At 10 a.m. on Tuesday, September 6, the City of Ontario commemorated ‘Smart Ontario,’ a citywide energy efficiency initiative that has launched Ontario to the forefront of the sustainability movement in the Inland Empire.
Ontario officials and staff gathered in front of Ontario City Hall to recognize the impact of Smart Ontario so far and what is still to come. As the project nears completion, the program is well on its way to fulfilling initial energy savings projections.
“No matter who you are, we’ve all felt pressure from rising energy prices, dated infrastructure, and environmental changes,” stated Ontario Mayor Paul S. Leon. “Smart Ontario is our promise to face these realities and create a green future for our community to enjoy for generations. Along with improvements that have streamlined the City’s maintenance and operations, we’ve also implemented technologies people can enjoy firsthand.”
The program began in 2020, with the City securing over $35 million in grants and low interest loans for infrastructure improvements. Smart Ontario’s use of this creative funding has enabled the City to move forward with upgrading antiquated energy infrastructure and helping to meet its sustainability goals without dipping into its scarce capital funds.
“Our world is changing, and it’s changing fast. In Ontario, we’re constantly pursuing what is best for the longevity of our City, and that means changing with the times,” City Manager Scott Ochoa stated. “Smart Ontario has enabled the City to take leaps and bounds into a future where energy conservation and sustainability are not just an initiative but an integral part of our culture. It’s how we’re making Ontario the premier destination in the Inland Empire to live, work, play and thrive in.”
With the program reaching completion this fall, Smart Ontario is expected to save more than 10,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually and $75 million for several decades.