• Upgrades to the program shave weeks off project schedules.
  • The number of solar permits issued monthly has grown significantly since the upgrades.
  • Program also focuses on streamlining the rebate process.

A revamped solar energy program will enable Los Angeles homeowners to produce and utilize solar power with greater efficiency.

The city’s mayor Eric Garcetti recently announced that the Department of Building and Safety (DBS), along with the Department of Water and Power, has improved three aspects of its existing solar program. These upgrades include an online permitting system for solar installations, an automated permit notification system, and a streamlined process for issuing solar rebates and getting solar panels interconnected.

Federico Rostagno / Shutterstock.com

Federico Rostagno / Shutterstock.com

“Improvements like online permitting and automated notifications shave weeks off project schedules and result in faster solar connections,” said Raymond Chan, general manager of the DBS.

Previously these steps represented a complex process that required multiple conversations between customers and both of these city departments, which equated to delays and increased costs.

Since the DBS launched online solar permitting, the number of monthly permits issued online has grown from 40 to more than 600.

Additionally, by separating meter installation from rebate processing, homeowners no longer have to wait for rebate applications to be completed in order to activate a solar system.

The revamped program comes after the mayor recently announced a solar pilot project at a Los Angeles fire station. The Resilient Solar Pilot Project involves the installation of a solar energy system, which is tied to both the electrical grid and backup battery power. The initiative aims to boost the city’s emergency response capabilities after a natural disaster and increase the use of clean, locally-produced energy.

Email Erik Pisor

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