Collaboration between City departments will ease transition to renewable energy, and help L.A. grow even more sustainable and resilient.
Mayor Eric Garcetti today announced the roll-out of a revamped solar energy program, which will enable thousands of Angelenos to produce and utilize solar power with greater speed and efficiency.
The streamlined solar program will ease the way for people to create clean power in their homes and businesses — bringing Los Angeles closer to several specific objectives outlined in Mayor Garcetti’s Sustainable City pLAn, including the expansion of local solar and the reduction of wait times for solar interconnection.
“People across our city have sent a message loud and clear: they want to be partners in making our city more sustainable and more resilient,” said Mayor Garcetti. “We have answered that call by investing in significant improvements to our solar program, and providing better access than ever to clean, sustainable energy for homes and businesses in L.A.”
The new system is the result of close collaboration between the Department of Building and Safety (LADBS) and the Department of Water and Power (LADWP). The departments revamped the local solar program through three major improvements: an online, automated permitting system for solar installations; a more precise, time-saving automated permit notification system between LADBS and LADWP; and a streamlined process for issuing rebates and getting solar panels interconnected and energized.
Previously, these steps involved a complex process requiring multiple communications between customers and both City departments — causing delay and increased costs.
“Improvements like online permitting and automated notifications shave weeks off project schedules and result in faster solar connections,” said LADBS General Manager Raymond Chan. “LADBS is proud to partner with LADWP on improving the services we provide to our mutual customers."
“LADWP is committed to making it easier for our customers to go solar,” said LADWP General Manager Marcie Edwards. “We have developed changes to our process to make it faster and hassle-free to flip the switch on the solar installations. It is important for us to make the experience of embracing solar energy more beneficial than the status quo.”
Both LADBS and LADWP collaborated with leading solar installers to design this new process. Since LADBS launched online solar permitting, the number of permits being issued online each month has grown from 40 to more than 600. At LADWP, separating meter installation from rebate processing means customers no longer have to wait for rebate applications to be completed in order to activate a solar system.
To date, Angelenos have installed about 146 megawatts (MW) of net metered solar. LADWP anticipates continued growth in the program, and is in the process of increasing the projected available amount of net metered solar from 310 MW to a larger amount calculated in a manner similar to the methods used by California investor-owned utilities.
This increase in solar will also be driven by the anticipated extension of the federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, currently part of the budget bill being considered by Congress. Mayor Garcetti has advocated for this extension, which helps customers and the City reduce the cost of installing local, clean energy.
For general information about the Solar Incentive Program, visit www.ladwp.com/solar and visit www.ladbs.org to get an online permit for rooftop solar systems for up to 10 kW for single-family homes and duplexes.