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SoCalGas, LADWP to provide energy efficiency funding

OW Staff | 4/24/2013, 5 p.m.

Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) have teamed up to invest $440 million in energy efficiency funding into the community. The two utilities now offer several energy-saving, and potentially cost-saving, programs to residential and business customers in their joint service territory.

"I applaud SoCalGas and LADWP for their unprecedented collaboration in offering energy-efficiency upgrades to their shared customers," Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said. "Jointly, these agencies have made energy efficiency a reality and have allowed Angelenos to save substantially on both their water and energy bills."

The incentive programs for homeowners include Energy Upgrade California and California Advanced Homes. Energy Upgrade California offers energy-efficient home improvements such as air and duct sealing, new insulation and low-flow shower heads, among others. The California Advanced Homes program provides incentives for building more efficient new homes.

"Working together helps customers realize a better return on their energy efficiency investment," said Gillian Wright, SoCalGas director of customer programs and assistance. "This is a great example of how public-private partnerships can benefit the community."

SoCalGas and LADWP also offer Retrocommissioning Express (RCx), a no-cost and low-cost energy optimization program that can reduce electricity and gas bills in qualifying commercial buildings.

"Working with SoCalGas allows us to offer our customers a more complete savings package," said David Jacot, director of energy efficiency for LADWP. "Energy efficiency programs provide an avenue for us to make investments that improve the environment and help create jobs in our community."

Energy efficiency is a key element of LADWP's power supply transformation, which involves eliminating coal power by 2025 and replacing it with a combination of renewable energy, energy efficiency and natural gas. LADWP has doubled its investment in energy efficiency programs this year with the goal of reducing power use by at least 10 percent by 2020.

SoCalGas plans to use its agreement with LADWP as a model to work with other municipal utilities in its service territory to offer similar programs.

Correction:
In last week's issue, Our Weekly mistakenly attributed a guest commentary in support of Assembly Bill 1257 to Southern California Edison rather than Southern California Gas Co. Assembly Bill 1257 "directs the California Energy Commission, by Jan. 1, 2015, and every four years thereafter, to prepare a report on how the state can best leverage natural gas as an energy resource.

"The report would identify strategies for using natural gas as a transportation fuel, determining the optimal role for natural gas-fired generation, optimizing natural gas as a flexible and efficient end-use energy source and taking the best advantage of natural gas as a low emission and renewable resource."