Here’s an interesting story.
People have been encouraged to conserve water as much as possible, and have been succeeding. Which is good, but it cuts into funds earned by the water suppliers that charge by gallons used. And in the case of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
– which provides the Hetch Hetchy water that Hayward uses — that means they aren’t getting money needed to pay for seismic improvements to the 100-year-old system that pipes in water from the Sierra Nevada
. As seen in the photo of the pipe near the Dumbarton Bridge, the system could use some work, and it’s being done
. So the SFPUC is talking about a rate increase of nearly 50 percent, which, as the story mentions, does not mean everyone can expect such a jump on their water bills, but it’s still significant.
Spoke with Hayward Public Works Director Bob Bauman, he said they knew a hike was coming down the pike. It was expected to be significant — at least 20 percent — but not 47 percent.
Bauman said that because of agreements that are in place and the manner water is tranferred through the system, opting to switch to, say, EBMUD water is not an option. He added that even if it were, EBMUD couldn’t handle the extra demand and besides, Hetch Hetchy water is superior.
“We have a great deal,” he said. “One of the things that brings some businesses to Hayward is the fact that we have very good water. It’s always a big point for Hayward.”
There will be a presentation on the matter at a May 3 City Council work session, Bauman said.
Posted on Thursday, April 21st, 2011
Under: Environment, General, Hayward | 12 Comments »
Had a story over the weekend about Chabot-Las Positas Community College District being the sole party still fighting the approved 600-megawatt Calpine powerplant at the Hayward shoreline, about a mile and a half away from the campus.
I just received a letter of support from the Chabot-Las Positas Faculty Association, which was sent to the district’s trustees. Find the full text after the jump, and here’s the district’s web page dedicated to the subject. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Tuesday, April 5th, 2011
Under: Development, Energy, Environment, General, Hayward, Health, San Lorenzo, Schools | No Comments »
Design engineer Stephen Grider talks about the new solar units at the Hayward Water Pollution Control Facility on Wednesday, March 9, 2011 in Hayward, Calif. The eight-acre solar site will produce energy for the water treament plant.
Had a story on the 1MW solar installation at the shoreline. Unfortunately, the photos didn’t make it in the paper because of a lack of space, so here’s one of them. It’s a pretty impressive-looking deal, and if you want to learn more about it, find the REC Solar press release after the jump.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Thursday, March 10th, 2011
Under: Energy, Environment, Hayward | 1 Comment »
While Sustainability Committee members all like the idea of people greening up their homes, making them more energy efficient through added insulation, air leak studies and the like, they didn’t want to impose a Residential Energy Conservation Ordinance on homeowners at this time.
The matter will go before the City Council in May with a recommendation to make it a voluntary thing, coupling it to an education campaign to let people know what options and incentives are out there to help them retrofit their homes.
Note that the decision was not without a warning, from Commissioner Mendall and Mayor Sweeney, that residents should take advantage of those incentives and take it upon themselves to improve their homes before they are told they have to do it.
Sweeney said he “missed where if ducts are leaking, how if people are paying double their energy bill, how that’s good for a homeowner. I missed the explanation of how a green home hurts property values, and I heard a little bit of that philosophy out there in the room tonight.”
Meeting is available on video, which is unusual for Sustainability Committee meetings.
Posted on Monday, March 7th, 2011
Under: Energy, Environment, Hayward, Real Estate | No Comments »
Here’s this week’s calendar. Just about to head to San Leandro to see what they say about options for a medical marijuana ordinance. Tomorrow, the Hayward City Council is poised to take steps to save redevelopment assets from a possible state take. And Wednesday’s Sustainability Committee meeting could be a big one, as they will be looking at the draft Residential Energy Conservation Ordinance. They moved that meeting into the main Council Chambers instead of the work session room, in case people turn out. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Monday, February 28th, 2011
Under: Alameda County, Business, Calendar, Castro Valley, Energy, Environment, General, Hayward, Politics, Real Estate, San Leandro | 5 Comments »
Hayward’s mulling a Residential Energy Conservation Ordinance, or RECO, and we had a story on it in today’s paper.
City officials really want to hear from the public on this. At the last Sustainability Committee meeting, some citizens expressed that they didn’t think the city was doing a good enough job of letting people know about it. There was talk of possibly including a notice in every water bill, but that would be fairly cost prohibitive.
San Francisco and Berkeley passed such ordinances back in the 1980s.
Alice LaPierre, city of Berkeley building science specialist, said many residents “are on board with the idea of efficiency” and that the intent of the ordinance is to “protect residents from rising energy costs.”
“They will see a payoff immediately, and they’ll notice they have a more comfortable home,” she said.
Hayward residents at the last meeting and Realtors alike said they’re all for energy saving measures that will help the environment. But the real estate people I spoke with said it should be done in a more voluntary manner, instead of putting prohibitive requirements on homeowners or parties involved in a real estate transaction. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Friday, February 11th, 2011
Under: Energy, Environment, Hayward, Real Estate | 3 Comments »
Items of interest: If you have any acquaintances in the restaurant industry, the city is holding a “Survive to Thrive in the Restaurant Industry” event on Feb. 7. Talk about ways to evolve, such as using social media to promote your eatery.
Also, on Wednesday the Hayward Sustainability Committee is going to be talking about the Residential Energy Conversation Ordinance, something that has brought out the real estate community to speak against it at past meetings. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Monday, January 31st, 2011
Under: Alameda County, Castro Valley, Energy, Environment, Hayward, Odds & Ends, Politics | 1 Comment »
UPDATE: Here is the story.
The EPA rejected all appeals regarding the federal air permit issued in February by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District. Calpine representatives say that was the final hurdle for the 600-megawatt facility near the Hayward shoreline; spoke briefly with opponents, who said there may be other ways to block it.
Working on a story for tomorrow, but find the Calpine release after the jump. Curious quote from Kim Huggett, the new president and CEO of Hayward’s Chamber of Commerce about how the power plant will “be a magnet for bringing new business to Hayward.” Read the rest of this entry »
Posted on Friday, November 19th, 2010
Under: Alameda County, Business, Development, Energy, Environment, Hayward, Health, Schools | 52 Comments »
Here’s our story on a judge’s ruling regarding a large parking structure and new dorms planned at the Hayward campus. Basically, the judge agreed that CSU didn’t do enough to mitigate the effects of more cars and residents. City Attorney Michael Lawson said the university planned to ask the state for money to help the city handle the extra load, but would have gone ahead with the projects whether they got the funds or not, putting the burden on the city.
The university plans to double its student body in the next 20 years or so.
You can find more information about the projects on the CSUEB website. The parking lot and dorm reports are under the subheading “Cal State East Bay Hayward Campus Master Plan Draft Environmental Impact Report Volume II
To view the case, go to Alameda County’s DomainWeb site and enter case number RG09480852.
Posted on Friday, November 5th, 2010
Under: Alameda County, Development, Environment, Hayward, Schools, Transportation | 58 Comments »
Any thoughts on Hayward’s Residential Energy Conservation Ordinance? Here’s our preview story on the special Sustainability Committee meeting tonight, and here’s the city’s report on the matter. At previous public meetings, members of the real estate community turned out to speak against it on the grounds that it can only damage a market that’s already hurting, particularly if the requirements are triggered upon sale of a property.
Staff is recommending three such triggers: Older homes have a deadline in 2023 or 2025 for upgrades, improvements costing more than $50,000 would require compliance for the property, and buyers would have two years after purchase to comply. Costs of various retrofits ranges from around $1,000 to $4,000, according to the report.
Posted on Monday, October 25th, 2010
Under: Development, Energy, Environment, Hayward | 4 Comments »