Solar businesses not happy with DWP's revised incentive plan

You might recall that the old program was suspended in April because too many customers had signed up and the utility said it ran out of money. Now DWP has rejiggered its solar incentive program (the Board of Water and Power Commissioners approved the revised plan), but the rebate amounts are considerably smaller: $2.00 to $2.20 per watt, down from $3.25 per watt. From DWP press release:

“As we re-launch the Solar Incentive Program in September, it is extremely important that we leverage the incentives to achieve the most solar power and encourage as much customer participation as possible. We also want to grow solar at a steady and sustainable pace while being prudent about the cost to all customers who pay for this program through their rates,” said LADWP General Manager Ronald O. Nichols.

But a group of solar businesses argue that the changes will reduce the financial incentives for solar power by up to 40 percent. Conceivably, say the businesses, homeowners could wind up paying more for electricity with the solar hookups than without. From their press release:

“Los Angeles should be a leader in residential solar and even at current program levels the city is far behind most every other comparable city,” said Ethan Sprague, director of government affairs at SunRun, a home solar company that provides solar leases in Los Angeles. “The new proposal will put LA farther behind, taking away from homeowners the chance to improve their bottom line with savings from solar.”

Obviously, quite a difference of opinion.

More by Mark Lacter:
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NFL star Bubba Smith found dead in L.A. home
Solar businesses not happy with DWP's revised incentive plan
Faye Dunaway's rent-stabilization problem
Scott Pelley in town to anchor CBS News
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