The City of Hawthorne has made a concerted effort to increase its energy efficiency. These efforts have included big projects as well as fundamental changes in operations. Energy efficiency, and environmental sustainability in general, has become a priority that shapes the City’s decisions on all projects and activities. In addition, the City has worked to educate the community as a whole about the benefits of energy efficiency.
All of this has led the City to Gold Level designation in the Southern California Edison (SCE) Energy Leadership Partnership. In conjunction with SCE and the Gas Company, the South Bay Cities Council of Governments (SBCOG) has established the Partnership as a way to recognize and reward cities for their conservation efforts. Hawthorne is one of only two cities in the South Bay that has reached the Gold level, recognizing the City for 10% reduction in overall energy use.
Some of the highlights of the City’s efforts are:
Installation of a 210kW photovoltaic solar power system on the Memorial Center Funded in part by the Federal ARRA program, this project installed over 1000 photovoltaic panels on the Memorial Center roof. This produces over 300 megawatt hours of energy annually and saves the City over $40,000 per year in energy costs, while eliminating 350 tons of CO2 emissions annually.
LED retrofits of all traffic signals In 2007, the City replaced traffic lights at 45 intersections with energy efficient LED lights. This resulted in a savings of over 500,000 kWh annually.
City Hall Outdoor Lighting The induction lighting recently installed in the outdoor areas surrounding City Hall uses 50% the energy of the previous lighting and will last five times longer, thus reducing both energy and maintenance costs.
Hawthorne Municipal Pool Improvements In addition to constructing two brand new swimming pools, this 2008 project installed a more energy efficient boiler system as well as induction lighting that uses one third the energy of the existing lights.
Other Projects Include:
Use of more than 24 million gallons of reclaimed water for irrigation purposes
Joining ICLEI and establishing carbon footprint and corresponding climate action plan
City-wide energy audits
Full compliance with California Integrated Waste Management Board’s AB939 waste reduction requirements including: free recycling service for all residents, recycling of green waste, and annual household hazardous waste collection events.
Quarterly environmental newsletter to all residents and monthly environmental feature on community cable television
Use of asphalt containing recycled tires on all street improvement projects
Installation of 12,000 square feet of Rubber Sidewalk, made of 100% recycled tires