Year after year there has been many reasons for homeowners to install solar in Los Angeles. L.A. is the one of the most active solar cities with residents installing PV because of how competitive and affordable it has become. In 2019, it’s not going to be about how a home can be as energy efficient as possible, and solar plays a big role in efficiency without grid reliability. 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.

 

Low Interest Private Lending

Last year, PACE program (Property Assessed Clean Energy), financing significantly reduced since more options are available. Private lenders and credit unions now offer amazingly low interest rates with affordable monthly payment that help make going solar easy. With Feds implement interest rake hikes in the first quarter of 2019, if you are considering to finance your solar then now is the time to do it.

Global Warming

Here’s a 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). What bad is global warming resulting in warmer tempatures that result in more energy consumption with HVAC, pool, and refrigeration equipment. To add, utilities have high demand for energy that to be sourced and transferred make energy cost more expensive in the long term.

Federal Tax Credit

2019 will be the last year to go solar and get a 30% federal tax credit. Come 2020, a phase out plan be initiate and the FTC will be reduced to 26%.

California Solar Mandate

Beginning 2020, California will require homes to install solar PV. The questions is why wait when you can go solar now and save $1500 or more in annual energy expenses?

Economy

With a population of 10 million and GDP of over $700 billion, Los Angeles is the 3rd largest metropolitan economy in the world. 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 but is phasing out, The global demand for solar and battery storage is forcing the market to continue advancing the technology. Yet what made solar mainstream was the homeowners that see it’s value – 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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