Editor’s Note: EarthTechling, always looking to bring you interesting cleantech reading, is proud to repost this article courtesy of Natural Resources Defense Council. Author credit goes to Kristin Eberhard.
LAANE has put together a terrific report (Clean Power, Good Jobs) that will tell you where LADWP’s power comes from, what legislative mandates and other challenges it faces, expected trends in energy prices, and why energy efficiency is so important for creating local jobs while getting us off of dirty fossil fuels. I just want to pull out a few facts that I found particularly powerful.
First, the basics: where does LADWP’s power come from?
This is pretty similar to the national average power mix which is 49% coal and very little from efficiency. It is rather different from the average California mix, which is only 18% coal (much of which is from LADWP and other Southern California publicly owned utilities) and, cumulatively, nearly 20% from efficiency.
Voters and Small Businesses Want LADWP to do more Energy Efficiency
As LAANE points out, everybody but everybody thinks energy efficiency is a good idea. But their report points to two particularly striking recent studies in LA.
“In June 2011 the non-profit group Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE) polled over 9,000 Los Angeles voters. Of those surveyed, 93% said they supported LA Department of Water and Power investments in energy efficiency to lower energy bills and create good jobs.”
And it’s not just voters. Small businesses are also clamoring for these programs.
“The non-profit ‘Initiating Change in Our Neighborhoods Community Development Corporation’ (ICON CDC) surveyed 240 small businesses in the San Fernando Valley, most of which are in premises under 2,200 square feet. Over 80% of the businesses surveyed said that an energy efficiency campaign would be ‘very helpful’ or ‘extremely helpful.’ High utility bills are a financial difficulty for many businesses of this size. At Birrieria Rosamaria, a small restaurant in Pacoima, the rent is $1,150 a month. Utility bills are an additional $1,100, almost as much as the rent itself. They would like to purchase new equipment and hire additional employees. A program that saves them money on their electricity bills could help them do that.
“‘I’m interested in learning how to make my business more efficient. We have to figure it out in order to stay in business, be in compliance, and be part of this community.’”