Price of permits for solar power drop in LA county

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CC Jeremy Levine

This grid-tie system feeds excess solar generated electricity back into the grid, which returns the favor by delivering electricity back at night. Part of Project: 3 Tree in Eagle Rock, CA.

Los Angeles County has lowered the cost of a permit for installing solar panels on your rooftop. KPCC’s Molly Peterson reports.

The lower fees are news now because L.A. county supervisors just voted to publicize them. The county’s public works department got some bad press last month when a Sierra Club study found it costs more in L.A. than in 90 percent of other California jurisdictions to get a solar permit.

The old permit could set a homeowner back by $1100. Now, permits for solar systems that generate under 10 kilowatts of power cost $370.

The lower rate will cover most small projects – industry experts say a typical home’s solar system generates a third to a half that much electricity.

The Sierra Club conducted the study to draw attention to high fees.

LA County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky’s motion also calls for county staff to make sure that the fees are as low - and the permit process is as fast - as possible.

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