Environmental & Climate Justice

The emPOWER Program Helps L.A. County Residents Flex Their Energy-Saving Muscle

July 10, 2019
By Shirley Vilca

For Liberty Hill, environmental justice is a cornerstone of social justice. However, many residents in low-income and working class communities of color have traditionally been left behind by innovations in clean energy and solar power, which could mean a lack of access to readily available savings and important community health improvements.

Over the last few months, our Environmental Justice team has been hard at work launching the emPOWER program—a county-wide outreach initiative that has raised $720,000 from multiple public and private sector funding sources to directly support outreach and organizing focused on decreasing the demand for fossil fuels with potential household savings of thousands of dollars per year.

The emPOWER program connects low-income residents to more than 60 money- and energy-saving programs, including ratepayer incentives, energy efficiency upgrades, solar and clean vehicle rebates, and much more.

For this initiative, Liberty Hill has joined eight community partners (Union de Vecinos, East L.A. Community Corporation, ActiveSGV, East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice, Social Justice Learning Institute, Pacoima Beautiful, Day One and SCOPE) with ties to the communities of South L.A., Boyle Heights, East L.A., Pomona, El Monte, Commerce, Bell, Bell Gardens, South Gate, Pacoima, and West and North Long Beach.

The emPOWER team has also participated in L.A. County's Environmental Fair + Expo events, which connect residents with opportunities to sign up for the program and participate in electric vehicle test drives called "Ride and Drives." With outreach continuing into 2020, the emPOWER program is on its way to helping make Los Angeles a greener and more sustainable city for all.