Cities are one of the most important part of a country’s economy. The economic health and growth of today’s city is linked to energy consumption and a city that has planned ahead will be resilient to changes in energy supplies and prices. It is the resilience of cities that make a country more energy independent and efficient. The key to creating this type of energy efficiency is through effective analysis of energy consumption and good planning to create better usage of energy. Some of this will involved future construction, while others plans can be implemented with remodeling or the installation of energy savings devices.
The most important area for a city to address is the energy that is being consumed by the city government and the focus in this area is with buildings. A city will first do an energy audit. This is something that will always be done in one form or another to determine what cost savings will be realized and in what time frame. From here a plan will be created and implemented. For buildings, especially older buildings, energy savings begins with conservation. This means better insulation to reduce energy use in the winter and summer time. It also means changing out older lighting systems and switching to low energy usage bulbs and lamps.
A city can also save energy on the street lighting system by changing the bulbs used. Often a savings can be seen by automating the lighting in certain areas of low traffic. The city light will only come on when motion is detected. Signal lights at intersections can be replaced with light emitting diodes that use less power.
Saving energy serves a city in several ways. The first is the obvious savings in money. Times are difficult enough without a city’s budget been strained by energy costs. A city can also save money on future power plants that would have needed to be constructed without the conservation of energy today. Conservation of energy also leads to a cleaner environment to work and live in. Clean cities are a place in demand which helps keep property values up and attract new business.