If you’re an L.A. resident not living off the grid, and you’re concerned about the environment, the L.A. Department of Water and Power offers a number of ways for you to do your bit, ranging from super easy to a little more involved. In the first category, if you haven’t already, go paperless! If you currently receive paper bills and sign up to go electronic only by June 30th, you will receive a ten dollar credit on your next bill. While you’re mucking around in your online account, why not convert some or all of your power usage to green power. They say it’s slightly more expensive, but I did it a while back and honestly haven’t noticed the difference. Anyway, if it’s a few bucks extra a month for me to know my lights are powered with wind and solar power, it’s totally worth it.
What about the water part? I know it’s rained a bit lately, but FYI, we are still in a serious drought, and the LADWP is offering many incentives to address this, and each and every one of them will ultimately save you money. First off, they are handing out low-flow showerheads and sink aerators for free. If you live in a complex, they will cheerfully send you a whole batch of stuff on their dime. We got a box of these goodies at my condo complex and I installed my showerheads, and my shower experience has honestly improved. The LADWP also offer rebates for installation of high-efficiency toilets and washers, so if you’re doing some renovations or thinking about upgrading, anyway, you might as well hit them up.
What about outside? Are you running sprinklers all the time to keep your lawn green through southern California summers? Why? Because you like mowing your lawn so much, or are hoping a baseball team will use it? Then consider that maybe it’s not worth importing water from out of state (85% of the water here is from outside California) so you can pretend you live on the east coast. The LADWP is currently offering rebates of up to $3/square foot for converting your lawn to drought-resistant native plants. And don’t think it’s an aesthetic sacrifice. A lot of those gardens are quite fetching and are way more compelling than a sea of overwatered grass. If you’re committed to your grass lawn for whatever reason, there’s a good chance you’re overwatering it — you only need one inch of water per week to keep it going.
Finally, they also offer incentives on the power side. Noticing your old refrigerator is a real drain on your bill? It probably is, as it’s typically the biggest user of energy on there after your air conditioner. LADWP will offer you a rebate if you upgrade to an Energy Star model. Thinking about going solar? We’re looking into it my complex, because there are significant tax incentives as well as LADWP rebates.
Not sure where you could be saving money? A LADWP representative will come to your home to assess energy-efficient cost-saving things you can do to save on your bill. If some of these things are out of your financial reach, you might quality for one of their financial assistance projects. In short, the LADWP wants you to conserve energy and water as much as your mom wanted you to eat your vegetables, so why not let them do it?