Energy and Sustainability

Energy usage is one of the single largest expenses for an urban municipality. Through partnerships and innovative initiatives, CONNECT has sought out energy and money saving opportunities for its members.  

Current Projects and Issue Areas:

Energy Purchasing

CONNECT has partnered with the City of Pittsburgh to provide municipalities the option of buying energy at a reduced rate through a reverse auction. This program, that initially only saw three municipalities joining the city on Western PA’s Electricity Aggregation Program, has expanded to include more than 12 CONNECT municipalities who have realized a cost savings of over $192,000. Each year, more municipalities reap the benefits from this program. The energy purchase is set to take place again in 2017. If your municipality is interested in joining, please contact Kristen Michaels at kmaser@pitt.edu. 

LED Street Lighting

When the city of Pittsburgh began a program of switching from High Pressure Sodium (HPS) streetlights to Light Emitting Diode (LED) streetlights in order to save energy and money, CONNECT set out help the rest of its municipalities make the switch to energy and money saving LED technology. However, unlike Pittsburgh, which owns its own streetlights, the CONNECT municipalities lease their streetlights from Duquesne Light and therefore could not request the installation of LED lamps without a change to the utility rate structure. 

CONNECT was able to work with Duquesne Light and other partners to make this change, and in 2014 Duquesne Light launched a pilot program that allowed municipalities to install LED lights on their poles. The installation was a success and Duquesne Light is continuing to expand the program to allow for the installation of additional LEDs in municipalities. 

Renewable Website 

CONNECT is also partnering with the City of Pittsburgh on the launch of a "Renewable" website that will allow a user to determine a property's potential to produce energy if it were to install solar panels. This website will allow any user to look at the potential of any property, commercial or residential throughout the entire CONNECT region. 

If you are interested in learning more about CONNECT’s work with energy and sustainability, or would like to join this working group, please contact Kristen Michaels at kmaser@pitt.edu.

Click here for a full list of all resolutions passed by CONNECT relating to our work in  energy and sustainability.