The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power proposed an initiative Thursday to address the impact of extreme heat that includes providing discounts on air conditioners.
The “Cool LA” initiative is intended to assist homeowners and renters when temperatures exceed 90 degrees Fahrenheit and heat indexes surpass 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
The program offers DWP customers discounts on air conditioners, and provides low-income customers with options for their payment plan to help them navigate higher bills during hotter months.
“Let’s be clear, no one living in the City of Los Angeles should be allowed to suffer a heat-related death or suffer a major health-related emergency triggered by extreme heat,” said Cynthia McClain-Hill, president of the Los Angeles Board of Water and Power Commissioners. “We know the risks. Now it is time to apply commonsense solutions to what is expected to be a growing public health weather and climate change concern.”
Several DWP efforts, including the community-based tree-planting program and a number of heat mitigation efforts would be incorporated into the “Cool LA” initiative.
Cynthia Ruiz, vice president of the board, said that low-income and medically fragile residents are most impacted by extreme heat.
“All face a worsening heat emergency and we need to use commonsense solutions to assist them,” Ruiz said. “Making air conditioning more affordable and helping customers spread out the cost of running them is one way our city’s public utility can help our customers beat the heat and stay safe.”
The proposal followed testimony during a board meeting this week from several community organizations on the importance of planting trees in neighborhoods that lack shade, and the overall impact of extreme heat on seniors and youth living in disadvantaged communities.