to better utilize maintenance resources.

Anchorage is leading the way for communities across the country to upgrade streetlight technology, and is today announcing it participation in the LED City™ program. The LED City program is an international program that promotes the deployment of energy-efficient LED lighting. Anchorage joins Raleigh, NC; Toronto, ON; Ann Arbor, MI; Austin, TX; Tianjin, China, and Torraca, Italy, in leading the LED lighting revolution by proactively evaluating and deploying LED light where it can provide better light quality and significant energy and maintenance cost savings over older technologies.

“Anchorage has approximately 85 days a year with less than eight hours of daylight. Winter Solstice averages five hours of daylight so it is appropriate that this high profile community be at the forefront of adopting energy efficient lighting,” notes Deb Lovig, Cree LED City program manager. “Cree and the other LED Cities worldwide are excited to welcome Anchorage into the program and look forward to learning from this initial installation and others as the city pushes forward for energy and maintenance savings with LED lighting.”

The Sustainable Building Ordinance will be introduced to the Assembly today and a public hearing is expected in August. The streetlight appropriation is also being introduced on July 29 and will appear on the Assembly’s consent agenda on August 12. If approved, we can expect delivery of the fixtures in October, just in time to install them for the winter season.

Cree and LED City are registered trademarks of Cree, Inc.