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Los Angelenos Sing For a Green City

Los Angeles is no longer content to be the smoggy, energy-hogging city of the past. The City of Angels is crafting a new, sustainable lifestyle complete with renewable energy, efficiency, and water conservation.

To spread the word, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will kick off its centennial celebration Feb. 10 by hosting a concert to help promote its "Green L.A." program.

Three-time Grammy winning L.A. rock band Los Lobos and gospel singer Yolanda Adams are among the performers lined up to take the stage at the Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.

Celebrating its 100th anniversary in February, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power serves more than 3.8 million people in Los Angeles.

Green L.A. includes a range of environmental programs that aim to make Los Angeles a sustainable city: Tree planting, electric transportation, water conservation, recycling, energy efficiency, solar and green power.

"This is a worthy local cause we can all relate to," says Los Lobos lead singer David Hidalgo, who is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the band this year. "L.A. is our home, it's where our roots are, and it's great to be a part of something that will benefit not just our communities, but our children as well."

"We take great pride in offering the city of Los Angeles a high quality, socially conscious performing arts program," says LADWP General Manager David Wiggs. "It's a great way to celebrate our many years of service to the community, convey the Green L.A. message, and build strong partnerships."

Other artists scheduled to participate in Voices for a Green L.A. include the all-woman international percussion group, Adaawe; sacred Jewish music Cantorial performances; First African Methodist Episcopal Church Choir, the 180 member Children's Choir and traditional Japanese youth drumming group, Zenshuji Zendeko.

Green Power for a Green L.A. is the department's renewable energy program. Los Angeles residents can choose 100 percent renewable energy, with 20 percent coming from new sources.

The price for renewable energy is slightly higher than power generated from fossil fuels such as coal and oil. The extra cost for this package is about six percent or approximately $3 a month for the average customer with a monthly bill of $50, but the LADWP says the extra cost can be offset by its free energy efficiency products and services.

Voices for a Green LA is an outreach to increase awareness of Green LA programs such as its solar incentive or rebate program, which offers the highest per watt financial incentive in California to go solar.

"By lowering the price of solar electric power systems, we're hoping to encourage even more customers to consider going solar," Wiggs said. "It's important to remember that any power produced by these solar systems reduces the load on LADWP's power system, which benefits all Californians by reducing the need to build power plants."

The Solar Incentive Program lowers the purchase price of solar electric or photovoltaic systems by at least half for all participating LADWP customers. It offers a cash incentive based on the wattage or size of a solar system. The system should produce at least 300 watts but not more than 100 percent of a household's annual power needs.

LADWP is constructing and operating solar photovoltaic systems on its facilities and municipal buildings throughout the city. Libraries, community centers, municipal office buildings and multipurpose buildings will receive solar photovoltaic systems that will generate electricity to be used in the Green Power for a Green L.A. Program.

One to 1.5 megawatts of solar photovoltaic generation capacity is scheduled for installation each year for the next five years. A megawatt is enough electricity to power 1,000 typical California homes.

"Green L.A. provides L.A. city residents a unique opportunity to make substantial changes to the way we use and conserve energy as well as take care of our environment," said LADWP Board president Kenneth Lombard. "This concert and festival are great ways to embrace L.A.'s diverse community and to expand the customer base for LADWP's Green LA programs and keep them growing well into the next 100 years."

More information about Green LA programs and the Voices concert can be obtained by logging onto www.GreenLA.com or calling 1-800-GreenLA. Tickets are on sale through Ticketmaster or the Music Center's Dorothy Chandler Pavilion box office.

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Copyright 2002, Environmental News Network, a GreenBiz News Affiliate, all rights reserved.

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