Program Swaps Neon "Open" Signs for Free New Signs that Save Energy, Money, and Reduce Exposure to Toxic Vapors

(February 9, 2005)

Supervisor Aaron Perkin and
Environment Commissioner Alan

Mok (right) present LED open
sign to the manager of Kay
Cheung Seafood.

Supervisor Peskin Shows How High-tech Signs Help SF Business Owners Save Money and the Environment

San Francisco merchants who display neon "open" signs are eligible to exchange the old energy guzzling signs for free high-tech models. The effort is the latest in programs by PG&E and the City to improve energy efficiency in San Francisco. Supervisor Aaron Peskin will showcase the new energy efficient signs. The new signs are 90 percent more efficient than neon, can save up to $150 each year. Neon signs also contain mercury and other toxic elements that are hazardous to human health.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

2:00 pm New Sun Hong Kong Restaurant
606 Columbus Avenue at Broadway

2:30 pm Viva Restaurant
318 Columbus Avenue

2:45 pm Kay Cheung Seafood
615 Jackson Street

Honorable Supervisor Aaron Peskin (2:00 p.m.)
SF Environment Commissioner Alan Mok, Local restaurant owners
Representatives from PG&E and SF Environment

San Francisco – As part of a $16 million peak energy reduction program, the Department of the Environment and PG&E are giving away energy efficient "open" for business signs in exchange for old energy guzzling neon signs to city merchants, free of charge. Supervisor Aaron Peskin will talk about the energy and money savings as a result of the new LED (Light Emitting Diode) signs.

The program's goal is to replace 1,000 signs. This would result in combined savings close to $150,000, and enough energy to power almost 200 homes. This will help San Francisco keep the lights on in times of high demand for electricity–like winter evenings and summer afternoons.

LED technology is the latest in energy efficiency on small-scale lighting applications. In comparison to neon signs, LED signage poses no high voltage hazard, reduces energy by up to 90 percent, saves on an average up to $150 on an annual basis, and emits no mercury vapor. In addition, the new signs last longer and look brighter.

The San Francisco Peak Energy Program (SFPEP) is a joint energy efficiency pilot project with the Department of the Environment and PG&E. The project provides a portfolio of energy efficient programs to businesses and residents including restaurant, hotel/motel, and storefront owners. Specifically, the project is designed to assist low-income residents. Money from the project comes from the California utility customers and administered by the investor owned utilities under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission.