Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) announced their partnership with West Basin Municipal Water District to offer $150,000 in water conservation and energy efficiency upgrades for 100 income eligible families. The first-time project will provide upgrades to 100 homes within priority communities in Los Angeles County. As part of the Community Language Efficiency Outreach (CLEO) initiative, income-eligible customers in SoCalGas and West Basin's service territories can receive household upgrades including high efficiency toilets that limit the amount of water per flush, weather-based irrigation controller and smart hose bibs to help achieve water-efficient irrigation scheduling, low-flow kitchen and bath faucet aerators that reduce water flow without compromising performance, and low-pressure showerheads to help maximize water conservation.
"Nearly 10 million Los Angeles County residents are affected daily by worsening drought conditions, and we are combating record dry periods throughout California. We are pleased to see our local utilities, SoCalGas and West Basin Municipal Water District, step up to launch initiatives to help our residents with conservation efforts," said Inglewood City Councilman Alex Padilla. "We are serious about water and energy conservation efforts and hope to make a difference within our communities."
"Initiatives like the CLEO program can help tackle two challenges facing California – drought conditions and affordability concerns," said Brian Prusnek, director of customer programs and assistance at SoCalGas. "We know that the most affordable unit of energy is the one that isn't used, and every drop of water saved can go a long way in helping water districts overcome potential shortages. We see this partnership with West Basin Municipal Water District as a way to launch this win-win initiative."
The average American uses around 88 gallons per day per person in the household, and nearly 20% of a home's energy use is related to water consumption. The water conservation measures offered through this new partnership can help eligible customers save up to 394,000 gallons of water per home over the life of the devices. Overall, each household can save around 39.5 million gallons of water, equivalent to filling nearly 60 Olympic-sized pools. If a household takes advantage of all available measures within this program, customers can save up to $425 in water and sewer charges per year with projected savings of up to $5,200 over the life of the devices.
"Water efficiency is an extremely important for the West Basin service area. We are proud to help fund and launch this new initiative with SoCalGas to save both water and energy," said West Basin Board President Donald L. Dear. "As California continues to face a severe drought, West Basin encourages all of our customers to check their homes and businesses for opportunities to be more water-wise."
Customers can qualify for this initiative if they are a SoCalGas customer and reside in a priority neighborhood within the West Basin service area that is unequally affected by environmental pollution.
In the last five years, SoCalGas' energy efficiency programs have generated over $1 billion in avoided energy costs and delivered more than 219 million therms in energy savings, enough natural gas usage for 548,000 households a year. These energy savings reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 1.15 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of removing more than 250,000 cars from the road annually. Overall, these measures have helped SoCalGas customers save over $241 million on their natural gas bill costs over the past five years.
In 2021, the company's energy efficiency programs helped conserve more energy than any other natural gas utility in the U.S. SoCalGas' energy efficiency programs saved enough energy to power 100,000 homes in southern California for one year. The utility invests more in energy efficiency than any other local natural gas distribution company in the country and currently operates the largest natural gas distribution utility in the nation.
Energy efficiency plays a large role towards increasing clean energy access and affordability through new customer programs, rebates, incentives, and services to help residents reduce energy use. As part of the company's ASPIRE 2045 Sustainability Strategy to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions in its operations and the energy it delivers, SoCalGas aims to increase access and provide affordable energy through the development of new clean energy programs for customers by 2025 and enroll at least 90% of eligible low-income residents in alternative rates for energy programs every year.