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City ideas that work.

Irvine, Calif. has established a partnership with the Southern California Edison and Southern California Gas companies under which the two utilities will assist the city in planning its energy future.

The planning partnership, announced January 24, is the result of efforts by the California Energy Coalition, a non-profit, Orange County-based association of large energy users which the city recently joined.

In addition to Irvine and the Edison Company, other coalition members include the City of Newport Beach, Orange County Sanitation and Water districts, TRW, The Irvine Company, South Coast Plaza, Fluor Daniel Corp., Trammell Crow and the Koll Company.

The coalition will be part of the planning team with Irvine and the utilities, according to coalition executive director John B. Phillips.

Phillips said this city-utility energy planning effort is the first of its type in the nation.

"Since its formation in 1980, the coalition has been establishing energy partnerships between its members and energy providers in an effort to maximize energy efficiences through a variety of techniques, some of which are new and innovative and some of which are basic," explained Phillips, an adviser on energy efficiency to major utilities and cities, including Los Angeles, Chicago and Boston.

"The coalition provides a framework within which cities such as Irvine can participate in long-range energy efficiency planning and utilization. Communities need to plan for their energy future in the same manner as large businesses and companies, taking into account their economic, environmental and social needs."

The Irvine Energy Action Plan developed by the energy coalition is an eight-step approach leading towards a long-range program to improve the city's efficient use of energy. The steps are:

* establish a basic understanding from the city's perspective of utilities and energy issues.

* identify those fundamental issues that affect the city's ability to more effectively operate its facilities and services.

* estimate the city's energy needs and identify opportunities to conserve.

* define techniques that are available to the city to improve energy efficiencies and mitigate environmental impacts.

* match energy efficiency opportunities with appropriate equipment, applications and techniques.

* develop a comprehensive energy plan that spells out the strategies the city should adopt to meet its energy efficiency goals, including involvement by such other entities as utilities. * implement the strategies.

* measure and evaluate the energy plan's success and revise its strategies accordingly.

While the planning will start with Irvine's own facilities and operations, it is anticipated that the program will include all energy use within the city.

"We have a logical plan for our city's growth as well as plans for such key elements as transportation, schools, parks, and recreational facilities," said Irvine City Manager Paul Brady, Jr. "It makes sense to extend that planning to energy usage, and we are pleased the Edison Company and Gas Company, and the Energy Coalition, will be working with us to ensure that our energy plan is of the same high calibre as our other community plans."

Brady said a comprehensive energy plan will be developed for Irvine over the next year, during which time the city's energy staff will work with the utilities and the coalition to analyze all major energy uses in the city and look for ways to more effectively increase energy efficiencies.

According to officials of the two utility companies, this marks the first time they have established a formal relationship with a city in their service area to provide long-range energy efficiency planning for the entire community.

"Energy efficiency has been a major goal of our company for the past quarter century, and we are constantly seeking methods to improve on and add to those energy efficiency and conservation programs which we have in place," said Kenneth Gudger, the Edison Company vice president in charge of energy conservation.

"While we have been working extensively for many years with large energy users such as manufacturing plants and commercial and institutional facilities, this is the first time we have formally entered into an energy efficiency partnership with a municipality. We look forward to working with the City of Irvine and the coalition.

Echoing the Edison Company's endorsement of the energy planning partnership, Anne Smith, the gas company's vice president of environment and safety, said, "Broad-based energy planning such as that represented by the City of Irvine effort will result in the most efficient use of energy over the long term.

For more information, contact: Michael Brown, manager of environmental affairs, City of Irvine, P.O. Box 19575, Irvine, Calif. 92713; (714) 724-6252.
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Irvine, California
Publication:Nation's Cities Weekly
Date:May 11, 1992
Words:743
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