LADWP Urges Customers to Save Water and Electricity to Lower Utility Bills this Summer

LADWP Urges Customers to Save Water and Electricity to Lower Utility Bills this Summer 

LOS ANGELES—As Los Angeles gears up for another hot summer following a record dry winter, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is urging its customers to save water and energy to preserve these resources and to keep their bills low.

“The ongoing dry weather conditions—which are the state’s worst in 40 years—impacted water costs beginning July 1 because of the record low snowpack in the Sierra mountains. The water supply from the Eastern Sierra via the Los Angeles Aqueduct is expected to be just 7% this year, the lowest in the L.A. Aqueduct’s 100-plus year history. As a result, we need to purchase more expensive water to meet customer demand,” said Jim McDaniel, Senior Assistant General Manager – LADWP Water System.

The utility is also facing recent increases in natural gas costs, although the total increase is partially offset by greater amounts of renewable energy coming into the LADWP power grid at costs lower than had been projected.

“Energy use typically increases during the summer because people tend to run their air conditioners more, plus major appliances require more electricity to run during hot temperatures,” said Randy Howard, Senior Assistant General Manager – LADWP Power System. “This summer, the typical increase in energy demand coincides with an increase in purchased fuel costs,” Howard said.

Howard said the increase in purchased fuel costs is largely due to a spike in natural gas prices and the need to use more natural gas to replace the loss of hydro-electric power as a result of the drought. The average price of natural gas increased 34 percent as of April 2014 compared to April 2012. The price is expected to drop slightly by October. 

To offset these increased costs, LADWP urges customers to take advantage of rebate and incentive programs. LADWP offers rebates for energy saving refrigerators, pool pumps, room and central air conditioners, window products, whole-house fans and other efficient products for the home. 

Customers can also save energy and money through simple steps at home such as:

  • Running major appliances like washing machines after 6 p.m.
  • Turning off all unnecessary lights and electronic equipment
  • Keeping your thermostat set to 78 degrees or higher

In terms of water use, Angelenos do a great job of conserving, but there is potential for more water savings if residents “think outside the home,” said McDaniel. “We find that the average residential customer uses about half of all their water on outdoor landscaping. So by following the Water Conservation Ordinance, customers can minimize their outdoor watering and see real water savings.”

The City’s Water Conservation Ordinance limits outdoor watering to three days a week before 9 a.m. and after 4 p.m., 8 minutes per station. The watering days are based on a customer’s address. Odd numbered addresses should water Monday, Wedesday and Friday; even numbered addresses water Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday.

To help reduce water use outdoors, LADWP recently increased its “Cash in Your Lawn” rebate from $2 per square foot to $3 per square foot for residential and commercial customers to replace their water-thirsty grass with California Friendly plants and other water-wise landscaping. LADWP also offers rebates for outdoor watering devices such as rotating sprinkler nozzles and weather-based irrigation controllers.

To learn more about energy efficiency tips and rebate programs visit www.ladwp.com/Save.

To learn more about water conservation in Los Angeles, visit www.LADWP.com/WC.

To view current LADWP energy and water rates, visit www.ladwp.com/Rates.

# # #