SoCal Shines Brightest in Solar Rankings

The Bay Area likes to tout its clean, green reputation, but when it comes to installing solar, Southern California shines brightest. San Diego and Los Angeles lead the state in rooftop solar installations, according to a report released today by Environment California’s Research & Policy Center.

Rooftop solar panels on a home in Oakland.

San Jose comes in third with more than 2,700 rooftop installations, while San Francisco comes in fourth with more than 2,400 (though it’s fifth in terms of overall capacity). San Diego leads with 4,500-plus installations producing almost 37 megawatts of electricity.

“I think the story with San Diego is that the city was an early and very consistent adopter of solar power,” says Michelle Kinman, clean energy advocate with Environment California Research & Policy Center. “San Diego also has a really well coordinated working relationship between the local elected officials, the utility, the solar industry and the advocacy community.” Continue reading

Fast-Forward: What the New Fuel Economy Standard Will Mean to You

Talking turkey: 54.5 MPG = Another $17 in your pocket this weekend

This morning's commute, 405 North, Los Angeles

If we all were driving cars that averaged the newly announced federal standard for fuel efficiency, Californians would save $34.9 million this Thanksgiving weekend. At least, those are the numbers from a report released today In Culver City by Environment California. That $17 per family spells another four holiday pies or a few more lattes on the way home. Put that slice of information on your Christmas list — not for this year but for 2025. Even with the usual exemptions and provisions, the new standard announced by the Obama administration would still effectively almost double the average gas mileage for a carmaker’s fleet in those 14 years. Continue reading

Brown Praises Tougher Federal Fuel Standards

Fifteen years from now, the average car in the United States must get nearly 55 miles to the gallon,  according to new fuel-efficiency standards proposed Friday by the Obama Administration.  That’s a sharp increase from the current requirement that vehicles average 34.5 miles per gallon by 2016.

California officials, environmental groups, and automakers are praising the new rules, which would require  a fleet-wide average for cars and light trucks of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025.

On a call with reporters today, Governor Jerry Brown called the new regulations, “probably the brightest light I’ve seen in Washington in many a month, if not years.” Continue reading