Wednesday, July 26, 2006

LADWP will help you install solar panels

The LADWP's solar incentive program is back on track! It couldn’t have come at a better time, either. The recent upswing in temperatures across Los Angeles demonstrates our city's increased energy demands, and our increased need for alternative sources.

In 2000, the Department began the program with $150 million and the goal of having 100,000 solar rooftops by the year 2010. In its first five years, the solar incentives were so popular that DWP had to suspend the program for a year. Now they've restructured the program to ensure enough funding to finish out the program, which I was able to use to install solar panels on the roof of my own house.


The incentive is based on the energy output of the system you install. The greater the number of kilowatts produced by your panels, the greater the amount of the rebate you can receive on your installation costs. For an installation costing $31,000 (on the high end of residential systems), the DWP incentive, when added to the tax credit received for the installation, would total nearly $16,000, taking care of 51% of the installation cost--to say nothing of your savings as your individual demands on the grid decrease.

Solar panels are an essential part of Los Angeles’ effort to have 20% renewable energy by 2010. In an age where we all strive to think globally and act locally, solar panels provides residents, businesses, and the city a means to become more energy independent, a concrete step that many of us can take on an individual basis to make LA a greener city and stem the use of fossil fuels. My own panels meets upwards of 80% of my energy needs (and that includes charging the electric car I use for city business).

The program will officially be re-opened on August 14. More information is available at the DWP website.