Monday, June 10, 2019

YMCA in St. Petersburg Saves Money, Energy by Switching to LED Lighting

As part of a countywide  effort to transition to 100 percent clean renewable energy,  Suncoast Sierra Club, along with several private donors,  has provided the  Jim & Heather Gills YMCA of Greater St Petersburg  with funding  to install LED lighting throughout the  facility. 
YMCA staff and Suncoast Sierra Club leaders 

The YMCA, located at 3200 First Ave. South, is in the process of replacing over 900 fluorescent bulbs with LED bulbs. The project is expected to be completed by the end of this summer. "We are extremely grateful for the support from the Suncoast Sierra Club in providing energy efficient lighting at our Jim & Heather Gills YMCA,” said  David Jezek President/CEO, YMCA of Greater St. Petersburg.  “In addition to the improved lighting, we expect to see significant savings in our energy bills.  These savings will allow us to make a great impact in the lives of those we serve."  

The  Jim & Heather Gills YMCA serves the needs of the community with a full-size  gymnasium and fitness room, indoor heated pool,  fitness classes, cycling studio, after school  programs, and outreach services.  The transition to LED lighting is estimated to save the branch over $10,000 per year in electricity, a savings that will pay for the cost of the bulbs in less than 6 months, according to Bryan Beckman, chair of the Pinellas  Ready for 100 campaign.  
Beckman, who spearheaded the energy efficiency project at the YMCA, calculated that the LED lighting use would save an estimated 70 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year -  the equivalent to installing 200 solar panels.  Given the estimated life of the bulbs, he said, over $100,000 is expected to be saved. “Sierra Club is  very proud  to have helped with the new LED lighting,” Beckman said at the May 30 ribbon cutting and rededication of the gym and activity center after recent upgrades and renovations.  “Businesses, residents and cities can have a big impact on our environment by installing similar efficiencies that save money and reduce carbon pollution at the same time.”
ABOUT READY FOR 100:  The Pinellas Ready for 100 campaign aims  to help local cities, businesses and residents transition to 100 percent clean, renewable energy in an effort to  make  Florida  resilient to climate change  and  stop the burning of  fossil fuels. Cities in Pinellas County that have signed on with resolutions to move to 100 percent  clean energy include St. Petersburg, Largo and Dunedin.

To learn more about the Pinellas Ready for 100 campaign or how to  transition to clean, renewable energy, contact Bryan Beckman at  or go to

Bryan Beckman
Suncoast Sierra Club