Fix net metering in Los Angeles



  • LADWP currently has a Feed-In Tariff program where it will buy power from solar (and wind/geothermal) installations at a competitive rate, but this program stops at installations smaller than 30 kW of capacity. That cuts out nearly all residential solar generators. For example, I maxed out my roof capacity for solar panels at 22 panels, and my capacity only hits 7.26 kW, so realistically only warehouses and big box stores can take advantage of this program.

    Instead, LADWP offers net metering credits to residential solar generators, which is good but LADWP only offers credits - there is no option for LADWP customers to cash in their credits. That means that all of the power I generate in excess of my needs goes into a "net metering bank", and if I ever move away from LA, I forfeit those credits. For me, those credits are worth hundreds of dollars annually, and LADWP is getting a free ride off of my power generation because I opted to max out my capacity because it "seemed like the right, green thing to do."

    LADWP is disincentivizing residential solar installations in this way. If solar generators could get cash back for their excess generation, residential installers would feel more confident maxing out installations, increasing economic activity in our community, accelerating the shift to green energy, lowering LADWP's electricity costs in the long run, and creating more economic opportunity for homeowners.

    If you live in LA, call your local representatives and ask them why LADWP is discouraging solar installations in a way that hurts ratepayers and our local economy.

    Check out these articles for more:
    https://www.citywatchla.com/index.php/los-angeles/15426-why-can-t-ladwp-homes-earn-cash-for-excess-solar-energy
    https://pv-magazine-usa.com/2019/09/27/los-angeles-still-has-a-feed-in-tariff-and-its-growing/



  • Hey @mikeepeck thanks for shedding some light on this! It's an interesting conundrum that is unfolding in many geographies in similar ways. The upside is that at least there are some incentives and momentum towards cleaner distributed energy - tough question though: what is the best way to efficiently structure public funds towards cleaning up the grid?

    To play devil's advocate for a minute - perhaps they have intentionally structured the program in such a way that the budget they have available is creating maximal environmental impact with larger generators. I'm sure it is a complex issue with stakeholders having valid perspectives on both sides. Of course, entrenched interests are likely the root cause of the way it is set up currently. Also, I had to search up what LADWP meant because it is not a commonly known acronym for most


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