Due to record demand for solar rebates, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) has suspended the application process for the program for at least 90 days. Last fall, they were already weighing a 30-percent cut to the solar rebate program.
Currently, roughly 2,000 rebate applications remain unprocessed, representing more than $110 million in demand for rebate funds that are capped at $30 million for 2011. It seems the folks in Los Angeles are rather enthusiastic about solar power and how much money solar panels can save them on monthly electric bills.
It is unclear how things will turn out. According to DWP’s website,
The demand for rebates has far exceeded our current budget for the program, restricting our ability to pay out rebates in a timely manner as well as contributing to safety problems. This record demand requires LADWP to review and revise the program to better serve its program participants. LADWP has stopped accepting new reservation requests for at least 90 days, effective at 11:59 p.m. Friday, April 8, 2011, while we revise the program to better serve participants and reflect current solar PV market conditions.
The California Solar Initiative enables homeowners and businesses across the state to receive incentives to help offset the initial cost of installing solar panels. DWP, a public utility, actually offered a rebate that was higher than the state average. Some argued the electric rates were lower in DWP service territory; therefore a more generous rebate was needed.
The point is that LADWP customers looking into installing a solar home energy system will have to wait and see how things turn out. Similar scenarios have happened in places like California, Arizona, New Jersey, Florida and Massachusetts where demand for solar incentives surpasses supply.
It is best to start sooner than later if you would like to secure a rebate for your solar power project. For example, earlier this year some Arizona solar rebates for 2011 were almost half gone. So if solar is something you are considering, it would be in your best interest to get a solar home quote as soon as possible.