January 13, 2014
During the first six months of a new program to boost energy and water savings among small businesses, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has provided free energy efficient building upgrades for 1,200 small businesses, and plans to help thousands more become more energy and water efficient by next spring.
Targeting businesses with a demand of 30 kilowatts or less (Rate A-1), the Small Business Direct Install Program (SBDI) offers a free energy and water use assessment as well as the funding and installation of recommended energy efficient and water-saving upgrades.
'Energy efficiency is a key element of LADWP's major power supply transformation by avoiding the need to add more power capacity by reducing overall energy demand,' said Aram Benyamin, LADWP Senior Assistant General Manager - Power. By 2025, LADWP plans to eliminate coal-fired power, and replace it with a combination of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and efficient natural gas as a bridge fuel to provide reliability.
Encouraging energy efficiency among small businesses are particularly important because they represent 72% of LADWP commercial customers, he added.
Although they represent a significant portion of LADWP's energy users, small businesses are often customers who need additional assistance beyond the traditional rebate programs. 'This program reduces their costs, which helps stimulate the local economy by creating or retaining jobs,' said David Jacot, Director of Efficiency Solutions. 'It also serves the dual purpose of increasing energy efficiency among our hard-to-reach business customers,' he added.
To help boost jobs as well as reach small businesses in non-English speaking and underserved communities, LADWP has teamed up with six community based organizations (CBOs) to conduct outreach and help market the program directly in their communities. Together, the six CBOs have a mix of about 25 employees and volunteers conducting education workshops, canvassing areas and pre-qualifying customers.
Through the SBDI program, businesses that receive an assessment will be provided with a detailed report indicating how their business can benefit from energy and water saving measures. These include measures such as energy efficiency lighting systems and lamps, LED exit signs, low-flow toilets and faucet aerators, pipe and water heater insulation, and pre-rinse spray valves.
Since April 2013, LADWP has provided 1,200 businesses with free energy efficiency upgrades, which have been estimated to reduce each customer's energy bill by an average of $900 per year. This represents an energy savings of 6,332,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year. That amount of energy savings is equivalent to avoiding CO2 emissions of about 3,500 metric tons or removing 700 cars from the road each year.
Additionally, energy efficiency upgrades now include replacing incandescent bulbs with energy-saving LED lamps. LEDs are about 80 percent more efficient and offer other benefits such as that they last about 10 times longer, reach full brightness instantly, and emit less heat than standard incandescent bulbs and halogen lights.
Along with energy savings, LADWP estimates that the program will save 22 million gallons'approximately 68 acre-feet'of water for over 1,000 small business customers who have received assessments since the program began in April.
The SBDI program is part of LADWP's Efficiency Solutions Initiative, which features new or re-tooled energy efficiency programs designed to reduce energy use by at least 10 percent citywide by 2020. LADWP is also studying the feasibility of increasing this goal to 15% energy savings by 2020.
Jacot said the Efficiency Solutions Initiative builds upon proven, cost-effective measures designed to help residential and business customers achieve high levels of energy efficiency. In parallel to the SBDI program, LADWP is conducting free home energy efficiency and water saving upgrades for residential customers through the Home Energy Improvement Program.
Qualified measures offered through the SBDI program are some of the latest energy efficiency technologies, which are better quality than their standard commercial counterparts and often improve the look of a business. These technologies also last longer, minimizing the time business operators spend on maintenance. Additionally, business owners can take pride in knowing they have made environmentally-friendly choices.
For more information and to see if your business qualifies, call the SBDI program office toll free at 877.714.1254 or log on to www.ladwp.com/SBDI.
For more information:
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP)
36900 N. Pelton St.
Santa Clarita, 91350