Parking efficiency makes giant LEEP

| May 6, 2014

The parking industry spends more than $6 billion lighting its garages and lots, but now owners of those facilities can turn to a consortium of organizations committed to helping them lower costs through more efficient lighting options.

parking garage solar

The Green Parking Council is helping parking facility owners to reduce their carbon load by installing more efficient lighting systems. From the Green Parking Council.

Together the Green Parking Council, International Facility Management Association, and the Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Alliance, as well as the Building Owners and Managers Association, are coordinating the Lighting Energy Efficiency in Parking (LEEP) Campaign, a program that offers free advice to owners of parking facilities interested in energy-efficient lighting. LEEP’s awards program also recognizes participating businesses that have made significant strides in their efforts, with nonprofits and for-profit companies such as the University of Minnesota and Walmart recently receiving recognition.

Kimco Realty, for example, won LEEP’s award for the largest absolute number of facility upgrades. North America’s largest publicly traded owner and operator of neighborhood and community retail centers, Kimco installed lighting control systems at 160 of its properties, affecting 51 million square feet of parking surface area.

The effort was part of the company’s Property Gateway building controls program, launched in 2011 with the aim of reducing Kimco’s environmental footprint and shopping-center utility costs. A multi-phased program, Property Gateway aims to provide its sites with standardized equipment that can control key building systems via a web browser or custom iPad app.

Installing energy-saving lighting controls is the program’s first phase, and it has already resulted in annual kilowatt savings of 3.6 million from the initial 160 properties. Those energy savings translate to $400,000 in yearly cost savings that Kimco plans to apply toward improvements, such as tenant needs and irrigation.

When Kimco’s achievements are combined with the eleven other winners that LEEP recognized last month, the campaign notes that all awardees saved almost 45 million kilowatt-hours and $4 million per year by upgrading to high efficiency lighting in 500,000 parking spaces across the country.

Will Teichman, Kimco’s director of sustainability, spoke positively of LEEP, stating, “We’ve gained key insights that have accelerated the pace of our energy-efficiency programs.”

More than 100 businesses and organizations have followed Kimco’s example and, with the help of LEEP, are planning or installing energy efficient lighting at their parking garages and lots. In the last year alone, they have committed to installing such lighting systems across more than 270 million square feet of parking space, lowering energy use by up to 90 percent.

Participating companies and organizations have tallied those numbers by upgrading their facilities with high efficiency, metal halide, fluorescent, and LED solutions that last three times longer than older technologies. LEEP also promote controls that can decrease energy use when parking facilities are not in operation.

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Category: Parking

About the Author ()

Cielo Lutino is a freelance writer and editor based in Brooklyn, NY. She has written for such publications as the L Magazine and Portland Monthly, and her literary nonfiction has appeared in journals such as the Los Angeles Review and Cold Mountain Review.

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  1. Paul Wessel says:

    Thanks for the coverage. We’re heading strong into the second phase of the LEEP campaign, with more education and more recognition. Please reach out for more information.

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