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LA Solar Incentive Program and Feed-in Tariff Program

For those of you who may not know, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has developed a Solar Incentive Program (SIP) to support solar energy in Los Angeles. This Solar Incentive Program can help you with the cost of installing a new solar system.  The Solar Feed-in Tariff Program, which allows owners of large-scale on-grid solar systems to sell back unused energy, is currently in the works. This Solar Incentive Program was created to help meet the aim of Senate Bill 1, which is essentially an extension of the California Solar Initiative (CSI) and the Energy Commission’s New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP).  Basically, the goal of this program is to promote solar for LADWP customers to help California reach its energy goals.  By providing a financial incentive to homeowners who install on-grid photovoltaic systems, LADWP hopes to encourage homeowners to invest in solar energy.   LADWP customers who have photovoltaic systems installed can receive a lump sum payment upfront based on the anticipated performance of their new system. To calculate an estimate of the Expected Performance Based Buydown (EPBB), LADWP’s website has an online calculator. This provides an idea of the energy production, annual kWh, CEC-AC rating, Design Factor, CSI rating, and incentive amount.  With this information, LADWP is able to figure out how much money to pay the customer upfront. There are benefits that go beyond this one-time payment.  According to the LADWP website: “Customers who qualify and complete an installation are provided with a ‘net meter’.  When a customer’s solar system produces more energy than they use, the excess energy is calculated as a credit on their bill, and their meter will run backwards.” This means that when an LADWP customer’s solar system is producing excess energy, it goes back into the grid.  The meter runs backwards and LADWP is then able to credit their customers with energy towards their electricity bill.  Conversely, LADWP is presently developing another system to promote the use of solar technology through the Solar Feed-in Tariff Program, also known as the CLEAN LA Program.  Though Solar Incentive Program customers are not qualified for the CLEAN LA Program, this particular program is designed primarily for larger-scale commercial use.  Through this Feed-in Tariff system, customers who produce 30kW and higher, can enter a contract to sell 100% of the energy produced at their facility to LADWP at a fixed rate for up to twenty years. Here’s a brief run-down of how the preliminary stages function: application process: To qualify for this program, applicants must go through a six-week application process.  Applicants provide the base price for the energy, proof of site control, and complete facility and one-line diagrams.  They...

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economic recovery act of 2009 helps you buy solar

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 passed earlier this year resulted in historic events for the solar power industry. But I noticed that many people out there are still not aware of the benefits. Today I want to highlight the key benefits this legislation has brought to people and organizations who choose to invest in solar panels. tax paying corporations now qualify for a 30% federal tax grant in lieu of a tax credit. A “tax grant” works similar to a rebate in which the U.S. Treasury Department will send a corporation 30% cash payment based off the final cost of the system. This is a limited time offer, only solar electric systems which commence installation before the end of 2010 will qualify. 50% bonus depreciation has been extended for corporations who install solar panels by the end of 2009 $2,000 tax credit cap has been eliminated for solar hot water systems, now solar thermal panels can qualify for the full 30% tax credit. There are many more provisions in the law that helps develop renewable energy technology, SEIA (solar energy industry association) has put together an executive summary that’s really helpful, check it out...

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economic recovery act of 2009 helps you buy solar

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 passed earlier this year resulted in historic events for the solar power industry. But I noticed that many people out there are still not aware of the benefits. Today I want to highlight the key benefits this legislation has brought to people and organizations who choose to invest in solar panels. tax paying corporations now qualify for a 30% federal tax grant in lieu of a tax credit. A “tax grant” works similar to a rebate in which the U.S. Treasury Department will send a corporation 30% cash payment based off the final cost of the system. This is a limited time offer, only solar electric systems which commence installation before the end of 2010 will qualify. 50% bonus depreciation has been extended for corporations who install solar panels by the end of 2009 $2,000 tax credit cap has been eliminated for solar hot water systems, now solar thermal panels can qualify for the full 30% tax credit. There are many more provisions in the law that helps develop renewable energy technology, SEIA (solar energy industry association) has put together an executive summary that’s really helpful, check it out...

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save money with a solar attic fan

Today, I want to talk about a product that gets very little attention but can save you a lot of money on your summer cooling costs each year. We can all agree that the air conditioner the biggest energy hog on your electric service, when you flip your air conditioner on your electric meter starts spinning forward really quickly and your bill starts to rack up. What if you cut the number of hours your air conditioner runs everyday, how much money would that save you? That’s exactly what a solar attic fan does, it forces the hot air out of your attic, therefore cooling your living space below which requires the air conditioner to kick on less everyday the solar attic fan is running. Many people can’t afford the upfront investment of purchasing a grid tie solar electric system that can offset a majority of your electric bill so I tell many consumers to start with a solar attic fan. It’s more cost effective to first figure out whats to become more energy efficient and then produce clean energy. what do you...

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bring low cost solar power to the poor

Nicole Kuepper is on the path to solving the biggest barrier to going solar, cost. One of the primary reasons why solar cells require such a large upfront investment to get started is because of the intensive manufacturing process. The 23 year old scientist has found out a way to use simple household items to manufacturer solar cells on the fly using nail polish and an ink jet printer. Nicole’s technology uses the same theory of an ink jet printer to print solar cells that are not made from silicon onto a substrate which then can generate electricity. Currently the technology is in it’s infancy stages, although its great to see this type of development and innovative thinking in the solar power industry because its very much needed help solar power reach grid parity. What do you think about Nicole’s process of developing solar cells? In what other ways can the cost of solar panels be reduced for end...

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the scoop on energy efficiency mortgages

A new wave of energy efficiency mortgages are being introduced today by the FHA which allow you to borrow 5% more to upgrade a home you buy with energy efficiency products such as solar panels, LED bulbs, weatherization and other energy efficiency appliances. According to the FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are under pressure from the federal government to develop new mortgages which include more flexible underwriting guidelines to reward energy conscious borrowers and builders. Energy friendly loans would increase incomes of applicants by dollar for every dollar of projected energy savings from green energy upgrades and efficient design. For the program to work correctly, State governments need to provide professional training to licensed appraisers so they can value highly efficient buildings correctly. What do you think about the federal support for energy efficiency...

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