Updated Low-Income Solar and Energy Upgrade Program Helps Thousands in Bay Area, LA
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Some $26.8 million in solar PV and energy efficiency home improvements are coming to more than 5,500 homes in California’s disadvantaged communities, all at no cost to residents.
In September 2017 Build It Green (BIG) launched a new phase of theLow-Income Weatherization Program (LIWP) in the Bay Area and greater Los Angeles, in pursuit of its mission to create healthy, sustainable, and affordable homes for all people. With this award, LIWP is investing $26.8 million in State of California cap-and-trade funds to rehabilitate more than 5,500 single-family homes in the poorest communities within these two regions.
Thousands of dollars in energy-saving home improvements for each home—from LED bulbs and attic insulation to hot water heaters, AC units and even rooftop solar PV—are available at no cost to low-income households. These upgrades will help families to lower their monthly utility bills, improve the comfort of their homes, and contribute to the fight against climate change.
“Investing cap-and-trade dollars in our most disadvantaged communities is the right thing to do,” said California State Senate President pro Tempore Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles). “Using funds made available by my bill, SB 535, this program will improve the lives of thousands of Californians by making their housing more affordable, and by making their communities part of the solution to our climate change crisis.”
LIWP was created by the California Department of Community Services & Development (CSD) and funded by the California Climate Investments initiative. In early 2017, after a competitive bidding process, CSD named Build It Green as the program administrator for two of its five LIWP regions statewide. The program is now up and running in the Bay Area and Los Angeles regions, and available to homeowners and renters of single family homes who live in qualifying census tracts. To learn more about LIWP and who is eligible, visit www.LIWPBayArea.org or www.LIWPLA.org.
“LIWP will create local jobs, relieve pressure from the affordable housing crisis, and significantly reduce carbon emissions to help California meet its climate and energy goals,” said Karin Burns, Executive Director of Build It Green. “Very often our most disadvantaged communities suffer the most from the effects of climate change and are least prepared for its impacts. Build It Green seeks to address this head on.”
BIG has assembled a team of experienced contractors to perform the home improvements. BIG has also partnered with local governments and community-based organizations to spread the word about LIWP and help enroll community members. Partners in Los Angeles and the Bay Area include City of Richmond, Alameda County Healthy Homes Department, City & County of San Francisco, City of Santa Clara, City of Los Angeles, the National Association of Real Estate Brokers, Rising Sun Energy Center, Sustainable Silicon Valley, Richmond Neighborhood Housing Services, California Interfaith Power & Light, Neighborhood Council Sustainability Alliance, CHERP, Pacoima Beautiful and many more.