Mar Vista Moves Toward Green Power

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Mar Vista celebrates Earth Day with launch of Green Power Community

In recognition of this week’s 40th anniversary of Earth Day, the Westside neighborhood of Mar Vista has launched the Mar Vista Green Power Community to recognize local residents and businesses that are purchasing green power.

Last November the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) set a goal of 100% clean electricity for the neighborhood by 2018, inspired by former Vice President Al Gore’s clean electricity goal for the nation.

With the launch of a new website at the Mar Vista Green Power Community is an effort to promote certified and affordable green power options to the neighborhood, recognize local businesses and residents who are switching to green power, and measure the community’s progress toward a goal of 10% green power participation within six months.

The website promotes green power choices ranging from on-site renewable energy generation to certified green power purchasing programs. The website features a map illustrating green power participants in the neighborhood. Local residents and businesses can submit information about their green power participation and represent their block on a neighborhood green power map.

Local businesses such as Whole Foods Market are recognized on the Mar Vista Green Power Community website for demonstrating their commitment to purchasing green power. Whole Foods Market received the EPA Green Power Partner of the Year award in 2006 and 2007, and continues to be ranked as a top green power purchaser. In its North American locations, Whole Foods Market offsets 100% of its electricity with wind energy credits. Marketing Supervisor Chevonne Ching said “Whole Foods Market is proud to help build awareness and support for green power in Mar Vista and hopes to inspire and broaden green power participation amongst local Mar Vista businesses.”

The Mar Vista Green Power Community campaign is sponsored by Open Neighborhoods and its Open Mar Vista neighborhood social network. Campaign leader James Brennan said “As a Mar Vista resident I am excited to see our community’s commitment to purchasing green power and helping shape the transition to clean electricity.”

The campaign was inspired by the EPA’s Green Power Communities program, which recognizes communities in which local governments, businesses and residents voluntarily purchase green power, or electricity generated from a renewable resource such as solar, wind, biomass or small hydro, in amounts that meet or exceed EPA's Green Power Community requirements. Further information on the program is available at

In 2009 Mar Vista hosted one of the largest group solar installations in Los Angeles after dozens of residents participated in a GoSolar Mar Vista community solar program in partnership with leading solar installer SolarCity. Program organizer John Ayers said “Mar Vista is known for becoming one of the greenest neighborhoods in Los Angeles – and has more than demonstrated it by exceeding our goals for the program.” Program sponsor Open Neighborhoods will be gathering information from solar installers in the coming weeks in preparation for a second round of installations. Ayers said he hopes to see more than double participation this year in the 2010 community solar program.

Additionally, the MVCC Green Committee is planning a Wise Power Use Expo on September 28th at the Mar Vista Recreation Center. The event is designed to help reduce Mar Vista’s exposure to Los Angeles Dept. of Water and Power (LADWP) rate increases by emphasizing how renters, homeowners and businesses can reduce electricity consumption by 20%. Guest speakers will explain the energy crisis facing Los Angeles, how we can reduce our use, and what our options are to switch to renewable energy for long term solutions. The MVCC recently presented a SustainableWorks seminar on green power and energy efficiency for an overflow audience over 150 participants.

MVCC Green Committee Co-Chair Sherri Akers said “We installed our solar panels 4 or 5 years ago. Today, the costs for solar panels are lower, the cost of electricity is higher and there is a federal tax credit that we did not have – payback will be even faster.”

About Open Neighborhoods
Open Neighborhoods was founded in 2008 to connect and inform local communities with neighborhood social networking services, neighborhood wireless (Wi-Fi) networks, and community solar purchasing programs. The company launched its first social network and Wi-Fi network in Mar Vista, and now offers neighborhood social networks in Santa Monica, Venice, Del Rey, Culver City, Westwood, Marina Del Rey, Westchester and Palms.


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