Even during record heat, surprisingly few people go to L.A. cooling centers. Why?
Los Angeles has the most air-conditioned city per capita in the world. Yet, less than 3% of the city’s population cools as a result of the gridlocked traffic and heat that accompanies summer.
A new report from the Alliance for a Green Climate Fund and the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) has a few reasons why the city’s air-conditioning systems go unused.
According to the report, the LA area is just one of many places that doesn’t make use of cooling centers and, worse, it’s a hot spot for people to spend money on air conditioning.
“Los Angeles remains one of the most air-conditioned cities in the world,” the report reads, “but in other cities, even less people use cooling centers. Why? Because Los Angeles is a hot spot in our country for spending money on air conditioning, and because some people think Los Angeles is too hot.”
The Alliance for a Green Climate Fund (AGCF) made the findings from an exhaustive review of LA’s cooling centers. The LA area is home to some of the most efficient and best run cooling centers in the United States, and it also has some of the highest average temperatures in the country.
For example, Los Angeles County has some of the most advanced energy-efficient cooling centers in the country. In fact, the data from these systems make it possible for Los Angeles to be the first city in the world to not require cooling centers in its buildings.
Despite the fact that the city is home to some of the most efficient and best run cooling centers in the country, only 3.7% of residents in L.A. use them.
How LA is such a hot spot
The report estimates that people in the LA area spend around $10 billion on air conditioning systems each year. That’s a lot of money in the hottest summer months.
But, how much does it cost to cool down LA’s population?
According to the Los Angeles climate action plan released by mayor Eric Garcetti,