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Environment & Energy

Energy Consumption to Drop at URA Parking Garages Thanks to Lighting Upgrades

In an effort to bring down energy usage and cost, the Urban Redevelopment Authority of Pittsburgh (URA) is planning to upgrade the lighting at five of its parking garages: one at the Pittsburgh Technology Center and four at Southside Works.

The URA and Green Building alliance will allocate $1 million for an upgrade to LED lights. That's after an engineering study showed it would be beneficial.

“If we invest the funds to convert our lighting to LED it will save us significantly on our electric bill and more importantly to save significantly on energy,” said David Thomas, asset manager with the URA.

The move is expected to save 2.1 million kilowatt hours per year – that’s the equivalent of the annual electricity use of 200 Pittsburgh households, in addition to the financial benefit.

“For the approximately million dollar investment to convert our five garages, we’ll receive an immediate return of about $170,000 a year savings on our electric bill,” said Thomas.

That means the URA and GBA could recoup the initial investment in five years. Thomas said that will also help avoid price hikes at the garages.

“What it will enable us to do is to moderate increases over time,” he said.

The new lighting will not only be more energy efficient, Thomas said it will also be brighter. The conversion was also done in partnership with the city of Pittsburgh, and is a part of Pittsburgh 2030 District’s goal for 50 percent in energy consumption by the year 2030 citywide.