The City of Sandy Springs has earned a little green in its efforts to go green. At its July 15 council meeting, the city accepted a $18,446 rebate check from Georgia Power as part of its Commercial Energy Efficiency Program

In May, more than 2,500 florescent tubes were replaced with LED lighting throughout Building 500, which houses City Hall at 7840 Roswell Road. The upgrade included 639 – T12 fluorescent fixtures with LED lamps, 70 – T8 fluorescent fixtures with LED lamps and a retrofit of 32 exit signs to LED fixtures. In addition, 100 occupancy sensors were installed in offices and break room areas. Energy savings (kWh) for the city is estimated at 540,520 with energy consumption savings (kW – power) estimated at 105.672, according to a press release from the city.

“We challenged the staff to be innovative in thinking about efficiencies and savings for the city,” said Mayor Rusty Paul in the press release. This small change will save the city money in the long term through lower utility bills, as well as contribute to our commitment as a green community.

In 2012, the city retrofitted 135 decorative pedestrian lights in the Main Street Overlay District utilizing Energy Efficiency Community Block Grant Funds. The LED lamps lowered energy usage by approximately 50 percent, saving the City approximately $12,000 over traditional lighting. According to the press release, the city plans to continue with its retrofit program, with the police department next up for the LED change.

Additionally, a recent study ranked Sandy Springs among the top tier of American cities with higher percentages of tree canopy. In conjunction with the University of Georgia, the city recently completed a comprehensive tree canopy study that shows that Sandy Springs has a tree canopy of 62 percent, an increase of 3 percent over a 2010 study and the highest it has been since the first study of this kind in 1991. Community Development Director Angela Parker presented those findings to the city council on July 15.