Energy Efficient Buildings


We save money and energy by increasing the efficiency of our buildings.

Buildings are the City’s largest consumer of electricity and a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. Cost-effective retrofits lower energy bills, create local green jobs and benefit residents in many ways. Energy-efficient buildings reduce L.A.’s contribution to global warming and create healthier, more comfortable spaces. Our mild climate enables us to significantly reduce energy consumption just by making our buildings more efficient, that’s why we passed the most comprehensive energy and water efficiency for existing buildings ordinance in the U.S. L.A.’s vision is to significantly reduce energy consumption per square foot across all building types in the city.

Progress on 2017 Outcomes

Avoid cumulative 1250 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of energy use through 2014- 2017 thanks to efficiency programs

L.A. Department of Water and Power (LADWP) energy-eficiency programs have saved 1,328 GWh of electricity through December 2016, exceeding the pLAn’s 2017 outcome ahead of schedule. Total electricity savings are equivalent to annual needs of over 221,000 homes.

Expand Los Angeles Better Buildings Challenge (LABBC) to 60 million square feet

LABBC exceeded its 2017 outcome– enough L.A. buildings to cover over 80 million square feet- that is the equivalent of 80 Staples Centers- are now committed to achieving 20% energy and water savings by 2020.

Create benchmarking policy to monitor and disclose building energy-use

A landmark, comprehensive benchmarking policy for existing buildings’ energy- and water-use efficiency was signed into law in December 2016. Energy use data for municipal buildings is publicly available at

Develop a policy package of audits and retro- commissioning to address energy consumption in the city’s largest buildings (public and private)

In December 2016 the City Council adopted the Existing Building Energy & Water Efficiency ordinance, the nation’s most comprehensive energy and water efficiency law for existing buildings.

Retrofit 12,500 homes with residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing

By year’s end, 6,377 PACE projects were completed. Residential PACE started slowly, but continues to make progress toward the 2017 pLAn target.



Progress on 2025 Outcomes

Use energy efficiency to deliver 15% of all projected electricity needs by 2020, including through rebates, incentives and education

LADWP has achieved 1,900 GWh in cumulative electricity savings since 2010-11, putting the City ahead of schedule to meet its 15% energy e ciency target for 2020 and saving nearly one million metric tons of CO2.

Where L.A. Is Leading

L.A. adopted the most ambitious and comprehensive energy and water efficiency law for existing buildings of any U.S. city.

Feature Story

Greening the Skyline

Two years ago, the City began exploring ways to reduce energy and water use from its largest consumers: buildings. The result is a policy that will transform L.A.’s skyline from the inside out. The Existing Building Energy and Water Efficiency ordinance (EBEWE) was signed into law by Mayor Garcetti on December 15, 2016. Under the new ordinance, all buildings larger than 20,000 square feet, and all municipal buildings larger than 7,500 square feet, must benchmark and publish their annual energy and water consumption levels.

By creating transparency in the real estate marketplace, EBEWE lets buyers and renters factor energy and water efficiency into their negotiations while helping the City understand the opportunities to help address consumption.

The ordinance also requires owners of inefficient buildings to take specific action—from energy and water audits to retro-commissioning—that improves building performance. The City Energy Project, a joint initiative of the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Institute for Market Transformation, has estimated that by 2025 this ordinance alone will have reduced energy use by 7 percent, cut greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent and saved Angelenos $368 million on their annual utility bills.


“Existing buildings in L.A. will never be the same. Thanks to EBEWE, buildings and their managers will be better stewards of the environment, be able to make smarter decisions around efficiency actions, save money, and make a transformative step forward to securing a sustainable future for Angelenos.”

Dominique Hargreaves
Executive Director
United States Green Building Council – LA

LADWP Delivers 2.4 million LEDs to Angelenos

2.4 million LED bulbs saves enough energy to power 3.2 million homes for a month. Last year, LADWP delivered two free LED bulbs to each of its 1.2 million residential customers. Those bulbs alone will save $246 million dollars in customer payments and 1,640 gigawatt hours of energy, enough to power 3,280,000 homes for a month or 273,000 homes for a year.


City Wins

Save Energy L.A.

In July 2016, Mayor Garcetti launched the Save Energy L.A. campaign, promoting energy conservation through helpful tips and rebate information. The campaign set a 5 percent energy-reduction target for municipal buildings during the months of August through October, a target the City came close to achieving in year one with a 3 percent dip in energy use.

Showcasing Real-Time Energy Monitoring

Last year, the Los Angeles Central Library was outfitted with Lucid’s Building OS system. The platform lets the City monitor the library’s energy-use in real time. To increase public awareness of consumption levels and potential savings, these live analytics will be on permanent display at the library entrance.

Better Plants Program

LADWP joined forces with the Bureau of Sanitation and the U.S. Department of Energy to identify energy saving opportunities in four water treatment and power plants. Industry experts analyzed and recommended performance improvements at each plant and City employees received training on implementation of specific energy-saving measures.


Partner Wins

Greenbuild Comes to Los Angeles and Leaves a Legacy

In October, the L.A. chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) hosted the nation’s largest green- building conference and expo, drawing 500 exhibitors and 20,000 attendees. The host committee “greened” local hotels and businesses with free LEED certification gap assessments and unveiled the City’s interactive LEED tracker, Eco-Map-L.A. The USGBC’s Legacy Project gift to the city is building the Eco Tech Maker Space, dedicated to science, technology, arts and environmental education.

Upping Participation in Better Buildings

Last year, the L.A. Unified School District (LAUSD) was one of 20 new partners to join the L.A. Better Buildings Challenge (LABBC), bringing 170 properties and an additional 40 million square feet into the program. Eight multi-family-housing owners also signed on, folding 6,300 units and over 3 million kWh of expected annual electricity savings into the LABBC A ordable Housing Initiative. This is equivalent to saving over 1,500 metric tons of CO2.

LADWP Brings on New Partners

The 2016 round of LADWP Community Partnership Outreach Grants brought five service organizations on board for increased energy efficiency outreach. Liberty Hill Foundation, Barrio Action Youth and Family Center, Pacific Asian Consortium in Employment, African American Leadership Organization and Clear Skies Ranch will use the grants to train businesses and residents, hold community events, run energy-saving workshops and launch media campaigns.