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Put in attic insulation, get a rebate: New DWP incentive program launches

Put in attic insulation, get a rebate: New DWP incentive program launches
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power building downtown. A new rebate program encourages DWP customers to install attic insulation in their homes. (Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and Department of Water and Power officials unveiled a home insulation rebate program Friday aimed at reducing energy use and slashing DWP bills.

The $100-million program seeks to encourage homeowners to install insulation in their attics, which will help lower their heating and cooling bills. Homeowners who take part in the program can receive a rebate for 80% of the total cost of insulation or $1 per square foot of insulation material, officials said. The rebate will be for whichever cost is less.

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Adding insulation will reduce homeowners’ use of air-conditioning and put less pressure on the city’s power grid, Garcetti said.

“We can reduce our energy usage and help our bottom lines,” he said. “We can protect the environment and cut greenhouse emissions, and we can move Los Angeles into a stronger and more resilient future.”

The mayor unveiled the program in the Faircrest Heights neighborhood, where workers were installing attic insulation in one of the residences. Garcetti was joined by DWP General Manager David Wright, who said putting in insulation could cost homeowners “several hundred dollars” but could save them $20 to $40 a month on their electric bill.

“It’s the best investment in energy efficiency and, frankly, environmental responsibility that you can make at your home,” Wright said.

Jonathan Parfrey, executive director of Climate Resolve, a nonprofit advocacy organization focused on curbing the effects of climate change, said the public faces greater health risks as temperatures rise.

The new program “is the right thing to do,” Parfrey said. “Having greater insulation will keep Angelenos cooler indoors.”

The rebate is available for single-family homes and duplexes. Customers must pay up front for the insulation and can expect a reimbursement within 30 to 60 days of submitting their claim to the utility, DWP spokeswoman Michelle Figueroa said. Customers who want to replace existing insulation can apply to have that cost reimbursed, she said.

The five-year program joins other initiatives offered by the utility aimed at reducing customers’ energy bills and protecting the environment.

Garcetti on Friday also addressed last month’s power outage, when tens of thousands of people lost electricity during a heat wave.

Some residents without power complained that the utility gave them scant information as they debated whether to flee to a hotel or stay with friends to avoid the heat.

The mayor said he’s asked the DWP to develop a robust notification system by next summer to tell customers about outages.

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