Energy management has been a high priority for the City of Westminster. Both the City Council and Staff are always striving towards an energy efficient City to reduce cost and to help the environment. Over the last few years, many City projects have been completed and many goals have been accomplished in this area. Staff successfully acquired Federal Grants under the Energy Stimulus Fund in the amount of $801,300. With such funds, the City was able to accomplish the following improvements:
- Retrofitted sensor and daylight controls for City Hall, Council Chambers, Community Services Building, and the Westminster Rose Center housing our Public Theater;
- Replaced several tennis court lighting fixtures with a more efficient system;
- Replaced all incandescent traffic signal indications with LED ones. Now our entire Traffic Signal System, has LED indications, saving the City thousands of dollars in energy costs every year;
- Replaced all illuminated street name signs with LED fixtures for better visibility and electricity savings;
- Installed a “pony chiller” at the Westminster Rose Center Theater for more efficient operation of the HVAC system during non-peak activities;
- Currently upgrading the bus shelter lighting system to reduce energy use.
In addition, Westminster just completed the construction of a four story parking garage, with its top floor covered by hundreds of solar panels already generating electricity. Such power will offset the consumption by our newly constructed Police Building built to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Platinum certification for green buildings.
Another major project recently completed by the City is the construction of a new Chamber of Commerce building which was constructed to meet LEED Silver certification as well. Such building was equipped with energy efficient systems related to lighting, HVAC, and plumbing systems.
The City currently owns and operates 13 underground water wells. We always strive to ensure efficient and dependable operation of such wells for the day to day resident’s water consumption and for firefighting operations. Recently, some of the pumps have been upgraded to Variable Frequency Drives (VFDs) for energy saving measures. Furthermore, our aging and inefficient irrigation systems in our parks will be replaced to minimize water loss, and to help with Regional Water Quality Matters as required by the State. The City is also in a Partnership Committee with Southern California Edison, as well as the host of an annual Green Expo to promote energy efficient products to residents and business.
One of the next areas to look into is our street lighting system. In coordination with Southern California Edison, we are hoping to replace existing street lamps with LED technology to reduce power consumption.
Another energy efficient project the City just authorized is to replace our City fleet, not including black and whites for our Police force, using leased vehicles. Such vehicles will be very fuel efficient and produce low emissions to protect the environment.
Westminster will continue to explore and discover any way possible to be energy efficient, protect the environment, and save our tax payers’ dollars.
Mayor Tri Ta was elected on Nov. 2012 and became the first Vietnamese American elected mayor in the United States. Tri was elected to the Westminster City Council in 2006 and re-elected in 2010.