AT&T Collaborates with GE to Switch to LED Signage
With a switch to the energy-efficient, long-life GE Tetra® LED lighting system - a product of ecomaginationSM from Lumination, GE Appliances & Lighting's LED business (NYSE: GE) - AT&T is expected to save more than 5.8 million kilowatt hours of electricity a year and eliminate 3,500 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually. It's the equivalent of planting more than 950 acres of trees.
Because GE LEDs are up to 80 percent more energy efficient than commonly used neon, the new lighting system will also provide AT&T with financial savings.
"We knew a switch to more efficient signage would be a sustainable business decision, both environmentally and financially," said Shawn McKenzie, senior vice president of corporate real estate at AT&T. "We researched our options, analyzed the data, and ultimately chose the GE system for its reliability, energy efficiency, environmental benefits, and long-term value proposition. It also helped that GE is built to handle such large-scale efforts."
In total, for the AT&T effort, approximately 2.6 million GE LEDs replaced both the high-voltage, high-maintenance neon that is often used in small-building signs and less-efficient linear fluorescent lighting, which performs less favorably than LEDs in cold climates.
"Companies like AT&T that pay to operate thousands of signs every day are quick to recognize the value of a high-quality LED signage system," said Eric Stevenson, GE's global product manager - signage. "The energy-savings differential is significant, but it's often the maintenance savings that seals the deal. Our GE Tetra® LED system with a 50,000-hour rated life eclipses the life of incumbent fluorescent systems by more than three years. Our LED system virtually eliminates the problem of burned out signs, which is common for both neon and fluorescent systems."
According to Stevenson, high-rise backlit signage is challenging to maintain because the signs are frequently mounted many stories above ground level, requiring large cranes or helicopters to conduct maintenance or repairs. "It's work that can cost thousands of dollars a day for rental equipment and services," noted Stevenson.
Seeking out opportunities to reduce energy consumption is just one way AT&T is working to tackle environmental issues. AT&T recently announced plans to invest up to $565 million as part of a long-term strategy to deploy more than 15,000 alternative-fuel vehicles over the next 10 years. AT&T also has begun to use alternative energy sources such as wind and solar power. AT&T helps customers further manage their own environmental impact through intelligent use of AT&T products and services, such as teleconferencing, video conferencing and other broadband applications.
For more information about AT&T's sustainability efforts, please visit www.att.com/sustainability.