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June 16, 2016

Riverside Recognized by Audubon International for Sustainability Efforts

Riverside, CA - Audubon International presented the City of Riverside with recognition for its ongoing efforts as a member of the Sustainable Communities Program, and its continuing commitments in making Riverside a better place to live and work.

“The City of Riverside and its partners are proud of our sustainability efforts that will enhance healthy living and economic prosperity,” said Riverside’s Mayor Rusty Bailey. “We are working with Audubon International and local partners to give all residents and visitors the tools they can use to help create a better, greener, and more sustainable world.”

Riverside joined the Sustainable Communities Program last year through the support of Riverside-based Toro Company. Toro’s sponsorships aim to further environmental health and sustainability in communities where Toro has facilities.

Through the program, Audubon International helps communities establish measurable goals and objectives, develop a comprehensive plan, and take strategic action that leads to meaningful results that benefit the community, as well as the environment.

Through the Sustainable Communities Program, Audubon International and its partners seek to show how conservation projects in sustainable communities like Riverside can result in conserved wildlife habitat, enhanced beauty and uniqueness, expanded tourism and outdoor recreational opportunities, and long-term financial savings.


April 4, 2016

Join RPU at Green Fest & Summit April 23 at RCC

Riverside, Calif. – Join Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) Saturday, April 23, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Riverside City College’s (RCC) quad and gardens to celebrate Earth Month and the city’s third Green Festival and Summit.

RPU will be among the booths at the Green Festival located in the RCC quad and gardens at 4800 Magnolia, along with other booths and presenters from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. which will include presentations every half hour and unique outdoor demonstrations with interactive activities.

Come learn more about such topics as: how to use locally grown foods; green living; sustainability in city design; and Wild Riverside, featuring information about local places to enjoy nature, wildlife, watersheds, native plant landscaping and more. Take home ideas for sustainable living and learn about using your “purchasing power” for the benefit of our local economy.

The event will also include: a Local Foods Lunch served in the student dining hall from Noon to 1 p.m. for the first 300 participants to register by April 18 (which will include parking); the Green Summit which will take place from 1-3:30 p.m., where residents can share their ideas with local companies and leaders about making Riverside a greener city; as well as green films for kids “Symphony of the Soil” and “Bag It” that will be shown in RCC’s Digital Library Theater from 1-3:30 p.m..

This event is FREE to register for and attend. Visit for complete event details and to register. And visit for more information on the city’s and RPU’s sustainability efforts.


March 17, 2016

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy: Saving Energy Improves Health, Creates Jobs and Helps American Families

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy releases new fact sheets highlighting the unexpected benefits of saving energy.

View the fact sheets:

Saving Energy Improves Americans’ Health and the Environment

Saving Energy Helps American Businesses and Creates Jobs


January 21, 2016

Riverside Public Utilities Board Set To Review Fiber and Recycled Water Projects

Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) Board will review two new fiber optic and recycled water projects at its Friday, January 22 regular meeting, that will help usher in its Utility 2.0 plans for the future.

For over 20 years, RPU’s water utility has investigated the opportunities to utilize recycled water within the city. However, only a handful of projects moved forward due to the fact that RPU’s groundwater resources were so abundant, and inexpensive. Moving into a fifth year of the worst drought California has seen, and waiting for El Nino storms to replenish aquifers, recycled water projects will be an important part of the future of Riverside’s majority water provider.

Building off of recycled water facilities the city has at its water treatment plant, the Jackson Street and Arlington Avenue recycled water pipelines will add additional infrastructure needed to begin providing a recycled water product for a variety of customer usage and assist the city in meeting strict water conservation mandates by the state.

The Board will also review a fiber optic business plan that would formalize the utility’s current fiber leasing program and its possible future plans and revenues. RPU currently operates a fiber network within its system to communicate between substations and control centers for the operation of its electric grid.

This fiber optic cable comes in bundles of fibers and those fibers that are not used by RPU can be used by other businesses, including communications companies. RPU’s plans include: formalizing the existing business to brand and market the fiber as an available service; develop a tactical plan to expand the fiber business through identifying opportunities; and strategic expansion of fiber offerings.

Friday’s meeting will begin at 8:30 a.m. in the Art Pick Council Chambers at City Hall, located at 3900 Main Street, Riverside. For additional information please visit


January 4, 2016

Riverside Public Utilities Alerting Customers to Be Prepared for Winds and Weather

Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) is alerting its customers to be prepared for winds and heavy rain that have been forecast to arrive this evening that could affect its energy delivery services.

Residents are reminded to use caution around intersections where signals may be out and be aware of pedestrians at intersections and near schools. If using a generator during an outage, follow all directions for use and never use indoors or store fuels indoors.

“This is also a good time to remind residents that they should turn off irrigation for at least 48 hours following a measurable rain event,” said Riverside Public Utilities General Manager Girish Balachandran.

Throughout the year, Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) has been reminding its water customers about the state-mandated water conservation restrictions that they must adhere to, like not running outdoor irrigation during and 48-hours after measurable rainfall.

Currently, RPU water customers are restricted to watering just two days a week, and only between the hours of 6 p.m. to 10 a.m.

For additional tips and information on being prepared for emergencies or outages, please visit

For more information on the drought and Riverside Public Utilities conservation mandates, please visit


November 20, 2015

Riverside Named 3-STAR Community in Sustainability

The City of Riverside has been named a 3-STAR Community by the national STAR Communities program for its social, economic, and environmental leadership in sustainability.

“We are very proud to receive this recognition for our ongoing efforts to make Riverside a more sustainable place to work, play, and live,” said Riverside’s Mayor Rusty Bailey. “The rating system will continue to help us to promote a healthy environment and a strong economy for the benefit of all our residents.”

The Sustainability Tools for Assessing and Rating (STAR) Communities program is the nation’s first framework and certification program for measuring social, economic, and environmental sustainability.

It provides a clear, data-driven approach to assessing social, economic, and environmental progress in built environments; climate and energy; economy and jobs; education, arts, and community; equity and empowerment; health and safety; and natural systems.

“Because the rating system requires extensive data, we worked closely with all city departments to gather information on where we are today, and where we can be tomorrow with our sustainability efforts,” Riverside’s Sustainability Officer, Michael Bacich, said. “This coordination allows us to track our progress as we reach our sustainability goals and provides direction on new tools we can implement citywide.”

Riverside joins El Cerrito as California’s only STAR-rated communities.


October 28, 2015

Riverside Dedicates State-Of-The-Art Fast Electric Vehicle Charging Station at City Hall

Riverside held a ceremony today to unveil a new, state-of-the-art electric vehicle charging station that can quickly charge EV batteries and get environmentally conscious commuters and road trippers back to driving in no time.

“This next generation of charging stations is a great addition to Riverside's green portfolio,” Mayor Rusty Bailey said. “The ability to quickly charge an electric vehicle will further enhance Riverside's reputation as a home for residents and businesses who care deeply about sustainability.”

The charging station, located on the west side of the City Hall parking lot near 9th Street, has two type of plugs to accommodate different vehicle charging systems and can provide a charge of up to 80 percent of the battery in just 30 minutes – time enough to dine at one of Riverside’s downtown eateries or to check out a museum or two.

Installation of the new charging station was made possible in part by a California Energy Commission grant administered by the Southern California Public Power Association that supports construction of EV infrastructure from Los Angeles to Palm Springs.

The fast charge station also uses a mobile application from Greenlots, which allows users to access additional chargers in the area and the state, as well as coordinate payments and connect with additional electric vehicle drivers.

Riverside will pilot test their new station for 16 months and will evaluate customer usage, and any affects the station has to the city’s power grid.


August 28, 2015

City Council September 1 Workshop Will Cover Riverside Public Utilities “Finance 101”

City of Riverside and Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) staff will present a special workshop presentation on RPU finances to the City Council on Tuesday, September 1 beginning at 1 p.m. in the Art Pick Council Chambers located at 3900 Main Street.

Topics will include: an overview of City finance; information on RPU’s budget and budget trends; rates, revenues and trends; financial metrics benchmarking; financial planning and reporting; debt, reserves, and the Reliability Charge; and an overview of Proposition 218, 26, and other legal issues.

In addition to RPU’s General Manager Girish Balachandran, RPU’s Assistant General Manager of Finance Laura Nomura, RPU Finance staff members, Deputy City Attorney Susan Wilson, and City Finance Director Brent Mason will present the reports to the council about the customer-owned water and electric utilities department.

For additional information and support documents for this workshop, visit the Meeting Agendas section of City Council’s web page at