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LADWP Doubles Down on Clean, Cheap, Local Energy

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Photo: Trey Ratcliff

(Editor’s Note: Thanks to the strong advocacy of the Natural Resources Defense Council and others in the RePower LA coalition, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has taken important steps towards becoming the greener, more efficient utility that will power the region through the next century. Earlier this summer, the LADWP Board more than doubled its investment in energy efficiency, and it recently followed that by embracing strong principles to guide future policy.)

On August 7, LADWP adopted guiding principles for the development and implementation of its energy efficiency portfolio.

The resolution commits LADWP to “aggressively promote and achieve energy efficiency across all customer segments and energy end uses as a key part of LADWP’s long-term, supply-side energy procurement strategy.”

What does this mean?

Using energy efficiency as part of a supply-side energy procurement strategy may seem esoteric, but it has important implications for our clean energy future. It means that the leadership at LADWP recognizes that energy efficiency is not only clean local energy, it is also the cheapest energy available. LADWP intends to get as much energy efficiency as possible before turning to dirtier and more expensive energy resources.

It means that LADWP has moved from the old mindset that dirty power plants are what keep the lights on and energy efficiency is a bonus or “icing on the cake” to be achieved only when times are good; to the new mindset that energy efficiency is part of LADWP’s basic mission: keeping the lights on while keeping costs down. Energy efficiency is a clean, cheap, local, job-creating power plant and LADWP is ready to build it.

The resolution also commits to serve all customer classes, not just a select few. This means that every resident and business-owner in L.A. will have access to LADWP’s energy efficiency programs.

The LADWP Board resolution goes on to say that “LADWP is committed to transparency in the administration of its overall energy efficiency portfolio, and will report semi-annually on progress towards saving energy, serving a broad range of customers throughout the city, as well as on the training and job creation that results from energy efficiency investments. The LADWP will provide performance measurement and verification of actual realized energy savings.”

This means that LADWP is committing to continue and extend the trend we have seen recently of increased transparency. They will report twice a year on progress towards energy savings and resultant job creation. I look forward to seeing these reports and further great progress as our hometown utility brings clean local energy to L.A.

(Kristin Eberhard is the legal director of the NRDC’s Western Energy and Climate Projects, Santa Monica. Her post first appeared on Switchboard and is republished here with permission, as is Trey Ratcliff’s photo image.)

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