LADWP launches new solar power incentives for residential customers

LOS ANGELES, Calif., Jan. 17, 2002 — Beginning this week, residential customers of the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power will receive bill inserts explaining the Department’s Solar Incentive or Rebate Program, which now offers the highest per watt financial incentive in California.

Each residential billing cycle takes approximately two months, so LA residents will continue to receive these notices through mid-March.

“We’re pleased to be able to inform all of our residential customers about our Solar Rebate program in such a cost-effective manner,” said David H. Wiggs, general manager of LADWP. “By lowering the price of solar electric power systems, we’re hoping to encourage even more customers to consider going solar. It’s important to remember that any power produced by these solar systems reduces the load on LADWP’s power system, which benefits all Californians by reducing the need to build power plants.”

The Department’s highest-level incentives are in effect through December 31, 2002, so the Department encourages all customers who are interested in solar power to act now. The first step is to hire a contractor to recommend a solar power system. Next, the customer can reserve Solar Rebate money for up to twelve months, at which time the solar power system must be installed.

The Solar Incentive Program lowers the purchase price of solar electric or photovoltaic (PV) systems by half or even more for all participating LADWP customers. It offers a cash incentive based on the Wattage or size of a PV system. The base incentive per watt was increased from $3.00 to $4.50 per watt in 2001 to match the amount offered by the State of California for customers of investor-owned utilities. As a municipally owned utility, LADWP’s program is separate from the state’s.

In addition to the base incentive, LADWP also offers Los Angeles Manufacturing Credit (LAMC) towards solar photovoltaic equipment built by companies with PV manufacturing facilities inside the city. The LAMC is an additional $1.50 per watt, raising the total available to customers to $6.00 per watt.

“Our rebate program can make solar power a reality for residents who were always interested, but simply couldn’t afford it before,” said Angelina Galiteva LADWP director of Strategic Planning. “We even offer easy financing through our EfficiencyWise program, or customers can finance solar power systems as home improvements, or by rolling the cost into their mortgages. Solar power not only means reduced electricity bills for our customers, it also increases our use of clean, renewable energy while decreasing our reliance upon conventional, polluting fuels,” she said.

Although all certified solar power equipment qualifies for the base incentive, which is currently $4.50/Watt, only Siemens Solar Industries’ PV equipment and PowerLight Corporation’s PowerGuardà¢â€ž- equipment qualify for the highest incentive, because the two companies operate a factory in Chatsworth, which is part of the City of Los Angeles.

The LADWP’s goal is to achieve the installation of 100 megawatts, or 100,000 solar power systems in Los Angeles by 2010. LADWP is itself constructing up to 1.5 megawatts per year in municipally owned buildings as well as participating in the local solar power marketplace through incentives, promotions and education.

About Green LA and LADWP
The solar initiative is part of LADWP’s Green LA program that also includes Energy Efficiency, Green Power, Cool Schools Tree Planting, Electric Transportation and Recycling. To learn more about the Solar and Green LA Program log onto or call 1-800-GreenLA.

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power provides water and electricity services to 1.4 million customers in a 465 square mile municipal service area. LADWP is the largest city-owned utility in the nation. City, community leaders and customers will be celebrating the LADWP’s 100th anniversary beginning next month.

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