Heat waves and dangerously high temperatures are becoming more common as a consequence of climate change. As access to AC is becoming a necessity as a result, Los Angeles renters are facing issues as many apartments don’t have air conditioning installed.
The lack of air conditioning requirement in buildings is prompting the Los Angeles City Council to study the feasibility of making AC mandatory in all rental units. Sasha Harndon, a public policy advocate, speaks on this issue. “There’s been some great reporting in the last couple of years that has shined a light on the level and number of heat-related illnesses and deaths that are occurring in California. And it’s extremely alarming” he states.
With the policy efforts being underway, the question of how these measures will impact the state’s energy grid that is already strained. Rajit Gadh, professor at the UCLA Samueli School of Engineering, projects that energy consumption will increase about 5%, but some of that can be offset by storing energy throughout the day. The energy can be stored in batteries of electric vehicles, and be released into the grid once the sun sets. This research initiative by UCLA is called the Grand Challenges, and more information can be found on their website.