Solar

Los Angeles Revises Solar Rebate Plan

The Los Angeles Board of Commissioners of the Department of Water and Power (LADWP) approved new guidelines for the Solar Photovoltaic Rebate Program. The program, which remains hindered by limited overall funds, will shift to a performance-based incentive structure.

The Solar PV program assists the LADWP in achieving its goal of providing 20% of its energy from renewable energy sources by 2010. The new program uses the solar PV systems’ design — generally called a performance-based incentive — to determine the incentive payment. In addition, the new program includes two separate funding categories, which LADWP says will ensure equitable distribution of incentive funds. Some solar energy industry sources report that the major shortcoming of the program is its inadequate funding to provide for enough solar projects. New applications for the Solar Incentive Program will be accepted starting August 14, 2006. Applications and program details can be found on the LADWP website at www.ladwp.com under “Programs and Rebates.” Applications will only be accepted via United States Post Office regular delivery and U.S. postmarks will be noted for solar rebate reservations. No other form of submission will be accepted in order to apply for a rebate. The LADWP anticipates that the program will remain open to applications continuously into the future and that all qualifying customers that submit an application will be served. The revised program is design based and rebate amounts are based on the estimated PV system output, rather than system size as in the past. Interested customers can visit the LADWP website and use the online PVWatts calculating tool to estimate individual PV system output and calculate the potential rebate amount. Rebate amounts will vary depending upon the size, tilt, position and location of the solar PV system. All customers that were on the former waiting list have now been serviced. The revised program takes into consideration future year projections of potential customer demand, in order to prevent the need for another waiting list. The Board will closely monitor the program to make sure that demand does not outpace the budget or projections. LADWP’s 10-year, $150 million solar photovoltaic buy-down rebate program, which began in 2000 and runs through June 2011, encourages residents and businesses to use clean, renewable energy by providing rebates that reduce the cost of installing solar electric systems. The program will be reviewed to see if adjustments need to be made in the future, so it aligns more closely with the recently announced California Solar Initiative that is expected to be implemented in 2007. The program also includes $750,000 to support the installation of solar in affordable housing. The Solar Photovoltaic Rebate Program is part of the LADWP Green LA Environmental Programs that also include energy efficiency, tree planting, green power, and recycling. Information on these environmental programs is available at the following link.