LADWP Ends Nonpayment Power and Water Shutoffs During Extreme Weather
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s board has voted to end water and power shutoffs due to nonpayment during cases of extreme weather.
This comes as Southern California is to experience its first heat wave of the year this weekend.
What are the Details?
Before the LADWP board vote, the department only halted utility shutoffs due to nonpayments when the temperature reached 100 degrees.
Now, the agency will rely on alerts from the National Weather Service to determine an extreme weather event. Instead of just using temperature, they will expand what they consider “weather-related health risks” such as:
- Extreme Heat
- Relative Humidity
- Heat Duration/High Overnight Temperatures
- Extreme Cold
- Hard Freeze Warnings
In total, LADWP will monitor eight warning systems and halt utility shutoffs in areas where a warning has been triggered.
In addition, the vote directed the department to put weather monitors in the city’s “urban heat islands” and in neighborhoods where weather data is not available.
California has been ravaged by extreme weather events for the past decade. From heat waves every summer to the atmospheric rivers that brought rain, snow, and strong winds, California residents have felt the brunt of extreme weather for years.
An unfortunate reality of this is the serious health risks it can pose to those who don’t have the infrastructure or finances to handle it. As a result, heat waves caused nearly 4,000 deaths from 2010 to 2019.
Last summer, there were at least 146 calls to the emergency room due to the extreme heat.
By pausing nonpayment shutoffs when there are extreme weather conditions, LADWP is hoping to reduce emergency service calls and deaths.
Keep up with BOMA on the Frontline for the latest news in the Greater Los Angeles area.