LOS ANGELES – Councilmember Bob Blumenfield today pushed the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to create a new incentive program to help ratepayers lower their bills and reduce energy usage. The new AC tune-up program would include maintenance efficiency checks for residential and commercial Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems at no cost to the ratepayer, as well as incentives, up to $150, towards the purchase and installation of programmable thermostats.
Savings for those who take advantage of the proposed incentive package will help to mitigate and may fully offset any increases stemming from the proposed power rate increase.
“For those of us in the Valley, where relief from extreme heat is often a question of health, air conditioning is a necessity, not a luxury,” said Blumenfield, who serves as Vice-Chair of the Council’s Energy and Environment Committee. “As the City evaluates a potential increase in the cost of energy, we need to ensure that we are doing everything we can to provide residents with common-sense tools to lower their energy consumption and bills. I want my constituents to end up with a net lower bill.”
Heating and cooling is the largest source of energy use for most residents and businesses, with most heating and cooling systems operating at suboptimal levels.
The system checks would include air filter replacements, outdoor coil and air flow adjustments, along with an HVAC replacement incentive. Programmable or “smart” thermostats aid customers in automatically reducing heating or cooling when it’s needed least, to further reduce bills for ratepayers.
The proposed energy efficiency incentive package has the potential for reducing cooling and heating costs by approximately 20%-30% and can extend the operating life of the AC unit. Any new energy incentive program would include a concerted outreach effort, including workshops to take place throughout the city.
The motion, seconded by Los Angeles City Council President Herb Wesson, will be heard in Council on February 16.