The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power introduced a “Cool LA” initiative Friday, which increases rebates from $75 to $225 for energy efficient air conditioners installed by for low-income customers.
Around 237,000 residents are expected to be eligible for the program, which covers nearly 300 different efficient AC units. Eligible customers can purchase window, room or portable air conditions and receive a $225 rebate, compared to $75 for other customers.
Mayor Eric Garcetti joined LADWP officials in Panomora City on Friday to announce the initiative.
“The impacts of the climate emergency are on our doorstep, and as we continue our work to make Los Angeles a carbon-neutral city, we can’t wait to bring solutions to people on the front lines of this crisis today,” Garcetti said. “Cool LA will bring needed relief from the heat to over a quarter-million of our most vulnerable Angelenos — and is the latest step in our work to ensure communities bearing the brunt of climate change get immediate support.”
Cynthia McClain-Hill, president of the LADWP board, said officials are acting to give the most vulnerable residents an option to stay cool, especially during the summer months.
“Countless Angelenos often put their own health and safety at risk by keeping their AC units off during dangerous heat conditions, because of the fear they won’t be able to pay their electric bills if they run their AC,” McClain-Hill said. “What’s even more shameful is that some of the most at-risk members of our city can’t even afford to own air conditioners.”
The LADWP also introduced a level-pay billing program, which allows customers to evenly spread out utility payments over a period of 12 months so residents can better budget during hotter months.
“LADWP is very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish through Cool LA so far,” said Martin L. Adams, LADWP general manager and chief engineer. “Through Cool LA, LADWP is committed to providing the relief from extreme heat that our communities need AND deserve, no matter their income, ZIP code, age or health.”