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Dear LA; It's 109 Degrees, You're Using Too Much Energy, So Cut It Out

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With temperatures soaring past 100 degrees in the Valley and with other parts of Los Angeles feeling sticky, it's no surprise that energy use spiked yesterday.

"The energy peak topped out at 5509 megawatts, making it the second highest June load on record," stated an LA Department of Water & Power press release from today that "urges" residents to conserve energy. "The record load for June is 5531 megawatts, set on June 28, 2006. The energy demand is expected to be even higher today-more than 5700 megawatts. The all-time record peak demand is 6165 megawatts, set on July 24, 2006."

Armed with that information, LADWP CEO & General Manager David Nahai is saying the usual: "It's incumbent upon all L.A. residents and businesses to look at ways they can save energy while making sure they do not jeopardize their health and safety."

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As for Nahai's personal water usage at his 6,012-square foot Benedict Canyon mansion, he's not disclosing it... at least not yet, which is a violation of law (California Public Records Act) according to LA City Beat's Alan Mittelstaedt who put in a request for the records and did not receive any response within the legal time allotted.

"I ordinarily would have no objection to releasing my water and power usage information," Nahai wrote in a letter (.pdf) to Mittelstaedt. "However, in light of how you have conducted yourself, your inappropriate behavior with my family and your admitted harassment of me earlier this week, I see no point in providing this information to you in particular."

Hrmmm, well, okay then??? It's good to know the person in charge of water and power in Los Angeles is asking four million people to pitch in and help out while he is not willing to prove his worth, something he legally has to do because of his public position.

And what if his bill shows that he doesn't conserve as much as he should, therefore making him look hypocritical? Who cares as long as he's willing to publicly and transparently release his bills at will and show change over the next few months. Here's what you do: start to change habits and infrastructure at the home and keep on releasing the bills publicly, therefore demonstrating the change in usage over time (he could even blog the progress and tell what's working and what's not working).

This is about being a leader and showing that he's human too. If Nahai were to do this, he could be an example that gets other people to take action and that's where it really counts. But if he continues to hide and takes a stubborn stance, all it does is make for good media headline fodder.

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