Tempe gives 48 free home energy kits to low-income families amid sky-high summer energy bills

Aug 20, 2023, 3:00 PM

free home energy kits to low-income Tempe families...

Ana Aguilar, RAIL CDC volunteer and Alegre neighborhood resident, right, reviews kit items with Tempe resident, left. (City of Tempe Photo)

(City of Tempe Photo)

PHOENIX — The city of Tempe’s Sustainability and Resilience Office, or SRO, gave out 48 free home energy kits to low-income families last week.

Families got LED bulbs, smart plugs, utility stipends and other items to help lower home energy costs, according to a Thursday announcement.

The office gave out kits to residents of three neighborhoods: Victory Acres, Escalante and Alegre neighborhoods in Tempe. Officials picked these areas due to a few key metrics:

– Low household income
– High heat vulnerability
– Median land surface temperatures
– Poverty rate

According to the announcement, residents in low-income neighborhoods have to choose between paying for electricity and other necessities. That’s because the high costs of home cooling can bust their home budgets.

“As Arizonans experience hotter temperatures for longer periods of time and face rising electric bills, we knew, and heard from community members, that the city needed to help,” Tempe’s Sustainability and Resilience Director Eric Iwersen said in a statement.

Why did Tempe hand out these free home energy kits?

Before handing out the home energy kits, the SRO teamed up with the Retail, Arts, Innovation and Livability CDC (or RAIL CDC for short). The two groups launched engagement programs to get community feedback. Officials wanted to make sure their free home energy kits would help locals lower their power bills.

“It is important to address indoor extreme heat because in 2022 about 20% of heat-related deaths occurred indoors,” Iwersen said. “This project is just the start of our office’s energy equity work, which feeds into the larger resilience to extreme heat approach we are taking.”

This is just one of the city’s many relief programs. The SRO and RAIL CDC will host future engagement events in the fall. They will create a Climate Justice Advisory Group to address energy equity and heat relief, the announcement said.

Tempe residents who share their feedback could help shape the city’s future programs, polices and infrastructure.

“We want to identify opportunities for city investment that address energy cost savings, lower greenhouse gas emissions and increase urban cooling,” Iwersen said.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Crime tape and a police SUV are seen at the seen of a Phoenix apartment fire on July 15. Homicide a...

Man arrested for murdering 3, setting fire to apartment in Phoenix

A man was arrested Friday in connection with three dead bodies that were found after an apartment fire Monday in Phoenix, authorities said.

1 hour ago

A man from Tucson was sentenced to nearly three years in prison for his part in a drug trafficking ...

Arizona man sentenced to nearly 3 years in prison for trafficking drugs across border

A man from Tucson was sentenced to 33 months in prison for delivering drugs across the border, authorities announced Friday.

2 hours ago

Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff gets on Tempe streetcar during a visit to the Valley on Friday. (City ...

Damon Allred

Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff advocates for transit investment, rides Tempe streetcar

Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff visited the Valley on Friday and discussed several issues, including public transit in Tempe and Mesa.

3 hours ago

TSMC said it won't consider a joint ownership venture with the United States for its Arizona fabric...

Audrey Jensen/Phoenix Business Journal

Despite geopolitical concerns, TSMC forges ahead with Arizona semiconductor fabs

TSMC increased its revenue expectations amid strong demand for chips without changes to its plans for Arizona.

6 hours ago

A man was sentenced to nearly 20 years in prison for sexually abusing a minor. (Pexels photo)...

Arizona man who sexually abused minor sentenced to nearly 20 years in prison

An Arizona man was sentenced to 235 months in prison for sexually abusing a minor in 2021, authorities announced Friday.

6 hours ago

A road closed sign stands on an Arizona highway while cows walk across the road in the background....

Payne Moses

Northbound I-17 closed due to vehicle crash near Lake Montezuma

The northbound lanes of Interstate 17 were closed near Lake Montezuma due to a vehicle crash, authorities said Friday.

7 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.



Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

Tempe gives 48 free home energy kits to low-income families amid sky-high summer energy bills