L.A. Loses Out on Federal Money for Water and Power Improvements

DWP's downtown headquarters
DWP's downtown headquarters

Only two cities in L.A. County will receive a portion of the White House's $3.4 billion stimulus funding for energy efficiency programs. Los Angeles is not one of them.

Burbank and Glendale will each get $20 million in federal funding to help them develop "smart grid" programs, reports the Glendale News Press. The money will pay for "smart meters," which track water and electricity usage in real time and are touted as promoting energy savings.

L.A.'s Department of Water and Power, whose reputation has fallen in the gutter the last few months after a string of water main breaks and controversial executive hirings and firings, had applied for $200 million -- the maximum amount -- in federal funds. No word on whether the DWP will be able to further develop its smart grid program without Obama's help.

The good news for Glendale and Burbank is that the federally funded technology could go a long way toward water and power conservation.  

Utility leaders call the smart meters that will be installed in those two cities "the greatest technological improvement in recent decades," says the Press. By showing customers how much energy they consume on a daily basis, the meters are expected to result in energy-saving practices.

One hundred applicants nationwide were chosen from a pool of 400,

which included not only cities and utilities but also private companies

and manufacturers. 


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