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Dearborn Flips the Switch on Adopt-A-Watt Project

The partnership will allow for more energy efficient running of downtown parking structures, with hopes for further developments.

The city of Dearborn flipped a figurative and literal switch on its Adopt-A-Watt program Monday afternoon, culminating a year-long effort to add one more energy-saving aspect to the city.

The Adopt-A-Watt program, a public-private partnership conceived by Royal Oak businessman Thomas Wither, is a partnership that allows businesses or organizations to sponsor energy-efficient efforts in a particular city–such as the lights at Dearborn's parking structures. The goal of the program is to save energy and dollars for the community.

In Dearborn, that has resulted in energy efficient light fixtures in the West Village parking structures, as well as signage that displays sponsors of the lights.

Dearborn Mayor Jack O'Reilly said that the effort marks the city's continued move toward more energy efficient and environmentally friendly measures, thus saving money and increasing the city's sustainability.

"The goal was to begin to retrofit other public entities," O'Reilly said. "We’ve done parking lots. We’ve done traffic signals. We’ve done some street lights. We’re really trying to figure out how we can lessen our carbon footprint and get some good long term investment that’s going to pay off over time."

Other sustainability projects have included the switching of traffic and some street lights to LED lights, as well as including 10 electric vehicle charging stations in the city's east Dearborn Town Center parking garage.

Sponsors for the West Village structure lights include , Doubletree Dearborn, , DTE Energy, the /Dearborn Sustainability Coalition, and several more.

O'Reilly also demonstrated electric vehicle recharging with a Ford Transit Connect BEV at the east structure's first charging station.

Sustainability Coordinator Dave Norwood explained that adding electric charging stations has long been a goal for the city, but that funding for the installation was not readily available. The station used in the demonstration is sponsored by Eaton EVSE.

"What we’ve learned is you don’t need as many charging stations," Norwood said, adding that the current east end stations are getting used "a little bit."

But eventually, the city hopes to begin transitioning city vehicles to electric or alternative options. It's endeavors such as these that are celebrated by Dearborn's congressmen and women.

"Today’s ceremony commemorates the city’s commitment to promoting sustainability as a means to make Dearborn a more wonderful place to live, work and play," said Gail Govaere, reading a statement from Sen. Carl Levin. "We all play a significant role in reducing our dependence on foreign oil and making alternative energy a common occurrence in our daily lives is one of the many ways to do it."

Lee Jacobsen December 20, 2011 at 03:42 AM
Perhaps I missed it in the article, but what kind of energy efficient lights are they installing, LEDs or those mercury filled ones? Ever look up the website on disposal instructions on a fluorescent light bulb? Ask Home Depot what they are required to do if you buy a fluorescent bulb, then drop it at the checkout counter and break it. Hint, the store will need to be evacuated for a start... here is the rest at this site http://epa.gov/cfl/cflcleanup-detailed.html Fluorscent bulbs also cause headaches for many folk, as they actually create light via very fast strobes, or flickering. If you get headaches at work, consider the lighting. I would spend some extra dollars and go for the LED variety. They can install the lighting as flat screens , and pay for themselves via running bright advertising. We have all seen how bright those can be. So and So Subs on sale..flash flash flash......then a constant light....etc......
Craig Frost December 20, 2011 at 02:35 PM
They were replaced with LEDs. This is a great article and a great step in the right direction!
Frank Lee December 21, 2011 at 04:18 AM
Why does Dearborn have a sustainability coordinator, this was originally a grant funded position that has expired. Another appointee who does nothing but collect a check. Why do citizens have to forgo services while failed appointees like nor wood collect checks.
marooned in Dbn December 21, 2011 at 12:52 PM
I believe that the USPS has 40 VP's. One might have a title of "VP of Sustainability". I still have to ponder just what that job is. But to ans. your question about positional deadweight. "It's the TAXES you pay to the City of Dbn.". I said the same thing about other "appointees", such as our sweetheart, Turkia "Mullin"., and darned if she wasn't back in the news again the next day, being counter-sued. I can only pray that the FBI and Greg Wronchuck holds tight. To be truthful I have doubts about Greg, so I put my faith in the FBI. I can only pray that the FBI snoops around here as well.
Frank Lee December 21, 2011 at 01:21 PM
Gary Wronchuck, collects eighty grand a year for doing a part time job. His benefits are as good or better than Mullins, and he approved every move Ficano made. After the news hits the paper he starts talking tough. Where was this guy the last four years? Oh yah doing absoluty nothing. He is a political hack, has never held a real job and wears eyeliner otherwise a perfect compliment to our long list of failed politicians
marooned in Dbn December 21, 2011 at 03:26 PM
Oh, is his name Gary ! I guess your right Frank, I really dont know the guy. Yeah...where was that guy to be so unknown by the typical average elector. (?) I guess that means it's just the FBI.
Joe Schramek January 15, 2012 at 09:26 PM
The supplier, BDT Light Sources of Livonia, Michigan claims the lights last 100,000 hours about 5-13 times longer and save 40-70% electricity over conventional type lamps. Apparently, these new lamps are more expensive than the conventional lamps and take 12-14 months to produce enough savings to warrant the purchase of these new induction type lamps. Also in the article, the "Adopt-A-Watt" program is where activists for producing less dependence on fossil fuels have already sponsored 66 of these new lamps for the city. Based on the expected savings in electrical cost savings for these new lamps, the city is planning on installing electric vehicle charging stations at various new parking structures across the city. The city shelved plans for meters to charge electric vehicle users because the estimated cost for charging an electric vehicle is only $.81/day. In other words, any expected electrical cost savings for the City of Dearborn for the new induction lighting will be given away to citizens who can afford the more expensive electric vehicle over the conventional gas powered vehicles. My concern is that why does the City of Dearborn have the right to provide free electricity for electric vehicle owners in the future and as a result eliminate the ability to pay out the new lamps in 12-14 months. The City of Dearborn will be using tax payers money to pay these owners for their needed daily electrical charging of their propulsion systems.

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