Business & Economy

Edison educates homeowners to encourage rooftop solar

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Southern California Edison has been hosting weekly workshops to educate homeowners about the ins and outs of adding solar panels to the roof.

KPCC’s Molly Peterson reports that regional interest in rooftop solar is heating up.

Molly Peterson: The meetings include talk about federal credits, state incentives, and financial models intended to raise interest in rooftop solar by lowering upfront costs. Bob Botkin manages the California Solar Initiative for Edison.

Bob Botkin: We’re getting a really good response. An average of 80 to 90 people. They’re asking lots of good questions, it’s really been great, and we are going to continue doing it.

Peterson: Applications for state subsidies reached a record this spring. The state’s solar program lets homeowners who generate more solar power than they use to sell it back to Edison.

The state caps the amount of this solar power investor-owned utilities can buy. That cap may soon stop Northern Californians from selling power back to utilities, but Edison’s Botkin says Southland homeowners will be able to claim that subsidy for a while.

Botkin: There’s some significant period of time, more than a year or so, I have no idea exactly when. We’re not in any imminent timeframe here when we’re going to be exceeding that cap.

Peterson: One reason that’s true: even with plenty of subsidies and sun rays, Los Angeles has lagged behind other parts of the state in rooftop solar installations per capita.