Blumenfield leads push to lower DWP bills with new energy incentives

LOS ANGELES – Councilmember Bob Blumenfield today led the Los Angeles City Council in creating a new energy incentive program to help Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) ratepayers lower their bills and reduce energy usage. The new incentive, which provides air conditioning maintenance and tune-ups free of charge, was approved ahead of the Council’s forthcoming deliberations on proposed LADWP rate increases.

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. 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.

“It’s important to me that the city create something tangible to help our constituents who need relief from the extreme heat and increasing energy costs. This new incentive package does just that,” said Blumenfield, who serves as Vice-Chair of the Council’s Energy and Environment Committee. “Our more vulnerable populations need this relief for their well-being. In the West Valley, air conditioning is a necessity not a luxury.”

Savings for those who take advantage of the proposed incentive package are likely to exceed any increases stemming from the proposed power rate increase.

Heating and cooling is the largest source of energy use for most residents and businesses, with most heating and cooling systems operating at sub-optimal levels.

System checks will 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. Any new energy incentive program would include a concerted outreach effort, including workshops to take place throughout the city.

“I look forward to a robust discussion on the Department of Water and Power’s proposed rate increase, and I understand and champion the LADWP’s push for infrastructure and clean energy investments, but I will not have rates raised disproportionately on the backs of West Valley residents,” concluded Blumenfield.

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