LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP) new ‘Cool LA’ initiative – a program that will increase rebates for energy efficient air conditioners from $75 to $225 for low-income customers. The Mayor also announced a new level-pay billing program that will allow customers to spread their utility payments evenly over a 12 month period.
“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,” said Mayor Garcetti. “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.”
Through Cool LA, income-eligible LADWP customers who purchase window, room, and portable air conditioners will receive an increased rebate of $225. All other LADWP customers will continue to be eligible for a $75 rebate for room air conditioners. Eligibility will be largely income based, although seniors and physically disabled Angelenos are encouraged to check their eligibility at ladwp.com/cool-la.
Nearly 300 different efficient AC units are eligible for the rebate. Roughly 237,000 Angelenos are expected to be eligible for the program, and LADWP will be partnering with community-based organizations, including Pacoima Beautiful, to raise awareness about Cool LA and help increase program participation.
The new level-pay program will be available to all LADWP customers to help them better budget utility bills during the hotter months. Once customers sign up, level-pay will estimate a set monthly utility bill amount based on their historical usage, so customers don’t need to worry about summer months when bills tend to be higher from increased electricity use. Customers can sign up on the Cool LA website.
“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. 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,” said LADWP Board President, Cynthia McClain-Hill. “We need to act now to help out all Angelenos by giving the most vulnerable an option to stay cool, while removing the stress of paying summer utility bills.”
“LADWP is very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish through Cool LA so far. 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,” said Martin L. Adams, LADWP General Manager and Chief Engineer. “With the implementation of Level Pay and the tripling of our AC rebate, we’ll be able to better support our most at-risk customers.”
“As an environmental justice organization, Pacoima Beautiful has worked closely with the City and LADWP for many years now on a variety of programs. With extreme climate conditions the way they are, it’s great to be able to offer relief to residents with a tripling of the AC rebate and the level payment program,” said Veronica Padilla-Campos, Executive Director of Pacoima Beautiful. “Now, members of our community can better afford to buy ACs and feel more comfortable running their units without the worry of how they will pay their electric bill when it comes in.”
Cool LA is the latest step in Los Angeles’ work to help residents manage the impacts of the climate crisis in the short-term. Mayor Garcetti’s Cool Neighborhoods L.A. program, which brings cooling strategies such as street trees, cool pavement, and shade structures at transit stops, has now been rolled out in 13 of Los Angeles’ hottest and most vulnerable communities. Mayor Garcetti has also led the city to put down 108 lane miles of cool pavement – the most of any American city – in L.A.’s hottest communities; install over 63,000 cool roofs through the first-of-its-kind Cool Roof Ordinance; and plant over 65,000 trees in the last three years.
Mayor Garcetti has directed LADWP to invest hundreds of millions in its rebate programs since he took office in 2013, which has led to the development of a suite of offerings to help Angelenos beat the heat, lower their utility bills, and use less energy. Information on residential and commercial energy efficiency programs can be found here.