emPOWER Program Expands Access Across Southern California
"emPOWER," a groundbreaking local environmental justice program, is expanding beyond L.A. County to bring savings, upgrades, and clean energy to more low-income Southern California residents.
With the current expansion, emPOWER will bring available services to expanded areas of Los Angeles County, as well as Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, working with local organizations to build a model that tackles issues of environmental and climate justice, while addressing the immediate needs facing low-income communities of color.
The emPOWER model funds community-based outreach for programs providing support to low-income and marginalized communities through financial aid and discounts on utility bills, assistance with energy-efficient home repairs and upgrades, and the transition to clean transportation through road replacement rebate programs for hybrid and electric cars.
"I've had the opportunity to work on many pieces of legislation that promote clean energy, clean air, and environmental justice, and the community-based organizations within the emPOWER program are making a difference," said California Majority Leader Assemblymember Eloise Gomez Reyes of the 47th district. "My district in the Inland Empire is fraught with issues such as poor air quality and the resulting adverse health conditions this can cause. I appreciate the support our grassroots partners are providing to residents to help combat these issues."
Alongside the service expansion, the emPOWER program is also releasing its new 2022-23 Guide to Green, a free resource that residents across the region can use to find available programs focused on bill savings, clean mobility, and healthy homes—which can include services such as lead remediation, insulation repair, and other quality of life improvements.
The coalition includes local organizations such as Liberty Hill Foundation, Redeemer Community Partnership, Pacoima Beautiful, the Latino/Latina Roundtable, United American Indian Involvement, SoCal Pacific Islander Community Response Team, Training Occupational Development Educating Communities, and administrative partner Valley Clean Air Now (VCAN). Funding for the program comes from Southern California Edison and GoBiz.
To date, through a combination of community engagement events, social media engagement, ride and drive clinics, as well as virtual meet-ups, the program has provided services to more than 517,000 people.