With the summer approaching, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is dramatically increasing financial incentives to customers who install super-efficient air conditioners and lighting systems. The Board of Water and Power Commissioners recently formally accepted $16 million from the California Energy Commission to expand the LADWP program. The funds are part of the state's $850 million summer conservation program.

While LADWP will use the money to increase incentives for residential customer purchases of high-efficiency air conditioners, businesses will be eligible for much higher incentives for air conditioners, chillers, lighting, cool roofs and window films.

"We expect to exceed the state's conservation goal of reducing our peak-period load by 12.75 megawatts. With this energy saved, we will be able to provide more electricity to help the rest of California," said Angelina Galiteva, LADWP director of strategic planning.

Incentives for business customers, who can move quickly, may increase from $400 to more than $800 per peak-period kilowatt reduced. Some programs will result in incentive increases from $400 to $600 per kilowatt reduced, while incentives for some window films that reduce air conditioning use can reach $2 per square foot.

Medium- and large-size LADWP customers that have already installed energy-efficient equipment and systems include:

  • University of Southern California (USC) installed a new central plant (new chillers) and in the process of continuing to upgrade lighting systems resulting in total energy savings of 3.5 megawatts;
  • The Muller Co., whose Westwood Medical Plaza installed two new chillers and underwent a complete lighting retrofit project; and
  • Dunn-Edwards Corp. replaced eight air conditioning units with super-efficient models;