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Several National Hockey League facilities now have LED lighting, saving energy and money. | Graphic by <a href="/node/1332956">Carly Wilkins</a>, Energy Department.

Several National Hockey League facilities now have LED lighting, saving energy and money. | Graphic by Carly Wilkins, Energy Department.

National Hockey League fans and teams are saving energy and money by switching to LED lighting. |  | Graphic by <a href="/node/1332956">Carly Wilkins</a>, Energy Department.

National Hockey League fans and teams are saving energy and money by switching to LED lighting. | | Graphic by Carly Wilkins, Energy Department.

The action on the ice is heating up as the National Hockey League’s Stanley Cup Final goes to game six in the best-of-seven series. Whether the San Jose Sharks or Pittsburgh Penguins emerge victorious, both teams and the rest of the NHL are winners of an even more important matchup: the fight against climate change.

Through its NHL Green program, the league is scoring big when it comes to making hockey more sustainable. For example, the NHL All-Star Game at the Nashville Predators’ Bridgestone Arena in January was the first to be played under ultra energy-efficient LED (light-emitting diode) lights. In March, the NHL highlighted its sustainability efforts with the league’s first-ever Green Week, encouraging fans and sponsors to take similar steps in reducing their impact on the environment. For instance, the league donated 100 tons of reusable food to help needy families while reducing landfill waste.

The sites of this year’s Stanley Cup Final showcase the NHL’s commitment to the planet. In 2012, workers at the San Jose SAP Center installed solid oxide fuel cell energy servers, becoming the first major sports facility to use fuel cells as supplemental electricity. This technology replaces approximately 25 percent of electrical utility power on game days, reducing the facility's  carbon footprint by 4.8 million pounds of CO2 within 10 years. That’s the equivalent of the energy used in 230 homes in one year. Meanwhile, in Pittsburgh, the Consol Energy Center is the first LEED Gold certified major sports venue in the country. The facility’s energy efficient lighting and HVAC systems contribute to this coveted sustainability certification.

The Energy Department gets an assist for making these innovative technologies possible:

  • The Fuel Cell Technologies Office supports research and development that makes fuel cells cheaper, more efficient and widely available.
  • Our work on LED lighting improves energy efficiency of sports arenas and other commercial buildings at relatively low cost. Plus, LEDs cast a more natural light, which enhances fan experience.
  • Efficiency standards and continued research and development on heating and cooling systems help save energy and lower carbon pollution, benefiting teams, fans and the planet.

All of us at the Energy Department applaud the efforts of the NHL and its teams to make their sport the greenest in the country. Go Sharks! Go Penguins!