Bikers, joggers and power-walkers enjoying the Slow Streets program in Golden Gate Park will now have another reason to cheer—enhanced, energy-efficient lighting along popular paths in the park.
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) partnered with the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department to purchase and install over 400 light-emitting diodes (LEDs) for historic fixtures in Golden Gate Park along popular paths like Martin Luther King, Jr. and John F. Kennedy Drives. The warmer, white light will better illuminate paths for park revelers, which will become increasingly more important as the sun sets earlier during the upcoming winter months.
In addition to enhanced safety, the new lights are good for the environment and the City’s pocketbook, too. The LEDs consume on average 50 percent less energy than standard lightbulbs and are powered by the SFPUC’s Hetch Hetchy Power—100 percent greenhouse gas-free electricity. The new lighting will result in an annual savings of 172,000 kilowatt-hours of energy for the Recreation and Parks Department. They also require less maintenance. Unlike other bulbs which can burn out after four years, LED fixtures are virtually hassle-free for up to 20 years.
The SFPUC has been working over the past few years to upgrade their own lights as well. The agency owns and maintains approximately 25,000 or 60 percent of streetlights in the City, and by switching out older bulbs for LEDs, the agency is helping to enhance pedestrian safety, decrease energy use and increase savings on a much larger scale.
SFPUC’s energy conservation work is not limited to just lights, either. Recently, the SFPUC also helped upgrade controls at the Balboa Pool to better manage the pool’s heating systems, helping to conserve 25,000 kWh and 6,000 therms per year.
Energy conservation isn’t always work that draws headlines, but it is a critical part of effective environmental stewardship and resource management. SFPUC’s Hetch Hetchy Power program continues to play a leading role in making San Francisco’s public infrastructure more energy efficient, delivering the benefit of cost-savings to the City budget and better lighting to the parks and streets we love.