Royal Oak Flips the Switch on Adopt-A-Watt Project

Two downtown Royal Oak parking structures will be fitted with energy-efficient lights, courtesy of some very concerned businesses.

If residents see some very modern-looking lights being installed in two of Royal Oak's public parking structures, take heart: This is one public project designed to save dollars and energy, not expend those resources.

The Adopt-A-Watt program, a public-private partnership conceived by Royal Oak businessman Thomas Wither, rolled out its program to the Royal Oak City Commission on Oct. 15 and received unanimous approval to deploy energy efficient lighting and EV infrastructure in two downtown decks - Center Street and Lafayette Avenue - at no cost to taxpayers.

Adopt-A-Watt is a partnership that allows businesses or organizations to sponsor energy-efficient efforts in a particular city to save energy and dollars for the community.

Businesses step into the spotlight

The concept behind the national Adopt-A-Watt program is simple: Businesses sponsor the addition of a light, and the monies that are saved are redirected into other green initiatives.

Sponsor businesses or nonprofits’ names and logos will be prominently displayed on signage throughout the parking structures, providing year-round recognition of their participation and community support.

So far, about 80 businesses have signed on to sponsor approximately 100 lights in Royal Oak.

"It costs a business just $1.37 a day to be a part of the 365-day program that gives them public recognition while conserving energy and creating a cleaner environment for the community,” Wither said.

The new lights are designed to burn 300,000 fewer pounds of coal, and will last 100,000 hours–significantly longer than conventional lights.

Thanks a watt

This week Adopt-A-Watt unveiled a new digital media platform, which allows its sponsors to harness the mass appeal of internet marketing with a website that offer coupons.

At www.royaloak.aawcoupons.com, Royal Oak's Adopt-A-Watt sponsors, such as Matthews Hargreaves Chevy, Holiday Market, and Joe's Auto Parts, offer 10 percent off deals, while Manzo Eye Care offers an exam and glasses for $50 and Jazzercise has a $69 workout special.

"You print coupons and save money. You help the city save money on its energy costs. You help the businesses. And, you help protect the environment by reducing energy consumption," Wither said. "Everyone wins."

(See the complete list of Royal Oak's Adopt-A-Watt sponsors.)

Adopt-A-Watt will hold a special launch party to thank sponsors on Friday. They plan on installing the lamps and officially throwing the switch in mid-December.


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