Highly Efficient Sports Lighting Slashes Energy Use by Nearly 50 Percent for City of Vestavia Hills, Ala.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Highly Efficient Sports Lighting Slashes Energy Use by Nearly 50 Percent for
City of Vestavia Hills, Ala.
City receiving Trane Energy Efficiency Leader Award
Vestavia Hills, Ala., July 10, 2014 – City leaders in Vestavia Hills, Ala., report that replacement of outdated lighting with highly efficient illumination at the city’s sports fields, pool and tennis courts is generating a nearly 50 percent decrease in energy usage. Leaders also anticipate that the more efficient, robust lighting systems could potentially reduce maintenance costs by up to $5,000 a month.
Prior to the upgrades, some of the city’s outdated fixtures were nearly 30 years old. With better concentrated lighting a result of the upgrades, the city has been able to reduce the number of fixtures from 1,400 to a little over 700, drastically reducing electricity costs. The city’s limited maintenance staff, previously required to visit each park on a schedule to turn the lights on and off, now uses automated controls on the new lighting system to complete the job remotely, saving manpower and electricity.
The lighting, which was provided by the city’s lighting contractors, Musco Lighting, has improved safety for players and increased visibility for fans, making the city more competitive in its bids for sports tournaments, while helping to increase local revenues. No capital outlay was required for the project so the city has been able to use its limited funds for other needed expenditures.
The city funded the improvements with a performance contract, which allowed the city to use future energy and operational savings to finance the infrastructure improvements up front. Performance contracting is a funding option that provides measurable business results to support strategic objectives.
“We’re pleased that the improved lighting has so significantly increased visibility and safety while saving the city money,” said Brian Davis, director of public services for Vestavia Hills, Ala. “It’s even better that we were able to use future energy and operational savings to fund the improvements without capital outlay.”
In recognition of the city’s commitment to energy and operational efficiency and sustainability, Trane, a leading global provider of indoor comfort solutions and services and a brand of Ingersoll Rand, is presenting the city with the “Energy Efficiency Leader Award.”
Details of the award and speaking presentations:
- The award will be presented at the city council meeting on Monday, July 14 at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 513 Montgomery Hwy, Vestavia Hills, AL 35216
- Chuck Bowers, area manager for Trane, will present the award to Butch Zaragoza, mayor of Vestavia Hills
Prior to implementing the improvements, the city authorized a detailed audit of lighting at the city’s sports facilities. To meet desired objectives, a citywide replacement of sports lighting was recommended with the use of the performance contract suggested as the way to finance the needed upgrades.
The city was able to obtain a low-rate Federal Qualified Energy Conservation Bond to finance the project. With the anticipated energy and operational savings, the financing was structured to provide positive cash flow within one year.
Upgrades included replacing old wooden poles at the Cahaba Heights Sports Complex in Vestavia Hills, Ala. The project team installed underground wiring along with the new advanced lighting equipment. The lighting systems require little maintenance and feature fixtures designed to withstand 150 mile-per-hour winds. With no need to change ballasts or to reposition lights after the areas frequent thunderstorms, maintenance costs have been drastically reduced.
The new lighting concentrates the lights where illumination is needed most. Team coaches report that the well-lit fields improve safety on the playing fields by increasing visibility and making it less likely for outfielders to lose the ball in blinding light. The brighter, better-directed illumination also improves the fans’ experience, allowing the city to more competitively bid for area sports tournaments.
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About the City of Vestavia Hills, Ala.
A progressive, lively city that captures fine southern hospitality, the City of Vestavia Hills is one of Alabama’s fastest growing, most prosperous cities with over 36,000 residents. The city is recognized in the Birmingham metropolitan region for its excellent schools, high median household income and quality of life. Vestavia Hills also boasts one of the best transportation systems in the Southeast, an educated workforce and a system of sports facilities that are a model for other cities. The city’s Parks and Recreation Department offers sports leagues for children, including football, soccer, softball, baseball, cheerleading, tennis, swimming and lacrosse.
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