*This news release was originally published and distributed by the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti
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October 29, 2021
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Program helps meet and exceed key Green New Deal goal to provide total of $100 million in energy efficiency programs to renters
LOS ANGELES — Mayor Eric Garcetti today celebrated the launch of the Comprehensive Affordable Multifamily Retrofits (CAMR) program, a new $75 million program that will help low-income tenants and building owners save money on energy bills, create green jobs, and deliver on key sustainability objectives. The program was approved earlier this week by the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) Board of Commissioners.
“Tackling the climate crisis is about more than just government action — it’s about giving our most vulnerable residents the tools they need to join this fight, reverse generations of environmental inequities, and cut their own energy costs,” said Mayor Garcetti. “The CAMR program is an important step on Los Angeles’ path to carbon-neutrality — empowering Angelenos who often bear a disproportionate burden of the climate emergency to take advantage of several solutions that will help build a greener, more equitable, and more prosperous city.”
The $75 million program will provide low-income tenants with access to energy efficiency retrofits, including building electrification and on-site solar installation. To qualify, buildings must have five or more housing units, with at least two-thirds households at or below 80% of the area median income. Incentive amounts will be based on the project’s greenhouse gas emissions reductions, providing the projects with larger climate benefits with more funding. The largest available incentives will be for retrofit measures that also reduce tenant-paid energy bills.
LADWP also expanded the budget for the Home Energy Improvement Program (HEIP), a free energy and water efficiency program. Together, the HEIP expansion and CAMR program offer $150 million in LADWP energy incentives available to low-income renter households, meeting and surpassing a key Green New Deal goal to invest $100 million in energy efficiency programs for renters.
More than 3,000 units are expected to enroll in the CAMR program in its first year. Participating housing providers will receive free energy assessments for their building and assistance in scoping retrofit projects based on opportunities for energy savings, cost reductions, and GHG emissions reduction.
Participants will also receive technical guidance on how building owners can leverage energy savings from CAMR projects to meet the City of Los Angeles’ Existing Buildings Energy and Water Efficiency ordinance requirements. Contractors conducting retrofits through CAMR are required to pay prevailing wage and meet trained workforce requirements.
“We are working across LADWP to expand the availability of valuable, money-saving programs for all of our customers, and to remove barriers that many of our customers face when trying to do their part to save energy and water,” said LADWP Board of Water & Power Commissioners President Cynthia McClain-Hill. “This program removes a significant barrier faced by renters who have struggled to save energy and money by working with property owners of low-income and multifamily units. L.A.’s renters rightly deserve the same investment in programs to help them conserve electricity, while also saving on their utility bills.”
“The energy and sustainability co-benefits that CAMR will achieve were identified through intensive stakeholder engagement with the Energy Efficiency for All coalition,” said Board of Water and Power Commissioners Vice-President Susana Reyes. “Being responsive to community voices is important for LADWP to stay accountable to our equity goals.”
“By providing guidance and support specifically to multifamily housing serving low-income residents, the CAMR program will help to fill an important need in Los Angeles while also supporting high-quality jobs for the local workforce,” said Blanca de la Cruz, Sustainable Housing Program Director at the California Housing Partnership, a member organization of the Energy Efficiency for All coalition. “Tenants and housing providers have been eager to see a program like this become available, and many are already lined up to participate.”
Under Mayor Garcetti’s leadership, the LADWP has developed one of the most robust energy efficiency programs in the country. Over the course of Mayor Garcetti’s tenure, ratepayers have saved a total of $1.82 billion on their utility bills, saving enough energy to power 1.5 million homes for a year.