Sprawling L.A. Shrinks Water and Energy Use

Sprawling L.A. Shrinks Water and Energy Use

Los Angeles aerial -- CC licensed by Flickr user kla4067

Commercial and industrial properties in sprawling Los Angeles reduced their water consumption by double-digits in July, the mayor’s office announced last week.

Meanwhile, energy consumption in America’s second largest city fell by 318 gigawatt hours during the 2008-2009 fiscal year -- more than half of which was driven by Los Angeles businesses using a slew of successful incentive programs.

Five core programs are credited with achieving the vast amount of energy savings, such as compact fluorescent lamp distribution and lighting retrofit programs, according to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP).

For example, LADWP handed out more than 500 rebates to commercial, industrial and government sites for high-efficiency lighting projects, accounting for $3.9 million in utility bill savings for participating customers. The program reduced energy use by 36 GHw.

Another incentive, the Custom Performance Program, reduced business energy use by 26.5 GWh through 77 energy efficiency projects. LADWP paid out $2.7 million in incentives, which will save customers roughly $2.9 million.{related_content} The incentive program that spurred the greatest amount of energy savings involved more than 34,000 small businesses. LADWP targeted small operations using less than 30 kWh for free energy efficient lighting, saving individual customers up to $500 annually, which equates to a 25 percent bill reduction. The Small Business Direct Install program trimmed energy consumption by 100 GWh.

Overall, the city cut its water use by more than 17 percent in July, compared with the same period the year before.

The reductions by building type include:
•  20.1 percent reduction by single-family residences
•  8.3 percent reduction by multi-family residences
•  17.1 percent reduction by commercial properties
•  21.8 percent reduction by industrial properties
•  34.4 percent reduction by government properties

"Avoiding the need to generate power through energy efficiency is the cleanest and most economical way to reduce the city’s carbon footprint and I am pleased that the DWP and its customers have been so mindful of their energy usage," Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said in a statement last week. "Also, with the water shortage that we are facing, we must reduce our reliance on imported water and I am very encouraged that Angelenos have reduced their water consumption, especially during these summer months.”

Over the last three years, LADWP has boosted its energy efficiency budget tenfold. The amount of energy saved during the 2008-2009 fiscal year equals the amount of power used by 53,000 homes.

Los Angeles aerial -- CC licensed by Flickr user kla4067.