Do Electronic Billboards Belong in a “Green” City?

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and other city officials have repeatedly promoted energy conservation as one of the central themes in making Los Angeles a “green” city.  What does it mean, then, when the city permits electronic billboards without so much as a murmur about environmental impacts, even though these signs with their thousands of LED’s consume far more energy than the static billboards they replace?  A study by a chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council in San Antonio, Texas, found that the yearly carbon consumption of one digital billboard was equivalent to that of 13 average homes.  The city council has given billboard companies the right to convert almost 900 of their conventional billboards, which means a potential carbon consumption equivalent to almost average 11,000 homes.  Would a new development of 11,000 homes escape any environmental scrutiny from the city?

See a graphical presentation of the billboard power consumption study.

Dennis Hathaway

One Response to “Do Electronic Billboards Belong in a “Green” City?”

  1. […] of the outdoor industry’s dirty little secrets is that digital boards are much more energy intensive than paper ones. They need to be constantly powered, after […]