Pennsylvania Convention Center project to slash power bill by 80%

pennsylvania convention center
The Pennsylvania Convention Center is going green.
Credit: Rikard Larma/Metro

The Pennsylvania Convention Center has undertaken a capital improvement project along its 12th Street perimeter that is estimated to slash its annual electricity bill by more than 80 percent.

The project, which entails replacing the metal halide lighting system in the 12th Street underpass between Race and Arch streets with 202 energy-efficient LED lights, is expected to reduce the center’s energy costs each year from $40,979 to $7,962.

“This is a capital improvement that will bring energy savings, increased and qualitatively better lighting for our customers, tourists, visitors and locals walking through the 12th Street underpass. The reduction of our maintenance costs is another added benefit,” Pennsylvania Convention Center President and CEO Ahmeenah Young, said in a statement.

“This is yet another example of our commitment to sustainability.”

The entire project is expected to be completed by mid-October, with a total estimated cost of about $70,000.

Convention Center officials project those funds will be recovered in just over two years through energy savings.

Plus, the new lights are expected to last at least four to five years before needing to be replaced, where the older bulbs needed replacement every six months to one year.

“We also plan to upgrade our interior meeting room lights which will add to visual clarity, cost savings and reduced energy usage,” Director of Engineering Stephen Shepper said in a release.

“The fluorescent flickering can be distracting to some people and this will significantly reduce that kind of issue.”

The convention center’s 2011 expansion received a LEED-GOld certification, and the western walkway along 12th Street has already received the new LED lights.

The center last year reduced electrical costs by about 34 percent, saving nearly $1 million by competitively procuring an energy supplier and adopting energy conservation measures.


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