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On May 15, 2007, Mayor Villaraigosa unveiled GREEN LA – An Action Plan to Lead the Nation in Fighting Global Warming. GREEN LA sets Los Angeles on a course to reduce the City’s greenhouse gas emissions 35 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, going beyond the targets of the Kyoto Protocol and representing the most ambitious goal of any large US city.
The cornerstone of GREEN LA is increasing the City’s use of renewable energy to 40 percent by 2020. GREEN LA also includes over 50 initiatives that will reduce the City’s carbon footprint.
Our City is growing fast and growing up, and we are partnering with the private sector to ensure that we are all friends to our environment. Already, the City of Los Angeles has the largest, most aggressive municipal green building plan of any large city in America. Now it’s time for green building to go private.
Taking bold action to combat climate change in Los Angeles, Mayor Villaraigosa signed the Private Sector Green Building Plan into law, setting LA on course to cut carbon emissions by more than 80,000 tons by 2012, the equivalent of taking 15,000 cars off the road – surpassing any other major city in the country.
The plan will create a series of requirements and incentives for developers to meet the US Green Building Council’s Energy and Design (LEED) standards – the country's strictest environmental building standards.
The green street light program is an example of how cities can cut costs while making a significant impact in the fight against climate change.
In a partnership with the Clinton Climate Initiative, Mayor Villaraigosa launched the largest LED (light-emitting diode) green street light program ever undertaken by a city.
The green street light program will replace 140,000 of the City’s traditional street lights with environmentally friendly LED lights: providing a 40% energy savings, reducing maintenance and energy costs, and reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 40,500 tons per year – the equivalent of taking 6,700 cars off the road.
In addition, thanks to the efficiency and lifespan of the LED lights, the program will save $10 million annually.
Currently, the City’s 140,000 street lights use 168 gigawatt hours of electricity at an annual cost of $15 million, emitting 120,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide.
Since Mayor Villaraigosa set the renewable energy target in 2005 of reaching 20% by 2010, the City has nearly quadrupled its current renewables portfolio (from 3 percent), while approving numerous projects now in the pipeline that will come online by 2010.
The 20 by ’10 goal has been helped along by major projects and power agreements during the Mayor’s administration. In December 2008, Los Angeles not only turned to a new page in its energy history, but has written an entirely new book for a livable LA. With the activation of Pine Tree, the nation’s largest municipally owned wind farm, Los Angeles took a national lead in producing its own clean energy. When completed in 2009, the 8,000-acre wind farm will deliver 120 megawatts of wind power to Los Angeles, enough energy to power 56,000 homes.
Furthering the progress toward the 20 by ’10 goal, the Mayor signed an agreement with CFE, Mexico’s power company, to purchase up to 100 MW of green energy from its Baja California geothermal facility.
Fighting climate change is as easy as changing a light bulb, and Los Angeles is leading the way. Bringing simple and effective energy-saving tools directly to the door of every Angeleno, Mayor Villaraigosa launched a citywide program to distribute two free, money-saving, energy-efficient, compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) to every household in Los Angeles.
The free light bulb program is projected to save up to 240 gigawatt-hours of energy and 131,000 metric tons of CO2 each year – the equivalent of taking 24,000 cars off the road or enough energy to power 40,000 homes for a year.
Through LADWP-sponsored teams, the City delivered bags containing two free CFLs and energy-saving tips to each of the 1.2 million households in Los Angeles.
The LADWP CFL replacement program is projected to save $61.3 million in fuel costs for generating electricity and will save Angelenos $100 per household on energy bills over the lifetime of the bulbs. Replacing two traditional incandescent light bulbs with CFLs will avoid the burning of 800 pounds of coal and its associated emissions.
Conservation is at the core of the Mayor’s plan to reduce the City’s carbon footprint. The Small Business Direct Install program is an example of a cost-effective energy conservation measure that benefits businesses and the environment. Under the program, small business owners can qualify for a lighting retrofit that can save 25 percent or more on lighting costs, with up to $2,500 of labor and equipment provided by the LADWP. To date, this program has assisted over 37,000 small businesses save energy and lower their bills, as well as save 88.5 gigawatt-hours (gWh) of energy. This energy savings is enough to power 14,750 homes for a year while reducing 40,731 metric tons of CO2 emissions.