EVENT: ONE BLOCK OFF THE GRID invites anyone in Los Angeles interested in learning more about
solar community purchasing to join in their first public forum and information
session in Southern California. The event is free and
open to the public on Thursday, Feb. 19, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Good Magazine, 6824 Melrose Ave. RSVP at 1 BOG’s Facebook page.
There’s nothing negative about voting no on Measure B on March 3 — it’s defeat will open up a discussion on how to go solar right with the greatest impact at the lowest price.
A prime example of how much better off we would be in terms of getting the most solar energy at the lowest price is One Block Off The Grid, a San Francisco Bay-area community-based program that pulls together dozens of home owners and buys solar energy units as a group and cuts the best deal for them with a single company.
The savings that are resulting for thousands of Bay area residents are huge and might be even greater in L.A. where tax credits can amount to 30 percent of the cost of a solar unit, DWP subsidies 20 and up to 20 percent more from group purchases.
They even get groups together who can’t afford the upfront investment so the company puts up the money, gets the tax credits and subsidies and splits the savings on electricity.
That kind of third-party ownership our own Department of Water and Power refuses to provide subsidies for even though it’s own intent under Measure B is to get financial institutions to be the nominal owner of rooftop solar so the full benefits of tax credits and subsidies can be realized.
Come March 4, whatever the outcome of the vote, we need to work to change DWP policies in this regard and make sure home owners, apartment dwellers and businesses get policies that actually serve the public interest and not just City Hall’s and the special interests that call the shots.
I’ve been talking to 1 BOG General Manager Dave
Llorens, Field Director Kanyi Maqubela for several weeks about activists from the No on Measure B working together with them when they set up in LA.
They’re holding an informational meeting Thursday night and plan to set up operations using volunteers in early March.
The Yes on B campaign has offered a lot of specious arguments but they’ve never even tried to explain why the DWP and its union should get a monopoly on installing more than $3 billion in rooftop solar units on large buildings.
It would be tough to argue why anyone would want to hire DWP with its salaries 30 percent or more higher than other private or private utility in Southern California.
LAUSD isn’t using the DWP as it launches its rooftop solar program on 200 schools and no one else would either if they could get a better price for solar from private companies. That’s why Measure B bars competitive bidding and gives DWP a monopoly.