Cree Inc. announced that the City of Austin joined the LED City program to deploy and promote energy-efficient LED lighting. Austin joins Toronto, Raleigh, and Ann Arbor. In December 2007, the city retrofitted a floor of the One Texas Center Parking Garage with 47-watt LED fixtures. LED fixtures have also been installed in a hallway at Austin Energy, in streetlights on Barton Springs, in the Palmer Events Center marquee sign and in the water fountain at the Palmer Events Center Park. Additional installations are planned, including some lights surrounding the Lady Bird Lake Hike and Bike Trail.
Last year, Austin announced an aggressive climate protection plan to cut its carbon dioxide emissions to almost nothing by 2020.
In 2003, Austin retrofitted over 5,200 traffic signals and 3,700 pedestrian signals with LEDs. The wattage of the traffic signals was reduced from 135 watts to 11-15 watts each. The city estimates it has saved taxpayers $1.4 million per year plus additional maintenance and labor savings. Last year, San Jose, CA, also replaced over 5000 traffic lights with LED bulbs, saving the city an estimated $1.6 million per year.