City seeks sponsors for parking deck lights

Dearborn to install high efficiency lights, joins Adopt-A-Watt program

DEARBORN – City officials announced plans last Wednesday to seek sponsors for the installation of 200 high-efficiency lights in the two west end downtown parking decks.

It is part of an overall initiative forwarded by the National Adopt-A-Watt Program to encourage the installation of energy-efficient lights in communities and to promote energy conservation.

Adopt-A-Watt, based on the successful Adopt-A-Highway program, gives sponsors community recognition for funding of clean energy, alternative fuel and energy-efficiency projects.

Individuals, companies, foundations and nonprofits can learn more about the National Adopt-A-Watt Program and sponsoring opportunities in Dearborn by going to the NAAWP Website at

“Dearborn is committed to green initiatives, but we must be conscious of our financial challenges,” Mayor John O’Reilly Jr. said. “The Adopt-A-Watt program is a way for Dearborn to boost our energy efficiency measures and install green technology without impacting our general fund.

“It is also a great example of how important partnerships are to the success of green initiatives.”

The Adopt-A-Watt program will arrange and coordinate all sponsorship, financing, installation and ongoing maintenance of the lights.

Money raised above those expenses will be used to support other clean energy projects in the city, such as the installation of electric vehicle charging stations. In turn, those initiatives will further reduce fossil fuel consumption and operating costs.

Dearborn has been assertive in its embrace of green technologies, including installing solar panels and electric vehicle chargers in its new east downtown parking garage.

It has also installed high-efficiency light-emitting diode streetlights on Oakwood, south of Michigan Avenue.

“Dearborn has always been about the future,” said Dave Norwood, the city’s sustainability coordinator. “Ford Motor (Co.) and in particular the Dearborn-based F-150 Assembly Plant have become superstars.”

Thomas A. Wither, founder and principal of the National Adopt-A-Watt Program, said, “Dearborn has long been a national leader in embracing 21st century energy as well as energy efficiency. This action further demonstrates their concern for the environment and desire to fully support our automakers’ move to electric vehicle transportation.

“We greatly appreciate their participation in our program and we look forward to helping them further achieve their clean energy goals,” Wither said.

Matt Sandstom of the Clean Energy Coalition is equally enthusiastic.

“Investing in clean energy technologies is rapidly becoming the status quo for communities throughout the Detroit area,” Sandstom said.

“Electric vehicle charging stations are of particular importance in Dearborn and send a powerful message to automakers: cities can easily adapt to cleaner technologies and are willing to invest in the necessary infrastructure. Moreover, these investments will pave the way toward a cleaner, more energy-efficient community,” he said.