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Last week, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) took a giant leap forward in rewriting their Electric Service Requirements, and the solar industry took a small step toward simplifying the installation of roof top solar. This long overdue action by LADWP will reduce the cost of installing roof top solar in Los Angeles by $400 to $10,000. Effective immediately, LADWP removed the need for open blade switches and performance meters on 95% of the solar systems homeowners commonly install. This reduces red tape, infrastructure and labor costs, ultimately speeding up the adoption of solar energy.

The success of this policy change is due to years of lobbying by the solar industry and collaboration with LADWD staff members. In November of 2018, LADWP Commissioner Aura Vasquez, working with Solar Forward CEO, Mark Smith, helped start a Solar Working group made up of LADWP staff, CALSSA staff and local LA based solar contractors. Stake holders have been meeting every few months and working together to streamline the solar installation process. Success has come slowly, but definitive progress has been made and the solar industry welcomes the progress.

There is still plenty of room for improvement in streamlining the paperwork and interconnection process, especially with larger solar systems. Clearly, there are cultural differences between LADWP, a utility that was founded in 1902, and the evolving solar industry. Finding common ground and developing a smooth working relationship, is vital to insure a robust energy grid and clean sources of power, for future generations.

The solar industry is appreciative of the hard work that LADWP staff put into creating the new Electric Service Requirements.