Repower LA is a citywide coalition of community groups, environmentalists, and small businesses anchored by LAANE, SCOPE, and IBEW Local 18 that advocates for equitable environmental programs and career-path jobs at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (DWP), the nation’s largest municipally-owned utility.
Repower LA formed in 2011 in response to high unemployment in many of LA’s neighborhoods and our city’s unsustainable reliance on dirty energy. Our goal is to help make clean energy and good jobs at DWP accessible to all Angelenos while helping them lower their bills.
A cornerstone of RePower LA’s work is our support for the Utility Pre-Craft Trainee (UPCT) program, which was developed by IBEW Local 18, in partnership with DWP. The pre-apprenticeship program has partnered with our coalition to recruit women and communities of color, including the re-entry population. Participants learn various electrical and water utility skills while earning $16/hour with benefits, and get on the path to a career at the DWP.
Our coalition also works to increase investment in clean energy and energy efficiency programs to help the DWP become greener. As part of our vision of progressive systemic change at the DWP, RePower LA successfully pushed for the DWP to institute the new “Equity Metrics Data Initiative” (EMDI). The EMDI will track and publically release semi-annual data on how well the DWP is serving customers across programs, jobs, and services in low-income communities.
In expanding sustainability and good jobs, our coalition campaigned for the new Community Solar pilot recently approved by the DWP Board in November 2016. The pilot program, called “Solar Rooftops,” will utilize UPCTs to install solar panels on customers’ properties across Los Angeles. This will diversify DWP’s renewable energy sources, benefitting customers who will receive fixed payments in exchange for leasing their roofs, while creating more sustainable jobs.