READING, PA – Reading is getting an energy makeover. In the last year, the town has reduced its energy use by five percent by dimming lights, minimizing or eliminating air-conditioning in public hallways, and overhauling its municipal fleet, said Town Manager Peter Hechenbleikner, according to

As a member of the Cities for Climate Protection, the town of approximately 23,585 people wants to achieve a 10 percent reduction in its year 2000 emissions by 2012. The town is using a $15,000 grant to install LED lights at its traffic signals and following an anti-idling policy for its municipal fleet that was put in place last June.

In the last month, the engineering department replaced an old van with a $23,000 Ford Escape, which is a hybrid SUV. Public safety officials no longer use a Ford Crown Victoria for business purposes, such as driving to meetings or going to court. Instead, they drive a smaller Ford Taurus.