Once again the City of Perris is taking a leading role in saving energy.
The City has reached gold tier in the Western Riverside Energy Leadership Partnership (WRELP), a consortium of 12 Riverside County cities and Southern California Edison, Southern California Gas Company and the Western Riverside Council of Governments.
The program is designed to optimize opportunities for the partner cities to achieve both short-and long-term sustainable energy savings, reduce utility bills, and enhance the level of comfort in municipal, commercial, and residential buildings. Perris is just the fourth city to earn gold tier status, joining Temecula, Hemet and Calimesa.
Since 2010, when Perris entered into the partnership, the City has reduced energy consumption at its municipal facilities by 25 percent—the last drop of any other community in WRELP.
“It’s a huge amount of savings,” said Tyler Masters, who coordinates the WRELP program for the council of governments. “I’m not sure I could go home and cut my energy use by a quarter! It’s a great accomplishment and it shows Perris is very pro-active and committed to energy savings and sustainability.”
Over the past five years, Perris has reduced electric costs by installing solar panels at City Hall, Senior Center, City Yard and Fire Station 90. Perris representatives worked with 56 businesses and more than 650 homeowners to install energy efficient devices, replacing standard street lights with more efficient LED lighting, installing at City Hall a “utility literature kiosk” to explain no-cost energy improvements, utility-enrollment programs and provide educational materials to children. The City also saved money by installing LED lighting in parks and by upgrading a well pump at the North Perris Water Wells and Booster Pump Facilities.
All told, the City’s efforts netted of nearly $75,000 in energy savings and reduced energy consumption by 1.2 million kilowatt hours. Perris Capital Improvement Projects Manager Michael Morales and administrative assistant Susan Almanza coordinate the City’s energy-savings initiatives and earned kudos for their efforts.
Master and representatives of Southern California Edison and the Southern California Gas Company presented Perris Mayor Daryl Busch a rebate check for $41,271.88 during the Feb. 10 City Council meeting.
Busch said the City prides itself on being a regional leader in energy sustainability and has sought sustainable energy solutions for years. In 2008, Perris received the Helen Putnam award from the League of California Cities for installing solar collectors throughout its campus and since then has followed that initiative with the energy-saving lighting at parks and elsewhere.
Busch said he expects the City to push for—and achieve—the top platinum tier in the near future.
“We have worked very hard an diligently for years to be a leader and do the right thing for energy conservation, both at City Hall and in our community,” Busch said. We’re proud of our achievement, we are striving to make more progress and we will make every effort to achieve platinum level status in the near future. And I know we will.”
Masters said the City could achieve platinum level status by highlighting individual success stories about energy savings, embarking on a social media campaign and developing an energy-action plan targeting additional savings by 2020 and 2035. He said he is working with City planners to take the necessary steps to earn Platinum Tier Status.