The City works to save energy in our buildings and facilities. Saving energy helps us save money as well as reduce our impact on the environment.

These projects will save $450,000 per year in energy savings and make our buildings more comfortable and functional.

Also, the project will save 3,200 tons of CO2 emissions annually. That’s the same as taking 676 cars off the road each year!

The general contractor on the project is a local company, 360 Energy Engineers.  They will be overseeing the projects, which will start April 2017 and continue through the fall of 2017.


The City initiated a Facilities Conservation Improvement Program, a state program that assists local governments in implementing energy-saving projects. The goals of the project are to:

  • Reduce energy costs
  • Upgrade facilities and equipment
  • Improve energy efficiency
  • Support sustainability and greenhouse gas reduction goals

The City hired an energy service company to do a complete energy audit of all city facilities. This audit helped us identify the cost-effective energy saving measures the City should pursue.


In February, the City Commission approved $11.3 million in energy saving upgrades to City facilities.  The annual energy and maintenance savings from the projects will completely pay off the debt, making this a smart investment for the City. The City issued “green” bonds due to the environmental benefits of the project.

The projects will impact facilities managed by Public Works & Parks and Recreation.  The projects include:

  • LED lighting retrofit in City buildings, parking garages, sports fields, and parks
  • Upgrades to the heating and cooling equipment in many buildings
  • Upgrades to thermostats and heating/cooling controls
  • Weatherization projects in many buildings
  • New roofs at the Community Health Building, Fire Med Station #3, and the Community Building
  • New windows at City Hall

For Additional Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

LEDs, or light-emitting diodes, use solid-state technology to convert electricity into light. Put simply, LEDs are very small light bulbs that fit into an electrical circuit. Unlike traditional bulbs, they don’t have a filament that burns out and they don’t get very warm.
LEDs have many advantages over other light sources, including lower energy consumption, longer lifetime, improved physical robustness, and smaller size. LEDs are “directional” light sources, which means they emit light in a specific direction, unlike incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs, which emit light and heat in all directions. Also, LEDs can provide more uniform light, which often improves feelings of safety and security in public spaces like parking garages.

The citywide LED lighting retrofit will save $221,000 annually in electricity costs.

The City is replacing most existing fluorescent, incandescent, high intensity discharge (HID), high pressure sodium, and metal halide fixtures throughout city parks, buildings, and streetlights as part of our Facilities Conservation Improvement Program (FCIP).

Aerial photo of Centennial Park before new LED lights were installed

Before: Park lighting at Centennial Park

Aerial photo of Centennial Park before new LED lights were installed

After: Showing the new LED lights at Centennial Park

The City is replacing current lighting with LEDs because they significantly reduce energy consumption, which reduces our contribution to climate change – an important environmental benefit.  Also, LEDs do not contain mercury like CFLs do, so they reduce issues of disposal and contamination.

Although LED lighting is an energy-efficient way to illuminate our facilities, streets, and parks, we recognize that it’s also important to direct the light only where it’s needed; to make sure the emitted spectrum supports visibility, safety, and the health of humans and other living creatures; and to limit glare for pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers.

Therefore, the engineers who designed the LED lighting retrofit created specifications that require pre- and post-installation measurements to insure the lights are performing as expected.  They also follow lighting industry standards (IESNA) which includes reducing output of some lighting and shielding some fixtures to reduce sky glow.

All of these standards work together to ensure that the lighting we are installing in the City are reducing light pollution, light spill, and sky glow so that we are improving lighting quality for our citizens and reducing our impact on the environment.

Color temperature is a way to describe the light appearance provided by a light bulb (lamp). It is measured in degrees of Kelvin (K) on a scale from 1,000 to 10,000. Typically, commercial and residential lighting application Kelvin temperatures fall somewhere on a scale from 2000K to 6500K.

In the City of Lawrence, the LED lights we are installing typically range from 3500-4500 Kelvin.

Graphic showing LED light color temperatures. Between 3500˚K and 4500˚K is the typical  installation for the City of Lawrence.