The DWP is expanding its rooftop panel program to the 'solar desert' to meet its energy goals

LA Times
Ivan Penn

Los Angeles utility commissioners want to pay homeowners in the city’s disadvantaged communities to generate electricity from the sun.

Residential customers who participate in the city’s Solar Rooftops Program will receive a $30 credit each month or $360 a year in exchange for allowing the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to put city-owned solar panels on their property. The unusual pilot program aims to install solar panels on 400 rooftops over the next three years, beginning in early 2017.

“We are pleased to be able to offer participation in our solar programs to customers regardless of income level so they can save money on their electric bills while also being environmentally responsible,” DWP General Manager David Wright said.

The Board of Water and Power Commissioners approved the project last week for rooftops that meet city requirements on  3-2 vote. The solar systems will range between 2 and 4 kilowatts of capacity for a total of up to 1 megawatt of new solar energy. A typical residential solar system has a capacity of 5 to 6 kilowatts, which would be enough to supply the average home’s electricity use.