Los Angeles aims to beat California in energy efficiency


Article originally appeared in the L.A. Daily News

The Department of Water and Power will increase its energy efficiency
15 percent by the year 2020, Mayor Eric Garcetti on Monday said, noting that the move will surpass the state standard of 10 percent by 2021.

“Just as water conservation is how we will get through our drought and control our water costs, energy conservation is how we will address climate change and keep our power bills low,” Garcetti said at a news conference at the downtown construction site for The Bloc.

The project, at 7th and Flower Streets in the city’s Financial District, is using a variety of energy-efficient programs as it transforms the site’s former Macy’s department store into an alfresco shopping complex, as well as an office tower, Sheraton hotel, parking garage and direct subway access. 

“Investing in efficiency is three to four times cheaper than building new power plants — and cleans the air.”

The goal of 15 percent more energy efficient will be key to the city’s efforts to get off coal by 2025, a target set by former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa.

The new energy marker, adopted by the Board of Water and Power Commissioners in August, will represent the equivalent of taking 440,000 cars off the streets and open up employment opportunities, Garcetti said.

The DWP is working with commercial, industrial and institutional customers to develop specific efficiency plans. 

Nancy Sutley, the utility’s chief sustainability officer, said it is important to work with those who use the most DWP resources. “The key to achieving our 15 percent energy efficiency goal is the participation of all of our customer sectors, but most especially the large customers,” she said.

“By working together, we achieve the highest energy savings and create more jobs.”