Solar Rooftops Program Hailed As Innovative and Effective in Meeting Community Needs
(September 23, 2020)– One of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power’s (LADWP) three community solar programs, the Solar Rooftops Program, has been honored for its innovative and effective approach to serving local community needs. The California Municipal Utilities Association (CMUA) recently presented LADWP with a 2020 CMUA Resource Efficiency & Community Service award for first place in the “Community Service Programs – Large-size Utility” category.
LADWP created the Solar Rooftop Program to help more homeowners install solar panel systems on their rooftops, particularly customers who may not have been able to invest in solar in the past because of the high cost of installation. To reduce solar participation barriers, there are no upfront costs, no annual fees and no credit checks or maintenance costs for program participants. Areas of low solar penetration also receive priority enrollment to promote a more equitable solar community in Los Angeles.
Under the program, LADWP owns and builds photovoltaic (PV) systems, up to 10 kilowatts per system, on eligible customers’ rooftops. Rooftop space is leased for use by LADWP which issues the customer an annual check of up to $600. The lease agreement is valid for 20 years and monthly compensation is fixed. Participants can save up to $12,000 throughout the length of the lease.
“We want all LADWP customers to be able to participate in Los Angeles’ clean energy future. This program has been so well received because it addresses the issue of cost and maintenance, which have been significant barriers to installing solar,” said Martin Adams, LADWP General Manager and Chief Engineer. “Along with our other community solar programs, our Solar Rooftop Program is an important Department initiative because it helps us reach our renewable energy goals while also directly benefiting the customers we serve and supporting the green economy.”
LADWP’s Solar Rooftop Program scored the top spot from CMUA for its overall concept and implementation; originality, creativity and innovativeness; promotion of efficient use of natural resources and/or serving local community needs; and benefits to customers and/or the community.
By utilizing locally developed labor, the Solar Rooftops Program also supports green jobs while boosting LADWP’s training initiatives. Trainees from the Department’s Utility Pre-Craft Trainee (UPCT) Program, developed in partnership with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 18, are utilized during the construction of the rooftop PV.
To date, LADWP has performed over 400 Solar Rooftop Program home inspections to evaluate the condition of roofs and electrical panels. Thirty two solar installations have been completed and 12 homes are currently ready for construction.
The City of Los Angeles and LADWP were also recently recognized as nationwide leaders in fostering the installation of solar PV systems. Los Angeles ranked number one out of 57 cities surveyed in total installed solar capacity for the third consecutive year, a title the city also held from 2013 to 2015.
LADWP’s Solar Rooftop Program is open to qualifying low-income, lifeline, time-of-use and standard residential customers. To learn more about the program and how to apply, visit www.ladwp.com/solar.