Equity, Good Jobs, and Climate Resiliency
The Repower LA Coalition formed in 2011 in response to two major challenges: double digit unemployment in many of LA’s neighborhoods, worsened by the Great Recession, and our city’s unsustainable reliance on dirty energy. For example, every year, Los Angeles generates 99.1 million metric tons of carbon emissions.
That’s why the coalition began by advocating for increased investment in energy efficiency programs that would save customers money on their bills, create good, career path jobs and help the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP), the nation’s largest municipally-owned utility, move toward cleaner energy. Los Angeles is on track to reduce energy use 15% by 2020 and by 442 GWh by the end of this year (the equivalent of taking over 64,000 cars off the road). That’s enough energy to power 400,000 homes. Thanks to our coalition’s advocacy, the Department has now helped upgrade 20,000 homes, small businesses and schools throughout the city. Now, the coalition is also working to expand access to solar power.
A cornerstone of RePower LA’s work is its support for the Utility Pre-Craft Trainee program, which was developed by IBEW Local 18 in partnership with the DWP. The program has opened up quality career path opportunities at both the DWP and the City for entry level workers across Los Angeles. It is also training future utility workers, against the backdrop of massive waves of planned retirement by DWP’s existing workforce.
Our values include the following:
All LA residents should share in the benefits of a greening utility. They should have access to programs that make homes and businesses more energy and water efficient, as well as to solar power and electric vehicles.
City leaders should work to protect the most economically vulnerable customers. Low income customers—and those suffering the health impacts of pollution—should have access to money-saving, clean energy programs. They should also be afforded bill relief and payment plans to ensure they have access to their basic necessities.
Our utility’s investment in updating aging infrastructure and clean energy should lead to the creation of good union jobs that allow workers to support their families and communities to thrive.
Angelenos with barriers to employment who are willing to work hard should be provided with job pathways and the support they need to succeed. With 40% of DWP’s more than 9,000 employees at or near retirement age, the UPCT program provides a critical point of entry for people who are struggling to find good jobs.
The city—and the DWP—should draw its employees from all of L.A.’s diverse communities, including those with high rates of poverty and incarceration. Systematically depriving the city of the talent and hard work of a large number of residents hurts all city residents and deprives us as a city of the benefits of their participation.
We are already seeing the impacts of climate change with increasing numbers of extreme heat days. That will only worsen as toward the middle of the century when the number of extreme heat days are expected to quadruple in parts of Los Angeles. With demand only increasing, future rising utility rates will put a strain on families and people on fixed incomes.
We believe that Los Angeles must be a leader in reducing its reliance on dirty energy sources. RePower LA supports L.A.’s decision to divest from coal by 2025.
We believe that it’s critical that we ensure that our most vulnerable populations and struggling businesses are protected from the most severe impacts of climate change. That can be achieved by ensuring that residents and small businesses are given the opportunity to participate in programs that can reduce their energy use and save them money on the utility bills.
We believe increasing connections between communities and the utility that serves them will help residents adapt to climate change.