Los Angeles announces energy efficient building program

October 17, 2011

Los Angeles – already a member of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group – recently announced a program that will help reduce the total energy consumption and emissions that are contributed by the commercial buildings within the city, according to Energy Boom.

The program is one of many nationwide that seeks to address the fact that 5 million commercial buildings in the U.S. account for 40 percent of the total energy consumption in the country.

Los Angeles decided to address this problem through taking specific action, under the C40 umbrella. The climate leadership group was created in 2005 and is made up of 58 cities around the world that are seeking to make a significant change and reduce the carbon footprint that buildings leave on the world, Energy Boom reported.

According to the news source, the new program, called the LA Commercial Building Performance Partnership, is made up of several energy-affiliated organizations including the California Energy Commission, the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power and So Cal Gas.

Several building groups also signed on to the project to provide a funding mechanism for the program, as the free energy audits and technology recommendations will be provided free of charge to local businesses and organizations, Grist reported.

Additional funding will come from stimulus that is leftover from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, according to Energy Boom.

Technology for these buildings is manufactured around the country. Though this is true, the Department of Energy designated a specific program, the Greater Philadelphia Innovation Cluster for Energy-Efficient Buildings project (GPIC), for the development and design of energy efficient buildings.

This program seeks to reverse the trend of energy consumption by commercial buildings and helps companies and organizations to implement the technology and retrofit these structures to reduce the carbon footprint and lower electricity costs.

The technology that is developed in programs like this will help Los Angeles reduce its carbon footprint and will help businesses save money. Sarah Potts, the director for the C40 program in Los Angeles, noted that they need to use effective retrofits that already exist as another model.

"We're looking for clear examples of how to finance energy efficiency in the commercial sector" — and not just for the Empire State Buildings of the world, but also for small "mom-and pop" businesses," Potts noted. "There's been a wariness for lenders to see this as a safe investment. We want to show that there's a clear payback."