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Riverside Public Utilities Supports Community With Energy Efficiency Programs

RPU customers can lower their utility bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by participating in eight programs. – Courtesy photo

Programs can help residents and businesses save hundreds of dollars each year

Riverside residents and business owners can take advantage of eight energy-efficiency programs that help reduce power usage and cut hundreds of dollars off utility bills each year.

The City Council recently approved the programs tailored to meet the specific needs of commercial and residential customers. The programs, funded through the state-mandated public benefits charge, help Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) customers lower their utility bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“These programs demonstrate RPU’s commitment to helping its customers be as energy efficient as possible,” Mayor Rusty Bailey said. “Improving energy efficiency is an effective method to minimize the impacts of recently-approved utility rate increases.”

The Small Business Direct Installation Program is designed for small business owners and operators who are interested in energy efficiency, but do not know where to begin.  Customers who participate in this program receive up to $2,000 worth of energy efficiency improvements for their business, through a city-approved vendor, at no cost. The estimated average savings could be as much as $300 per year.

The approval from City Council also allows RPU to continue to offer the Multifamily Direct Installation Program to customers who live in apartment and mobile home communities. Customers will receive as much as $1,000 worth of energy efficiency upgrades, such as air conditioning tune-ups and LED lighting, for their homes by an RPU-approved contractor at no cost.  The estimated average savings could be as much as $150 per year.

“Having a locally-owned utility is one of the great advantages of locating a business in Riverside,” Mayor Pro Tem Chris MacArthur said. “Our rates are lower than in surrounding communities, and RPU’s account representatives know the challenges facing our business community, so they are able to tailor programs to help our businesses retain a competitive edge in the marketplace.”

RPU will begin offering a new direct installation program for medium and large utility customers who have substantial outdoor lighting at their locations.  The newly-approved Business Outdoor Lighting Direct Installation Program allows an approved RPU vendor to convert a business’ existing energy-intensive outdoor lighting to new, energy-efficient, LED lighting to create substantial savings.

All of these programs are made possible through RPU’s participation in the Southern California Public Power Association (SCPPA).  SCPPA is a joint powers agency formed in 1980 by 11 municipal utilities and one irrigation district around Southern California to work together for the betterment of ratepayers through increased efficiency and improved economies of scale.

Because SCPPA has so many member utilities, which combined deliver power to more than two million customers, it is able to procure significant savings for member agencies through economies-of-scale pricing. RPU, for example, saves about $500,000 each year through its participation in SCPPA. More information about SCPPA can be found at www.SCPPA.org

“RPU is always trying to enhance its ability to meet the needs of the community it serves,” said Todd Jorgenson, Interim General Manager. “We continually evaluate our programs to find new opportunities for energy efficiency programs, while also making adjustments to existing programs to encourage as many customers to participate as possible.”

For additional information on how to participate in Riverside’s energy efficiency programs visit RiversidePublicUtilities.com or call 311 and ask about the enrollment process.

Information specific to residential rebates can be found at RiversidePublicUtilities.com/residents/rebates.asp.

Information specific to business rebates can be found at RiversidePublicUtilities.com/businesses/rebates.asp.

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