Year after year solar has been may reasons for homeowners to install solar in Los Angeles. L.A. is the one of the most active cities with residents installing solar because of the city’s capacity to install solar. In 2018, it’s not going to be about the cost because solar is the most affordable its ever been. What it will be about is the how solar can reduce your electricity bill and save you more money. On average, Angelinos have saved $1,500 in electric utility costs in their first year of going solar. That’s a positive because with utility hikes and the federal tax credit, homeowners in L.A. will recoup their cost toward a solar system within 7-9 years. If you’re thinking about going solar, consider these 5 reasons why.

Los Angeles solar capacity

Utility Rate Hikes

There’s only a few reasons why solar became mainstream in Los Angeles – technology, affordability, and utility rate hikes.  Within the last 5 years, LADWP raised their electric rate by 4.5% and will continue to do so for the next 5 years. So what’s the deal with their progressive rate increases? According the LADWP, with electricity demand and mandates to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, they re-structure their rates to promote energy conservation and efficiency especially during our cities high demand months in summer.

This past May, SCE and the California Public Utilities Commission mandated a $5 billion rate hike, with an average rate increase of 19% to residential customers. Top tier customers saw an increase from 14.3 cents to 25.8 cents per kilowatt hour.

 

PACE Financing

With the PACE program (Property Assessed Clean Energy), homeowners that may not traditionally qualify for financing can now go solar.  A couple years ago, PACE was only available in select cities. Homeowners that live in neighborhoods that weren’t approved couldn’t qualify. Now virtually every neighborhood in Los Angeles qualifies.  PACE financing allows homeowners to fund an energy efficiency project for their home with no up-front cost.

Homeowner Gains

Homeowners that finance their solar system through PACE can get a loan up to 100% for their project’s cost and pay it back over time with tax-deductible payments through their property taxes. When it comes to qualifying a homeowner for financing PACE doesn’t care about a FICO score, they only want to know 2 things: a solid history of mortgage payments and 15% home equity. This is an attractive option for homeowners because our booming real estate market helped property owners build equity that can be invested back into the home to further increase it’s value.  CAR (California Association of Realtors) reported homes with solar sell 12% faster even with a higher listing price than comparable homes without a solar system.

 

Most Popular Climate

Here’s a fun fact, Los Angeles is ranked #2 of out 190 world cities for the best climates to live and work in. However, this fact can be both good and not good. What’s good is that our climate experiences 73% sunshine annually (267 days per year). Now although our climate has become a primary reason why people want to live in Los Angeles, we Angelinos know living in L.A. means driving a car which unfortunately contributes to air pollution and global warming from carbon emissions – the not good. But what’s great is how solar is a perfect fit for Los Angeles – with the amount of sunshine we have not only will solar energy be very productive year-round, but also will help decrease the energy demand utility companies need to generate from nuclear power plants that emit carbon emissions!

 

Trusted Solar Company

2017 was the year where local solar companies either died or thrived. With so many solar companies in Los Angeles, this year we’ve seen many that threw in their towels and closed down. As we enter 2018, homeowners can be more confident to do business with those companies that thrive in a competitive solar market. Solar companies that have the best track record and reputation will continue to be successful because these are those companies that are able to adapt and shift with the market.

 

Economy

With a population of 10 million and GDP of over $700 billion, Los Angeles is the 3rd largest metropolitan economy in the world. L.A. county is also the largest manufacturing hub in the United States, with more manufacturing jobs than Michigan. What’s great about being an L.A. resident is our city’s investment in a clean future. Los Angeles has already committed itself to become a leader in environmental initiatives such as reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 35%, improving waste management, and cleaner air and water.  Los Angeles already contributed $1 billion in cleantech programs and sustainability through renewable energy and transportation.  Over the next 10 years, L.A. will invest $10 billion.  With the city’s target to be the center of U.S. solar energy development, sustainable transit innovation, and leader for clean energy manufacturing and green building, job opportunities will be in the hundreds of thousands.

 

Conclusion

The past 5 years have shown consistent growth in solar ultimately due to a variety of factors. The Federal Tax Credit was the catalyst to drive the market, while the global demand for solar as an energy resource forced the market to continue advancing the technology. Yet what made solar mainstream was the homeowners that believed it’s purpose – to provide energy savings from utility rate hikes, contribute to a more cleaner environment, and create more jobs.

Sources: ABC News, LADWP, California Association of Realtors, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 2018 STC Climate Index, Los Angeles Economic & Workforce Development Department

Robert Sarai

Robert Sarai is a leading expert in energy efficiency and sustainability with L.A. Solar Group. He oversees development and marketing efforts to guide property owners toward smart energy solutions. He can be contacted directly at 818-946-2320 or robert@lasolargroup.com. LinkedIn Profile
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