Connect with us


It Slices, It Dices – the Magic of Energy Efficiency





Energy efficiency is the Swiss Army Knife of public policy. It’s Veg-o-matic. It slices and dices. No matter the question, energy efficiency just might be the answer.

What technology saves you money on your utility bill? How can businesses become more competitive? What reduces greenhouse gas emissions at the lowest cost? Energy efficiency is the correct answer to all-of-the-above.

Now add another benefit: energy efficiency can help prepare us for climate change.

Think about the hot summer days when electricity use skyrockets. On L.A.’s hottest day on record – 113° Fahrenheit on September 27, 2010 – LADWP delivered a whopping 6,177 megawatts. It was the all-time high in power demand, mainly to power air-conditioners and refrigerators.
But, when the grid is overtaxed, there’s also a high likelihood of power outages. More than an inconvenience, blackouts are a public health problem. During the Chicago heat wave of 1995, 750 people died for want of air conditioning.

Now, climate change is exacerbating the problem. According to Princeton’s Climate Central, over the past 28 years, the number of major power outages have increased tenfold.

Energy efficiency not only lowers your power bill but also lowers energy demand, keeping the grid in good operating order and keeping communities safer.
But wait — there’s more: energy efficiency is also a great way to create jobs for the next generation. Programs like LADWP’s Utility Pre-Craft Trainee program provide a pathway for low-income workers to be employed while improving home energy efficiency. The program provides services such as weather stripping and attic insulation that not only keep bills down but makes homes more comfortable.

Energy efficiency – what can’t it do?

Jonathan Parfrey is executive director of Climate Resolve. Appointed in 2009, Parfrey served as a commissioner at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. He is also a visiting lecturer at the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. Parfrey is immediate past-president of theLos Angeles League of Conservation Voters. He is a founder and Vice Chair of CicLAvia, the popular street event. He is also a founder of the Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action and Sustainability and the statewide Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation.

Continue Reading




Top Stories