Supporting Customers

Lighting the Holiday Spirit at Navy Pier

December 20, 2016

When Chicagoans think about winter, many think about sleet, snow and traffic. But when the winter holidays approach, thoughts turn to fun activities taking place across the city – like the Magnificent Mile Lights Festival, ice skating in the parks and the Winter WonderFest at Navy Pier.

As many of Chicago’s venues celebrate the season, ComEd got a jump on spreading holiday cheer when it “gifted” Navy Pier with an incentive check for more than $166,000 earlier this year. The check helped offset the cost of installing energy-efficient lights in Navy Pier’s historic Festival Hall.

The lighting overhaul is part of the first phase of Navy Pier’s large-scale redevelopment plan. The vision for the state’s most visited tourist attraction includes the new Polk Brothers Park Fountain and Plaza, an updated South Dock promenade, and the new Centennial Wheel, the already-iconic Ferris wheel that soars to heights of nearly 200 feet.

As part of the redevelopment plan, ComEd recommended installing energy-efficient lights in the Festival Hall, the main exhibition space that encompasses more than 170,000 square feet. ComEd proposed replacing 380 high-intensity light bulbs with 225 LED light fixtures which are much more durable and last longer than traditional bulbs. The new lights are expected to save Navy Pier more than two million kilowatts or enough electricity to power approximately 223 homes for a year.

ComEd has been working with Navy Pier since November 2015 to help guide its renovations so that they are energy efficient. For Navy Pier, the result is budget-friendly energy to power an iconic Chicago destination.

“As Navy Pier enters its second century, we are committed to being a much greener civic space,” says Marilynn Gardner, president and CEO of Navy Pier, Inc., the non-profit that operates Navy Pier.

“As part of our 30-year sustainability Master Plan, we switched to more energy-efficient LED lighting within our Festival Hall exhibition space,” she says. “We are pleased that the lighting is saving energy while still providing the kind of performance this space requires.”

Over the past 9 years, ComEd’s Energy Efficiency Program has distributed more than $400 million in incentives, ensuring that sustainable solutions are available and affordable for customers.

As visitors flock to Navy Pier events in the coming weeks, ComEd looks forward to continuing its collaboration to help light the way for a memorable holiday season.


**Energy Efficiency programs are funded by ComEd customers in compliance with Illinois law.