Most of the lights inside Harrisburg city hall have been left on nonstop for 20 years, city officials said Tuesday night, wasting thousands of dollars in electricity, bulb replacement and maintenance hours.
City officials revealed this week that most of the lights have been illuminated 24 hours a day, seven days a week for as long as anyone can remember because the lighting control system broke in the building and was never repaired.
"It's really shocking that nobody thought to do anything about this for 20 years," said Mayor Eric Papenfuse.
The current administration is seeking to replace the lighting and lighting control system through a guaranteed energy savings contract. Under the $134,000 contract with SmartWatt Energy, the city is guaranteed energy savings of at least $17,330 annually, not including savings in light bulbs and maintenance to replace them, Martin said.
Adding light switches to each room would require cutting into walls and rewiring, and could triple the costs, said Tony Acernese, with SmartWatt. Motion sensors are also more expensive, Martin said.
"This was the most cost-effective way to stop the bleeding," Martin said.