Save Water, Energy, Money and the Environment

Volume 8, Number 8 

August 2012

Calling Volunteers!
Climate Change Report
Climate Change Being Addressed in the South Bay?
California's Carbon Caps
Gas Company
Sanitation Districts
West Basin
City of Torrance
Staff Spotlight
Green Homes Can Make You Some Extra "Green"
Cities in the News
August / September 2012 Events & Workshops
A Worthy Read
Interesting Domestic and International Articles Discussing the Environment, Energy Efficiency and Water Conservation


There has never been a better time to help out and be recognized.

Email Martha, call her at 310.371.7222, x 209 or complete our volunteer application and submit it by email or mail.   
You can make a huge difference! 

 Visit Our Cities

El Segundo
Hermosa Beach
Lawndale Lomita
Manhattan Beach
Palos Verdes Estates
Rancho Palos Verdes
Redondo Beach
Rolling Hills
Rolling Hills Estates

SCE Customers in
San Pedro & Harbor City

County Unincorporated Areas in South Bay 



The Gas Company  


Southern California Edison


West Basin Municipal Water District  


 En Espaņol


The Gas Company
Southern California Edison Sanitation Districts of LA County

  County of Los Angeles 



Find us on FacebookFollow us on TwitterView our profile on LinkedIn 

To read the South Bay Cities Council of Governments' latest edition of its newsletter,
South Bay Watch,
click here

Where Does Your City Rank in the 

SCE Energy Leader Partnership Program?


Platinum Tier
20% Energy Reduction Stay Tuned


Gold Tier
10% Energy Reduction 
City of Hawthorne
City of Lomita 


Silver Tier
5% Energy Reduction 
City of Carson
City of El Segundo
City of Hermosa Beach
City of Inglewood
City of Manhattan Beach
City of Redondo Beach
City of Torrance 
Valued Level
City of Lawndale
City of Palos Verdes Estates
City of Rancho Palos Verdes
City of Rolling Hills
City of Rolling Hills Estates
City of Gardena

Did You Know?

Taking into account products sold from the inception of each national standard through 2035, existing appliance, equipment and lighting standards will net consumers and businesses more than $1.1 trillion in savings cumulatively. Over the same period, cumulative energy savings will reach more than 200 quads, an amount equal to about two years of total U.S. energy consumption.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy 

Message From the Deputy Executive Director of Environmental Programs


"Shop Local" is the call to action this month as a personal way to promote economic and environmental sustainability in the South Bay.  The articles in this edition of the SBESC newsletter are intended to raise awareness of the climate action planning efforts the cities are taking with the support and assistance of the South Bay Cities Council of Governments.


It's all well and good that legislation has been signed into law over the recent past that sets goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  But what does that mean on a personal level?  The message is really very simple - each of us can affect change.  If we buy food grown locally that has not been transported from some other part of the country or overseas, we are making a difference.  Do the oranges from Florida or South America really taste better than those grown in California orchards?  Thinking about the consequences of our decisions is a great place to start even when ordering a glass of wine and there is a choice between one from a California vineyard and one from Europe.  If we make an effort to purchase clothes and appliances manufactured in the U.S.A., we are making a difference that impacts jobs and natural resources.

Truly, the issues that people care about most are simple, not complex, and cut across every generation. "Active transportation" provides preferred options of walking or bicycling that can take care of short trips, and one successful program is Safe Routes to School that helps fight the obesity epidemic of children by providing a safe and healthy way for young students to get to school without riding in a car. For those who must take a bus, low emission school bus programs are a definite improvement over the use of traditional diesel fueled vehicles.  Air quality is improved both inside the bus for the students and outside the bus for everyone else.


These are just examples of what can be done with our everyday choices.  Enjoy the articles that follow, keeping in mind the human connection that links global and abstract climate action planning with local and personal action steps.  

Catherine Showalter


Climate Change Reports Highlight Impacts and Challenges for California 
Leading scientists outline opportunities for solutions 


Facing the severe threat of climate change, California policymakers and researchers announced new data to reduce and adapt to climate change in the Golden State.

According to new reports released by the California Natural Resources Agency and the California Energy Commission, state and local leaders now have a wealth of detailed information about adapting to climate change. The findings were announced today at a news conference at the California Emergency Management Agency.

Read More  


California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to Establish Climate Change Consortium to Help Specialty Crop Growers Plan for Future Impacts


California's specialty crops account for more than half of the nation's fruits, vegetables, and nuts as well as nearly $7 billion dollars of exports worldwide.  California's production of diverse specialty crops is threatened by potential climate-related phenomena, including reduced water supplies, increased plant heat stress, decreased chill hours, shifts in pollinator lifecycles and increased influx of invasive species.  Addressing these risks to ensure agricultural adaptation to climate change will require a concerted effort and is an objective of California Agricultural Vision: Strategies for Sustainability. 
Read More


Climate Change Impacts: L.A. Braces for More Wet Weather  


Climate change is not only expected to cause more hot weather days in Los Angeles; scientists forecast there will be more wet ones as well.

Climate Change Being Addressed in the South Bay?

The SBESC's Sabrina Bornstein Addresses Climate Action Planning (CAP) in the Center and Amongst the South Bay Cities


Ever since the passage of Assembly Bill 32, the Global Warming Solutions Act, in 2006, the State has produced regulations and strategies to reduce greenhouse gases on a statewide level.  Planning for climate change, however, is not only taking place at the state-level. Many cities and regions throughout California have been on the forefront of climate action planning.


Recognizing the important role that local jurisdictions and regions play in addressing climate change, the SBESC is working closely with the cities in the South Bay on drafting Climate Action Plans. The first two steps to building a Climate Action Plan are to measure current greenhouse gas emissions and to set a target for reducing those emissions. Previously, the SBCCOG and cities inventoried the major sources of greenhouse gas emissions, both for municipal operations and the community overall, for each city in the South Bay. Building off of these inventories, the SBESC is working with the South Bay cities to set reduction targets and to identify existing and potential strategies for reducing emissions. These strategies may range from improving energy efficiency in buildings to expanding the electric vehicle charging infrastructure to other measures in energy efficiency, renewable energy, water conservation, waste reduction and sustainable transportation. In addition to reducing emissions, many of these strategies also will benefit the cities and the South Bay Area in other ways such as improving air quality, reducing costs and growing the local green economy. The Climate Action Plans will serve as roadmaps as the South Bay cities implement these strategies and monitor progress along the way. 


California's Carbon Caps are Contentious but Coming 

A Discussion About California's Adoption of a Cap-and-Trade Policy


November marks a big date. It's not just about a presidential election. It's also about the kick off to California's cap-and-trade system to limit carbon emissions.


Energy Upgrade Logo
Energy Upgrade California
SoCal Gas Summer Special Ends September 1st!
Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has increased its incentives for customers served by municipal utilities in the Los Angeles County area who participate in the Energy Upgrade California program.  These municipalities include the cities of Azusa, Burbank, Glendale, Los Angeles, and Pasadena.  The incentives being offered by SoCalGas are in addition to the rebates LA County currently offers.  When combined with SoCalGas' incentives, customers could benefit from up to $8,000 for home energy-efficiency improvements.


The Gas CompanyThe Gas Company

Learn how combined heat and power may help you save money - Seminar from 9 am - 3 pm on Tuesday, September 11, 2012 (Seminar #27107)


This seminar will focus on natural gas-fired technologies that generate power while also providing heating and cooling needs. Get the latest information on incentives, the market environment, technology developments, and current policies and regulations affecting on-site generation. Learn what steps to take in order to make the most informed decision about your particular application of CHP. Several equipment and technology vendors will discuss their experience with successful projects and will hold demonstrations that prove the validity of combined heat and power for a variety of applications. Vendors include gas engine, fuel cell, micro turbine, and turbine manufacturers.



Register Here


Return to Top

Southern California EdisonSCE  


Our Environmental Services Analyst (ESA), Joline Munoz Shares Her Experience at the Big Creek Workshop and Provides a Historical Backdrop for SCE


Big Creek is SCE's 1000 MW Hydroelectric Facility in the High Sierras. It provides 220,000 volts of renewable electricity to Southern California.


On the way to Big Creek, the Workshop included a brief tour of the Energy Education Center (EEC) in Tulare, similar to the center that is located in Irwindale. This facility gives educational workshops mainly to commercial customers and has a tool lending library that is available to all customers.  If a customer in the LA County Service Area is interested in participating, they can arrange to have the tool shipped to the Irwindale Center or if they aren't located close enough to the Irwindale Center, the item can be shipped directly to their property.


Return to Top

L.A. Metro

Vanpool Frequently Asked Question


The SBESC answers questions from time to time about Metro's Vanpool program. One such question is: "Do I need to own a van to start a vanpool?" The answer to that question is NO. If you start a vanpool using your own van, you will not qualify for the Metro Vanpool Program subsidy of up to $400 per month. Vehicles used in the Metro Vanpool program must be leased through Metro's partner vanpool leasing agencies: Enterprise Rideshare and vRIDE (formerly VPSI). These companies lease commuter vanpools on a month-to-month basis, with the lease covering insurance and maintenance. The leasing agencies also offer information and assistance in setting fares and policies, and will even help by strategies for recruiting riders.


If you are interested in learning more about Metro's Vanpool program and how to qualify for a $400 monthly subsidy, be sure to contact SBESC and ask for Grace.

Sanitation Districts of LA County

Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County

Sanitation Districts of L.A. County Teams Up with Grades of Green for Second Year to Reduce Trash Produced by Schools--REGISTER YOUR SCHOOL BY FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 14!


Normally, an 82% cutback would not be cause for celebration in L.A. County schools.

But this year, an 82% reduction is actually a goal. It's the benchmark to beat for the second annual "Trash-Free Lunch Challenge," a waste-reduction program sponsored by the Sanitation Districts of L.A. County (Sanitation Districts) and national non-profit group Grades of Green.

"We are excited to be part of this worthwhile effort for a second year," said Grace Robinson Chan Sanitation Districts Chief Engineer and General Manager. "Last year's participating schools averaged an 81% reduction in lunchtime trash to landfills. We're hoping this year's schools will do even better."

Read More


Details and How to Register Here



Return to Top

West Basin Municipal Water DWest Basinistrict 
Come to West Basin's 14th annual Water Harvest festival - Saturday,

FREE admission, carnival games, stage shows, costume contest, tours, and more!




SPONSORS:  There are two types of sponsors for Water Harvest - In-kind Prize donations and Financial Sponsorships. If you're interested in being a sponsor for the 14th annual Water Harvest festival, please contact [email protected]


City of Torrance 
City of Torrance

Ocean Friendly Garden Workshop: Saturday, September 15 - 1st Session: 9 am - 12 pm, 2nd Session: 1 pm - 4 pm


The City of Torrance cordially invites you, in conjunction with our partnering agencies, to join us and learn how to develop and maintain an "Ocean Friendly Landscape" using the latest sustainable techniques to conserve water and other resources. This will be a "Workday Event" at West High School where we are transforming a vacant parcel to an aesthetically pleasing, functional and water efficient, sustainable landscape. The City of Torrance cordially invites you, in conjunction with our partnering agencies, to join us and learn how to develop and maintain an "Ocean Friendly Landscape" using the latest sustainable techniques to conserve water and other resources.

Find out more...
Staff Spotlight 
David Magarian 


David Magarian manages the Local Use Vehicle Demonstration Program, Energy Efficiency training programs for city staff, elected commissioners and officials and the Enterprise Energy Monitoring Information System for municipal facilities for the South Bay Cities Council of Governments (SBCCOG).  As an Environmental Program Specialist at the SBCCOG's Environmental Services Center, David helps design and implement energy efficiency and electric vehicle related programs.  He is a LEED Accredited Professional and Certified Associate Project Manager with extensive experience in environmental program design, environmental building design, sustainable master planning, renewable energy planning, LEED implementation, and low carbon development.   David received an M.A. in Sustainable Architecture and Community Planning from Northern Arizona University and a B.A. in Sustainable Transit Design from Hampshire College.


Green Homes Can Make You Some Extra "Green"
Green-certified homes sell for 9% more, study in California finds 
It has been a controversial question in the home real estate market for years: Is there extra green when you buy green? Do houses with lots of energy-saving and sustainability features sell for more than houses without them? If so, by how much?
Read More

 Return to Top

Cities in the News 


The City Council on Tuesday voted to change the method of trash collection beginning January 1 for all residents, who will see a change in their trash fees depending upon how much refuse they throw out.

Read More


Hermosa Beach extends solar panel fee reduction 


Reaffirming a commitment to backing eco-friendly initiatives, the Hermosa Beach City Council has unanimously approved extending waiving fees for solar panel installations and parking permits for alternative fuel vehicles.


The fee waivers were unanimously passed on Tuesday during the consent agenda portion of the meeting. Councilman Michael DiVirgilio, whose wife gave birth on Saturday to a healthy baby girl, was absent.


There has been a small uptick in solar panel installations in Hermosa Beach, according the city figures. There were 14 installations in 2009, 16 in 2010 and 20 in 2011. The waiver of permit fees amount to a savings of $395 per solar panel system.


The city has issued 22 parking permits for 100 percent alternatives fuel vehicles. Permits cost $40 for each vehicle.

The fee waivers were first implemented in July 2011.


So far, none of the fee-waiver programs have been significantly used, according to a city staff report.

The council has also waived building and planning fees for small wind energy systems.


DailyBreeze Article Here


Beach Cities Transit Announces Upcoming Service Changes Effective August 25, 2012


Beach Cities Transit (BCT) has announced three upcoming service changes effective Saturday, August 25, 2012. The service improvements are part of the transit agency's service plan changes that are based on the Comprehensive Operational Analysis study that was completed in August 2011. Community meetings were held September 26 though October 6, 2011 to present proposed service changes and take public comment. The Public Hearing was held at the Redondo Beach City Council meeting on November 15, 2011, 
and the service changes were approved by the City Council.


Click Here to See Bus Map and Time Schedule Changes and Information


Return to Top

August / September 2012 Events & Workshops & Trainings
Click Here to See a List of Upcoming Workshops & Trainings
Click Here to See a List of Upcoming Events
Return to Top