Green news from the LA Times:
California regulators approved a $350-million rebate offer today to encourage homes and businesses to install water-heating systems powered by solar energy.
The state Public Utilities Commission established the California Solar Initiative Thermal Program, which will use $250 million to replace natural-gas-powered water heaters, with $25 million set aside for low-income customers. An additional $100.8 million will be used to swap out water heaters powered by electricity.
And Rainbarrels for LA:
L.A.’s Department of Public Works unanimously approved a draft of its Low Impact Development ordinance last week. The ordinance would require newly constructed homes, larger developments and some redevelopments to capture, reuse or infiltrate 100% of the runoff generated on-site in a 3/4-inch rainstorm or to pay a storm water pollution mitigation fee that would help fund off-site, public LIDs.
The code, which takes effect in January 2011, will require that every new home, commercial building and public structure reduce water consumption by 20% below the current code. It mandates separate water meters for indoor and outdoor water use in non-residential buildings. Large landscaping projects will have to install moisture-sensing irrigation systems.
The code will also encourage recycling by forcing builders to divert 50% of construction waste away from landfills. Materials must be low-polluting, as in paints that emit fewer volatile organic compounds. Inspections of energy systems such as heat furnaces and air conditioners will be mandatory in non-residential buildings over 10,000 square feet to ensure that all are working at maximum efficiency.