Save Water, Energy, Money and the Environment

Volume 9, Number 5 

May 2013 

Calling Volunteers!
U.S. Energy Administration
National Bike Month is Here!
L.A. Metro
Emissions in the AM
Sanitation Districts
West Basin
American Water Resources Association
City of Torrance
Energy Benchmarking
Legislation Corner
Cities in the News
Making Green Housing Affordable
May / June 2013 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! 

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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 



Southern California Gas Company  


Southern California Edison


West Basin Municipal Water District  


 En Espaņol


Southern California Gas Company
Southern California Edison Sanitation Districts of LA County

  County of Los Angeles 



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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 

City of Manhattan Beach

City of Rancho Palos Verdes


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

Did You Know?

America now has more solar energy workers than coal miners

Message From the Deputy Executive Director of Environmental Programs


Did you know that May is a month of firsts when it comes to different types of transportation?   


                May 1, 1841:        First wagon train left Independence,                                                Missouri for California.

                May 3, 1919:       America's first passenger flight took                                               place - New York to Atlantic City.

                May 23, 1903:     First automobile trip across U.S. from                                             San Francisco to New York (ended                                                 April1)

                May 31, 1868:     First bicycle race was raced at the                                                 Pare de St. Cloud, Paris.


That short history lesson takes us to today with May designated as National Bike Month.  The options for travel have certainly expanded throughout the years and the themes for biking have also grown to include Bike to Work Day, Bike to School Day, and Bike to Beat Cancer as examples.  Bicycling links simple transportation with land use planning and public health impacts, cutting across generations.  It is one proven method of creating and using energy for personal well-being and community good as a mobility option.


I invite you to explore other linkages to air, water and energy in the articles that follow.


Catherine Showalter
Energy Upgrade Logo
Energy Upgrade California
SBESC's Role has Changed with Energy Upgrade California in Los Angeles County

Since May of 2010, the SBESC has been the Call Center for Energy Upgrade California in Los Angeles County. For the past three years, homeowners throughout Los Angeles County have called the Call Center's toll-free number for information about how the program works, how to find a participating contractor, how to finance energy efficiency projects, when to expect a rebate check, etc.  As of April 30, 2013, the Call Center has transitioned to another organization within Los Angeles County. If a homeowner, who has completed energy efficient projects through EUC, has specific questions regarding a rebate, please call (877) 785-2237.


For those living or working in the South Bay, the SBESC continues to be the South Bay's local clearinghouse and call center for information, materials and training related to energy and water efficiency, transportation options, managing waste (via the Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County), as well as other environmental issues.  


SBESC works closely with the sixteen South Bay cities and County Unincorporated Areas of the South Bay on the implementation of energy and water saving projects that reduce greenhouse gases as well as costs. SBESC provides resources and tools to assist residents, businesses, and public agencies in better understanding the potential for energy and water efficiency within their homes, businesses and municipal facilities. Visit  or call (310) 371-7222 for the latest information, activities, and opportunities to participate in a greener South Bay.


U.S. Energy Administration
Lower Residential Energy Use Reduces Home Energy Expenditures as Share of Household Income

Consumers spent 2.7% of their household income on home energy bills last year, the lowest percentage in 10 years. Aggregate home energy expenditures by U.S. households fell $12 billion in 2012 from the 2011 level. In 2012, prices for residential natural gas decreased 3% from the previous year, while household electricity prices stayed about the same. Warmer weather contributed to lower energy consumption in 2012, and because household energy expenditures reflect both prices and consumption, these changes resulted in lower household energy expenditures.

Southern California Gas CompanyThe Gas Company

How to Qualify for an Instant Rebate


Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) and participating retailers are making it easy for you to receive rebates instantly. No application and no waiting.

Learn More


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Southern California EdisonSCE  

Outage Center Goes Mobile


Your fully charged smartphone is always a "go-to" communication option, especially in an urgent situation when safety is key. It's realized that power outages are an unfortunate inconvenience so SCE's made it easier for you to report and check on the status of power outages using your web-enabled mobile phone. (Data usage charges may apply. Please check with your carrier.)

Read More


Community Outreach Grant Information Day


Friday, May 17, 8 am - 4 pm at the American Red Cross in Riverside: learn about grant funding opportunities and more detailed information here.


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National Bike Month is Here!
12 Cool Urban Bicycles Ready to Replace Your Car

Bikes are tough to beat in terms of urban transportation: they're reliable, emissions-free, take up very little parking space, and cost almost nothing to operate. Depending on your commute or the length of your errand, it's possible that a bicycle will get you where you're going faster than an automobile. And they're great for your health.


For many people, a bicycle could replace a car (or a second vehicle). Even if putting your auto out to pasture isn't a realistic option, having a bicycle on hand can substantially lower your monthly transportation costs and environmental footprint.
Read More


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L.A. Metro
ExpressLanes: Toll Lane Transponder Fee Suspended for L.A. County Residents


A controversial monthly fee tied to Los Angeles County's new toll lane system was suspended Thursday after a lengthy discussion and divided vote by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority board.


For the next six months, Los Angeles County residents will not be charged a $3 monthly maintenance fee for their transponders - coaster-sized devices that track toll lane usage and fees.

Read More


What is a Vanpool?


With gas prices rising, traffic congestion increasing, and energy resources dwindling, smart long-distance commuters are seizing the opportunity to turn an often costly and frustrating daily commute into a more pleasant experience. It's called vanpooling.


Vanpools are similar to carpools, except they generally involve more people. A vanpool is a group of 5 to 15 people who regularly travel together to work 30 miles or more (roundtrip) in a comfortable van. Typically, riders pay a monthly fare and maintenance fee, while drivers ride at a discounted rate in exchange for driving and maintaining the van.


Vanpoolers can shave an average of 20 minutes off of their commute time by using carpool lanes, and lower the stress and expense of driving alone. And now, with the Metro Vanpool Program, new and existing vanpools will save even more money. Get in. To learn about how your employer can start a vanpool at a discounted rate, call SBESC at (310) 371-7222 and ask to speak with Melissa. 


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Emissions in the AM
Freeway Air Pollution Travels Farther in Early Morning

Two years ago researchers outfitted an electric Toyota RAV4 with a set of test instruments and drove back and forth near four Los Angeles County freeways between 4:30 a.m. and 6:30 a.m., sampling the air.

The results confirmed that in the early morning, concentrated plumes of air pollution from freeways can travel more than a mile downwind, exposing more residents than previously thought to harmful pollution levels.

Read More


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Sanitation Districts of LA County

Sanitation Districts of Los Angeles County

Household Hazardous and Electronic Waste Program


The Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program (HHW) gives Los Angeles County Residents a legal and cost-free way to dispose of unwanted household chemicals that cannot be disposed of in the regular trash. Click here to see upcoming dates and locations as well as qualifying items for disposal.  



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Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) 
Availability Of The California Communities Environmental Health Screening Tool Report, Version 1 (Calenviroscreen 1.0), Online Mapping Application, And Accompanying Documents
The California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) and the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) announce the availability of the California Communities Environmental Health Screening Tool, Version 1 (CalEnviroScreen 1.0). This tool presents the nation's first comprehensive screening methodology to identify California communities that are disproportionately burdened by multiple sources of pollution and presents the statewide results of the analysis using the screening tool. A report describing the methodology and results along with an online mapping application are available.

Use Screening Tool


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West Basin Municipal Water DWest Basinistrict 
Water Conservation Plant Sale: Saturday, June 1st


Hawthorne Home Depot, 14603 Ocean Gate Ave, Hawthorne - 8 am - 12 pm


The Home Depot and their vendors have partnered to offer you special deals and great savings on select varieties
of low-water-use plants at each of the parking lot events throughout Coastal Los Angeles. For more information on

these plant fairs, visit  


High Efficiency Toilet Exchange: Saturday, June 1st



  • If you have older toilets that were installed before January 1, 1992 and they use 3.5 or more gallons per flush. Check inside of tank for date.
  • If you live in a single-family home, condominium, townhome, apartment, duplex, or mobile home you are eligible to participate.
  • Apartment owners may also be eligible, please call (866) 861-0784.
See Flyer for more information. 

American Water Resources Association
Composting for Water Quality and Conservation

But compost isn't just good at saving water; it can also improve water quality.  From composting blankets along highways to rain garden soil mixes that maximize the removal of metals and breakdown of organic chemicals, compost and water quality are intimately connected.  For example, preliminary results from research I presented at the conference demonstrates that a bioswale soil mix of 40% compost to 60% sand can improve removal of Cu and Zn from stormwater.  Removal efficiencies for soil columns leached with 1ppm Cu and Zn removed 85-92% of Cu and 50-63% Zn depending on treatment.  When water treatment residuals were added to mixes to prevent phosphorus leaching, efficiencies were as high as 98% and 75% respectively.

Read More


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City of Torrance 
City of Torrance

2013 State of the City Address: Cablecasting Date and Time


The Mayor Scotto's 2013 State of the City Address and CitiCABLE introductory video will begin cablecasting on Torrance CitiCABLE Channel 3 (Time Warner) and 36 (Verizon):

  • May 23rd through June 18th at 10:00 a.m., 2:00 p.m., and 8:00 p.m.    
  • June 19th through July 16th at 12:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. 
Both video's will also be online beginning May 23rd at TorranceCA.Gov and Youtube
Energy Benchmarking
A $9 Billion Saving Plan

Energy benchmarking can unlock $9 billion in energy savings by 2020, suggests a recent report by the Institute of Market Transformation. Despite our lofty aspirations of energy independence and tackling global climate change, we are only beginning to implement the first step in the multifamily building sector - understanding our energy use. Multifamily housing has a number of characteristics that should make green retrofits an appealing investment, but only a fraction of the potential energy savings have been realized due to the lack of data on best practices and historical cost savings. Experts estimate that the multifamily housing stock could feasibly become 28% more efficient by 2020, which translates to 51,000 GWh of electricity, or 20 coal power plants worth of carbon emissions.


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Legislation Corner 

Senate Bill Advances Energy Efficiency
Senators Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Rob Portman(R-OH) reintroduced their Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act, an energy efficiency bill that is supported by the National Association of Manufacturers, the Alliance to Save Energy and the National Electrical Manufacturers Association among others.

Department of Energy
Solar So Simple It Is Just a Click Away

Gone are the days when consumers had to wonder if they could put solar panels on their home, whether they were getting the best deal on their rooftop photovoltaic (PV) system, or how long it would take to receive a permit for installation. Today's solar market is becoming much easier to navigate thanks to the combined efforts of Energy Department partners working on the SunShot Initiative.

Read More


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Cities in the News 
Charge Your Electric Car in Manhattan Beach


There's no doubt Californians love their cars. The Golden State accounts for almost 10 percent of all car sales in the country, The Wall Street Journal reported recently.

If you're in the market for an electric vehicle, you'll certainly have your pick. With its laws incentivizing car manufacturers to go green, California has driven the push for eco-friendly transportation.

Read More


Taste of Hawthorne Food Festival


Sunday, May 19th - 10 am - 6 pm at the Hawthorne Airport 


Food, beer and wine, cars and much more will be on display (and to try, of course) this upcoming weekend. Look for SBESC's table and find out about the latest in ways you can save money, energy, water and the environment! 



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Making Green Housing Affordable
An Examination of the Necessity of a Holistic Approach to Sustainable Living

As an uncertain housing market continues to plague the economy, obesity rates escalate, and the number of children and adults living in poverty reaches an all-time high, green housing and sustainable community development have never been more critical. Implementing a holistic vision of sustainable development in the residential sector would help the United States address three of its biggest challenges: an economy in the doldrums, climate change, and rising long-term healthcare costs.

Read More


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May / June 2013 Events & Workshops 
Click Here to See a List of Upcoming Events & Workshops