LADWP Sets 15% Efficiency Target

13 Nov 2014

The Los Angeles Department of Water & Power could create 17,000 jobs by implementing its new 15 percent energy efficiency goal, plus cut greenhouse gases by the equivalent of taking 440,000 cars off the road.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the utility’s new efficiency target for 2020 on Nov. 10.

“Energy conservation is how we will address climate change and keep our power bills low,” said Garcetti at a press conference on the goal. “Reforming the [department] and reducing utility costs are key components of my back-to-basics agenda, and investing in efficiency is three to four times cheaper than building new power plants and cleans the air.”

The muni’s 15 percent goal exceeds the state’s requirement that municipal utilities meet 10 percent of their total power needs through efficiency by 2020. Reaching the 15 percent goal could save as much as 3,596 GWh/year of power, according to the utility. Muni chief sustainability and economic development officer Nancy Sutley said the “key” to reaching the goal will be improving energy performance among the department’s “large commercial, industrial and institutional customers.”

Garcetti, Sutley, and others announced the target at a downtown commercial complex. It houses a Macy’s department store, an office tower, hotel, parking garage, and other businesses that have recently undergone energy efficiency retrofits.

At the same time, the Luskin Center at the University of California at Los Angeles rolled out a new study, which found that every $1 million spent on efficiency in Los Angeles creates 16 jobs.

According to the study, that’s more jobs than are created by investing in a host of other industries and technologies. For instance, the report noted that every million dollars invested in solar energy creates 13.7 new jobs and every million invested in natural gas creates just 5.2 jobs.

Fully reaching the 15 percent savings goal could create 17,000 new jobs in Los Angeles County, according to Luskin Center director J.R. DeShazo.

Energy efficiency, according to the report, creates jobs in a wide range of trades, including for electricians, metal workers, roofers, carpenters, plumbers and other construction-related occupations.

To reach the goal, the muni is offering a wide range of incentive payments to both residents and businesses for measures like upgrading air conditioning systems, replacing windows, purchasing energy efficient appliances, and incorporating efficiency into new construction projects.

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