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Home / EV charging

Sustainable Duarte: SGVCOG names city an ‘energy champion’

Municipalities throughout Southern California and the nation are making efforts to reduce the potentially catastrophic consequences of climate change, and officials from Duarte shared thoughts and information on their city’s sustainability investments.

City Manager Brian Villalobos was quick to tout Duarte’s “champion” status with regard to sustainable energy projects.

Duarte is committed to being a green partner in our region by investing and implementing sustainable measures throughout the city,” Villalobos said in a statement to the Duarte Dispatch. “We’re proud that these measures have been recognized by the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments by being awarded the Energy Champion award, the highest energy efficiency awarded to local communities.” 

Based on a detailed set of criteria, the SGVCOG’s Energy Champion Awards spotlight local cities and agencies that promote and increase energy efficiency. 


All city-owned streetlights as well as building interior and exterior lighting are equipped with LED lights as part of Duarte’s Infrastructure Modernization Program. The city also participated in a Southern California Edison program to convert all Edison-owned street lights to LED.

“The program helped reduce rising utility costs, operating expenditures, and piecemeal maintenance costs associated with outdated and/or obsolete equipment, as well as created a higher service level for the Duarte community through enhanced street and building lighting,” said Community Development Director Craig Hensley.

Fleet vehicles and EV charging stations

A Duarte eBus. | Photo courtesy of the city of Duarte

In the last three years the city has replaced five vehicles in its fleet with gasoline-electric hybrids. Duarte has also retired 20 older-model gasoline vehicles that have been replaced with newer fuel-efficient vehicles. 

“Most notably, the city was able to replace our transit fleet that consisted of six aging 20-year-old diesel-powered buses with three all electric zero-emission buses,” Hensley said.

BP Pulse has partnered with the city to develop an EV charging station that will operate 24/7. The proposed project will include 12 charging dispensers that can power up to 24 cars simultaneously using DC fast-charging chargers. 

“This will be the first BP Pulse EV self-charging station in the US,” Hensley said. 

Solar panels

As a component of the city’s Infrastructure Modernization Program, Duarte City Hall has a roof-mounted solar photovoltaic system.

Trash and recycling

A Burrtec Waste Services employee shovels compost for a man participating in a Duarte compost giveaway. | Photo courtesy of the city of Duarte

Composting program — The city hosts biannual compost giveaways that are free and available to all Duarte residents. 

There is no limit to the amount of compost a resident can receive, officials said. Approximately 30 tons of compost are provided to the public through this program each year.

Organic waste — Duarte has collaborated with its trash hauler Burrtec Waste Services, local businesses and residents to reach nearly full compliance with Senate Bill 1383, a 2016 state law that seeks to reduce organic waste in landfills. Duarte residents and businesses have trash, recycling, and green/food waste bins for proper trash disposal.

Edible Food Recovery Program — The city partnered with the SGV Council of Governments to do inspections of tier 1 and tier 2 food generators to ensure that businesses are working with food recovery centers to donate excess food, officials said. Duarte also partnered with the SGVCOG to establish a subregional food recovery hub, through which excess food collected from the commercial sector gets to food banks and charitable organizations.

Regional stormwater reuse

JPA — On the water front, Duarte is part of the Rio Hondo/San Gabriel River Water Management Joint Powers Authority, or JPA, which is “a watershed-based coalition of cities working together to implement the Watershed Management Program,” officials said. 

“The JPA’s mission is to leverage the collective power of our member cities, enabling us to collaborate effectively, operate with financial efficiency, and make informed decisions that serve the best interests of our residents,” Villalobos said.

Encanto Park Stormwater Capture Project — The city has plans for a stormwater diversion project from an existing 72-inch storm drain in Duarte. 

“The water captured will be filtered by hydrodynamic separators and infiltrated into a 0.6 AF underground storage/infiltration reservoir,” city spokesman Andres Rangel said. “A return and filtration line will return treated water back to the … storm drain that outlets to the San Gabriel River. Additional features include a restored soccer field and parking lot enhancements” that include native-plant landscaping and disabled-accessible parking areas.

Drought-tolerant landscaping

As part of the city’s Infrastructure Modernization Program, 66 irrigation controllers were replaced with technologically upgraded models that allow real-time, internet-based climate monitoring that incorporates sensor data for more efficient watering, officials said. The new controllers can identify water flow problems in the field and track and report levels of water usage.

City crews removed a 1-mile turf median on Duarte Road, converted the sprinkler system to drip irrigation and replaced the landscaping with drought-tolerant plants and succulents, Hensley said. Similar turf replacements took place on Huntington Drive’s median islands, at City Hall and other locations around town.

For additional information, Duarte’s website has a page titled “Green Programs.”

Details on the SGVCOG’s Energy Champion Awards are available here: https://www.sgvcog.org/_files/ugd/f815d4_1118e4a47ae14b909715438c6d6d873d.pdf.

Updated Dec. 13, 2023, 10:00 a.m.

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