This is an excerpt from EERE Network News, a weekly electronic newsletter.

September 25, 2002

L.A. Expands Solar Program, Rolls Out 400 Electric Vehicles

Residents of Los Angeles and businesses located there now have even more reasons to install solar power systems, thanks to an expansion and extension of the solar program offered by the L.A. Department of Water (LADWP). The utility's Board of Commissioners approved the expansion on September 17th. The new program offers significant new opportunities for commercial and industrial customers of the utility, since their maximum incentive payments have been doubled to $2 million. And if they install a system greater than 30 kilowatts in peak capacity, they can benefit from both the LADWP Solar Program and a similar program offered by the Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas). Homeowners will also benefit from a boost in maximum incentive payments, increasing from $50,000 to $60,000. The board extended the incentive payments through the end of 2003 while allowing the Solar Program to continue until 2010. See the LADWP press release.

SoCalGas offers a Self-Generation Incentive Program to businesses in its service area that generate their own power. For those using renewable energy sources, the incentive is $4,500 per kilowatt for up to 50 percent of the project's cost. See the SoCalGas Web site.

Los Angeles is also home now to the largest fleet of electric vehicles in the country. The U.S. Postal Service rolled out its new 400-vehicle fleet of delivery vehicles last week. The LADWP helped pay for the vehicles, which increase the Postal Service's total number of electric vehicles to nearly 600 nationwide. See the LADWP press release.

Organizations located throughout California have new incentives to add electric vehicles to their fleets, provided they are located in so-called "environmental justice" areas (typically communities with significant low-income or minority populations). The California Zero Emissions Vehicle (ZEV) program now offers grants of up to $11,000 per qualifying vehicle. The grants are awarded using a competitive process. See the ZEV program Web site.