Big Win for Energy Efficiency in Los Angeles

LosAngeles EE After years in the making, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) approved new energy efficiency targets for the City that will save Los Angeles 50% more energy than previous targets.  These targets will allow LADWP’s 3.9 million customers to immediately start saving money on their utility bills, and will act as a model for national action on energy efficiency.

Global Green USA's policy team testified in support of the proposal, and helped gather support from key stakeholders to stand in favor of the proposal as well. We have long advocated for energy efficiency to be the first strategy for saving energy, as it is the cheapest, easiest, and cleanest option. For years, California has been a leader in approving bold energy efficiency targets; this forward thinking has saved residents billions of dollars and avoided millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

However for much of this time, LADWP’s investment in energy efficiency has lagged behind other California utilities. This all changed in 2012 when, under the leadership of David Jacot, LADWP doubled its investment in energy efficiency, and set a goal to save 10% of their current energy use by 2020.  Through ongoing analysis since 2012, LADWP was able to prove that the utility could in fact reach 15% savings by 2020. On August 5th, the Board of Commissioners approved this ambitious target. Commission President Mel Levine declared that he had never seen more people testify on an any issue than they did on the new energy efficiency target, and every piece of testimony was in favor of the proposal.

Achieving a 15% target by 2020 will cost $151 million per year, one-half to one-fourth the cost of a new power plant. Energy efficiency savings on this level would also create an estimated 22,000 jobs by 2033, more jobs than any other energy industry. In the long term, it will also save the city’s residents $775 million in energy bills.

With a growing population and many more days of extreme heat ahead, this decision could not have come sooner. Increasing our energy efficiency translates to cleaner air, immediate savings for Angelenos on their utility bills, and increased comfort.  We’re proud to continue to work with Los Angeles on rethinking how we use energy, and on turning these energy efficiency targets into programs that deliver results.