Open Neighborhoods Extends Solar Program Before LADWP Solar Rebate Moratorium

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LADWP solar moratorium expected after Los Angeles City Council vetoes proposed solar rebate cuts. Clean energy group extends GoSolar 2010 community program until December 15th.

After the Los Angeles City Council unanimously vetoed the LADWP’s proposed cuts to the Solar Incentive Program and called for a 90-day moratorium on new solar rebates, neighborhood advocacy group Open Neighborhoods announced the GoSolar 2010 community program will be extended until December 15th.

The Council vote came after the Department of Water and Power had proposed rebate cuts that were expected to dramatically slow the adoption of clean, renewable energy in Los Angeles — and would eliminate one million dollars per year in solar funding for Affordable Housing.

Council member Bill Rosendahl said “The bottom line is this: We should go solar; we’re in sunny Southern California, and the DWP has to figure out how to incentivize us to make it work.”

The Sierra Club, VoteSolar, a coalition of solar companies, and the community advocacy group Open Neighborhoods all voiced their opposition to DWP’s proposed cuts, which disproportionately reduced residential solar rebates for neighborhood homes.

Council member Richard Alarcon said “If we’re going to grow support for solar – use of solar energy – everyone in the world has to do it, not just select communities who are rich.”

According to a recent Solar Home & Business Journal report, "The council motion also called for a 90-day moratorium on the acceptance of new applications for solar incentives, to begin Jan. 1, 2011." The report speculated that the moratorium could set off a "year-end run on solar by consumers seeking to lock in what could be decades-long bargain rates for electricity."

Responding to news of the solar moratorium, Open Neighborhoods representatives announced they are extending the current GoSolar 2010 community program until Dec 15th. “This extension will ensure as many community members as possible are able to claim Million Solar Roofs rebates before the LADWP solar moratorium takes effect.” said Open Neighborhoods co-founder James Brennan.

The program extension applies to Los Angeles area customers of both LADWP and Southern California Edison. Program participants will join with over 170 Los Angeles area homes and businesses in receiving free solar assessments, accessing group savings of up to 30% with large-scale volume purchasing or leasing of solar panels, and reserving Million Solar Roofs rebate funds to help offset installation costs.

Participants must sign up to request a free solar assessment at http://www.openneighborhoods.net/gosolar prior to the December 15th program end date. LADWP rebate applications must be filed by December 31st in order to be processed prior to the January 1st solar rebate moratorium.

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