On Super Bowl Sunday, Less Spent on Energy, More on Beer

When the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons face off at NRG Park in Houston on February 5 for Super Bowl 51, the action will be illuminated by 65,000 LED lights installed in 2015.

This will be the first NFL championship game that the city has hosted since 2004, and the stadium has been improved in anticipation of the global attention it will receive. The retrofitted, 337-kW lighting system, installed by Reliant Energy, will use about 60 percent less energy than the conventional system it replaced.

In addition, improvements include two LED Fascia displays (ribbon boards); and two scoreboard displays, each with a video LED board and four lamp matrix displays.

Other sustainable energy installations made at the park by NRG comprise more than 700 solar panels from NRG Haven Solar Canopies; and a new electric vehicle parking area featuring NRG EVgo charging stations.

“Reducing the environmental impact of our events is something we have worked toward for more than 20 years,” said Jack Groh, director of the NFL Environmental Program. “Using clean energy at our largest events, we can minimize the climate impact of our activities. This is something that’s good for business, and good for our fans and the communities where we live.”

As Energy Use Goes Down, Other Consumption Goes Up!

With thousands of people at the stadium watching the game, and millions of fans around the world glued to their televisions, it might come as a surprise to learn that less energy overall  actually is consumed during a Super Bowl game than would be used during that same time on a less-exciting day.

A study conducted by Outlier (a blog published by the customer engagement platform Opower) found that during the 2012 Super Bowl, electricity usage went down. Compared to a typical Sunday afternoon and evening, residential power consumption dropped by 5 percent between the hours of 3:30 pm and 7:30 pm.

The reason for such a significant drop in electricity usage is that, during the game, fans tend to use only one major appliance: their TVs, The Washington Post reported on the study.

And not only are most households committed to watching TV for several hours one Sunday a year, but the Super Bowl is typically watched together — so there is usually one TV on that everyone is gathered around.

However, while power expenditures are lower, Americans slug down 325.5 million gallons of beer and 1.2 billion chicken wings on Super Bowl Sunday, according to Men’s Fitness. That means they are simply spending their money on other things.

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