Solar Power Incentives - The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is reaffirming its commitment to the environment, renewable energy, and the local economy.

Solar Power Incentives

The Solar Incentive Program is designed to meet escalating requests by customers eager to participate in one of the largest solar electric system installation programs in the nation. Since 1999 this Program has encouraged the development of over 17 MW of solar power and assists the LADWP in achieving its goal of providing 20% of its energy from renewable energy sources by 2010.

The program is structured as a 10 step declining incentive, based on the amount of solar installed and connected to LADWP’s energy grid. The LADWP Solar Incentive Program provides one lump sum payment to LADWP customers that purchase or lease solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to offset traditional energy consumption at the installation site. The Solar Incentive Program has two separate funding categories with different incentive levels to ensure broad and equitable distribution of funds.

To receive an incentive payment from the LADWP, customers must apply for and receive a written, Confirmed Reservation number issued by the Solar Energy Group. The individual solar powered systems must meet the requirements outlined in Section 6.0 of the Solar Guidelines.

The LADWP incentive payment is a one time payment based on the estimated performance of the solar system. Using PVWatts Version 2, the annual kWh output is estimated and a formula is applied to give the customer a one time payment for 20 years of solar production. The LADWP Instructions for PVWatts Version 2 can be found at the bottom of this page. The incentive is calculated as follows:

    Estimate the 1st year energy production using the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s PVWatts Version 2 program x 20 years - If the solar PV equipment is leased, the incentive is prorated to the term of the lease agreement. x 0.9 (the system degradation factor) Multiply the results by the current incentive rate in $/kWh. (See Residential or Commercial Incentive Programs tables, and Section 2.3 - Funding Categories and Section 2.4 - Payment Calculation of the program guidelines.)
The intent of the Solar Incentive Program is to reduce the net cost to the end user of such systems, thereby stimulating the installation of reliable well designed generating systems located throughout the City and assisting in the establishment of a commercially viable solar PV industry. LADWP will also periodically review the results of the Incentive Program to determine if modifications or changes to the level of incentives or other program terms and conditions are necessary to achieve the overall program goals. LADWP reserves the right to modify or discontinue the solar Incentive Program at any time at the discretion of the LADWP Board of Water and Power Commissioners (Board). This Program is subject to funding availability.

If after reading the guidelines you require additional information about the Incentive Program, please contact the LADWP’s Solar Energy Group at (213) 367-4122.

About the California Solar Initiative

About the California Solar Initiative
As part of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger's Million Solar Roofs Program, California has set a goal to create 3,000 megawatts of new, solar-produced electricity by 2017 - moving the state toward a cleaner energy future and helping lower the cost of solar systems for consumers.
The California Public Utilities Commission, through its California Solar Initiative, provides over $2 billion in incentives over the next decade for existing residential homes and existing and new commercial, industrial, and agricultural properties.
The California Energy Commission manages a 10-year, $350 million program to encourage solar in new home construction through its New Solar Homes Partnership.
The overall goal is to help build a self-sustaining solar market.
  • The California Solar Initiative Offers
    Photovoltaic incentives starting at $1.90 per watt for systems up to one megawatt in size.
  • Funds for solar installations for existing and new low-income and affordable housing.
  • A pay-for-performance incentive structure to reward high-performing solar projects.
  • The California Solar Initiative will be coordinated with the state's energy efficiency, "smart" metering, and building standards programs at the Public Utilities Commission and Energy Commission, ensuring that the state is using its energy resources wisely.
  • What are the benefits of Renewable Energy Technologies?
    Generate your own electricity using renewable resources. If you use a solar PV system, your electric utility can "store" your electricity, and supply it when your system is not generating.
  • Security
    Provide a secure back-up source of electricity for your home or business, while making use of our indigenous energy resources.
  • Environmentally Friendly
    Use clean, replenishable resources that do not pollute or contribute to global climate change.
  • Sustainability
    Help ensure our energy future by tapping into an "infinite" power supply.
  • Who is eligible to apply?
    All types of electricity customers are eligible: residential, commercial, agricultural and industrial.
  • You can buy your electricity from any electric service provider, but your proposed site must be within the utility electricity service area of: Pacific Gas and Electric, San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison, or Bear Valley Electric Company.
  • You must also remain connected to the utility grid.