To achieve its environmental stretch goals, Riverside is developing and implementing a variety of innovative programs. These programs are aimed at promoting collaboration between regional entities to achieve long term goals and at providing resources for Riverside residents to reduce their environmental impact. In developing its sustainability programs, Riverside has addressed a wide range of topics including energy and water efficiency, waste reduction, and green economic development. The programs highlighted below are a sample of the innovative sustainability programs undertaken by the City of Riverside.
|The community program "Keep Riverside Clean and Beautiful" includes year round tree planting projects.|
Energy: Riverside continues to invest in providing energy supplies through clean and natural resources and to explore new ideas that support the city’s goal to become one of California’s leading municipal power agencies in the use of renewable energy and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Riverside anticipates that 50% of the city’s electricity will originate from renewable resources by 2013, as a result of implementing the following programs:
- Green Power Premium
Riverside Public Utilities' Green Power Premium is a voluntary program available to all Riverside Public Utilities electric customers who are interested in helping the city achieve and surpass its goals for utilization of renewable energy. Customers who opt into this program agree to pay an additional two cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity used. The charges appear each month on the customers’ utility bills. Funds raised through this program go directly toward the purchase of renewable energy resources for the city of Riverside, such as local solar and Salton Sea geothermal. “We wanted to offer a product that people would enjoy that would spread the message about the importance of living green, while helping to fund additional renewable energy programs in Riverside,” said RPU’s General Manager David H. Wright.
- Energy High Efficiency Loan Program
In September 2009, the Riverside City Council approved $1,000,000 in Public Benefit Funds to prepare and implement the Energy High Efficiency Loan Program (E-HELP). Similar to the AB 811 programs adopted by several other California cities, the E-HELP pilot program allows the city to provide low-interest loans to residential property owners for installing energy efficiency and renewable generation measures to their properties. The Riverside Public Utilities (RPU), which administer the loan program, additionally advise the loan applicant about available rebates and best practices to maximize project efficiency. Program participants are required to apply to the RPU rebate program, to help offset the total cost of the energy improvement project. The program creates a citywide, special tax district that only applies to those property owners who opt in to the program in order to borrow money. After property improvements are complete and loans are issued, property owners repay their loans through their property taxes. E-HELP loans are made available for up to 20 year terms to accommodate a wide range of efficiency measures and renewable energy investments. With a minimum loan of $4,000 and a maximum loan of $50,000, E-HELP enables residential property owners to take responsible energy actions, regardless of their budget.
- Whole House Rebate Program
Riverside Public Utilities’ Whole House Rebate Program is an innovative and cost-effective program to conserve energy and water. Under this first-of-its-kind program, Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) customers undertaking major retrofits can receive rebates up to 3.5 times greater than typical RPU rebates. The program is geared toward homeowners and landlords planning major home remodels. The program takes a whole-house approach to the energy and water efficiency rebates that RPU already offers, and provides a “one stop shop” for those who plan to apply for two or more efficiency rebates at once. A wide range of products are eligible, from solar panels to water efficient toilets. Each improvement is assigned “efficiency” points. The more points earned, the higher the rebate received. By participating, homeowners can make their homes more efficient, and receive larger rebates undertaking more comprehensive projects.
Sample RPU Whole House Rebate
|Measure Taken||Rebate Amount||Points|
|Energy Star-rated Dishwasher||$50||2|
|Energy Star-rated Refrigerator||$200||3|
|2 High Efficiency Toilets @ $95||$190||2|
|2 Energy Star-rated Ceiling Fans @ $25||$50||2|
|1 Shade Tree||$25||1|
|10 Points = 250% Rebate|| || |
|Total Whole House Rebates:||$1,287.50|| |
Waste Reduction and Beautification: The City of Riverside has developed multiple programs that focus on promoting a clean city, reducing litter, and improving overall community pride and involvement. The following programs have led to a significant reduction of waste in Riverside:
- Clean Up Riverside's Environment (C.U.R.E)
C.U.R.E. is a comprehensive waste management program with the goal to more effectively handle and dispose of divertible and hazardous waste and offer convenient, flexible, and frequent disposal and recycling options. As part of the C.U.R.E. campaign, the city hosts periodic bulky item and electronic waste collection events. All items are collected free of charge for city residents. The program also includes free door-to-door used motor oil and filter collection and neighborhood cleanups
- Keep Riverside Clean and Beautiful (KRCB)
KRCB is a community program sponsored by the city of Riverside and the Greater Riverside Chamber of Commerce. Since 1992, KRBC has provided hands-on stewardship including litter prevention, graffiti eradication, and tree planting projects year round. Between July 2008 and July 2009, 11,139 volunteers dedicated over 24,000 hours to this program.