Sustainability is at the core of LABC’s advocacy, research and programming efforts. Since 2009, we have collaborated with a wide range of stakeholders to design, develop and advocate for a rooftop solar program that would benefit Los Angeles residents, businesses and the city at large. The policy, formally called a solar “feed-in tariff,” or FiT, is now known in Los Angeles by the name CLEAN LA (Clean Local Energy Accessible Now).
CLEAN LA’s premise is simple: in a land of abundant sunshine, rooftop solar power has the potential to be a tremendous resource that would provide significant renewable energy at a reasonable cost. By incentivizing residents and business-owners to install rooftop solar panels, the CLEAN LA solar program will provide environmental, economic & social benefits for all of Los Angeles, including job creation and clean reliable power that will help the city meet its renewable energy goals.
We have produced a number of reports to promote environmental and economic sustainability in Los Angeles and California, listed below.
FiT Pays discusses the economic and environmental benefits of LADWP’s Feed-in Tariff program and its benefits to participating businesses. The report shares case studies of successful Feed-in Tariff projects completed by businesses and building owners in Los Angeles. LABC is using the report to educate stakeholders, policymakers and businesses statewide on the FiT as a best-practice model to be considered by other cities to meet California’s AB 32 and SB 350 climate goals while also driving economic growth within city limits.
In Los Angeles, the FiT encourages major private investment rather than relying on public money to fund large infrastructure projects. According to UCLA Luskin Center when fully implemented, the 150 megawatt FiT pilot program in Los Angeles will have attracted an estimated $500 million in direct private investment
Sharing Solar’s Promise: Harnessing LA’s FIT to Create Jobs and Build Social Equity is presented by the LABC Institute and authored by a joint team of USC and UCLA researchers led by Dr. Manuel Pastor, Director of the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) and Dr. J.R. DeShazo, Director of the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation.
The report finds that a significantly expanded feed-in-tariff (FIT) rooftop solar program in Los Angeles would create thousands of new jobs and spur hundreds of millions of dollars in new investment, with particular benefit to residents living in traditionally underserved neighborhoods in Los Angeles. California leads the nation in solar job creation with over 47,000 workers, accounting for about one-third of the nation’s total solar industry employment. Across the state itself, job growth in the solar sector (8.1%) outpaced overall job growth (1.7%) in the past year, a trend that is expected to continue.
To date, more than 40 percent of the current project applications for the FIT program - also known as CLEAN LA Solar - are located in Los Angeles’ solar equity "hot spots," or neighborhoods with abundant rooftop space for solar installations and also in need of significant socioeconomic and environmental investment. The report calls for the FIT to be expanded from 100 to 600 megawatts, and to include incentives for solar developers and property owners to focus much of that growth in low-income communities.
Prop 39 requires businesses operating in multiple states to calculate their California income tax liability based on the percentage of their sales in California. This tax approach is referred to as the “single sales factor,” and is expected to increase state revenues by as much as $1.1 billion annually.
For a five-year period, half of the revenues from Prop 39 – up to a maximum of $550 million – will be transferred annually to the Clean Energy Job Creation Fund, which will be used to fund projects that create jobs in California by improving energy efficiency and expanding renewable energy generation. The funds will be allocated between (1) schools and public facilities, (2) job training and workforce development, and (3) public-private partnerships.
California has a tremendous opportunity under Prop 39 to create quality clean-energy jobs in the state, realize significant benefits for our school children, strengthen the public and private sectors, and improve environmental sustainability.
Released at LABC’s 2013 Sustainability Summit, this study recommends the establishment of a revolving loan fund and associated lending programs to finance energy efficiency and clean energy projects in order to maximize the associated benefits of Prop 39, passed by voters in November 2012, in accordance with the stated objectives of the proposition.
This report examines the diversity of types and design choices for Feed-in Tariff programs, and offer policy makers an array of tools from which to structure a FiT program.
A major collaboration between the LABC Institute, USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity, the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the City of Los Angeles, this study illustrates a vision of a new privately funded and publicly incentivized market for multifamily rooftop solar that reduces owner and tenant utility costs, provides a new revenue stream for owners, and creates and retains jobs for local workers.
For too long, the environment, the economy and equity have been viewed as competing against each other. But this report finds that clean energy - particularly solar - and stable, skilled jobs can contribute to shoring up the middle class and providing pathways for those on the margin.
In September 2009, the Los Angeles Business Council created a Solar Working Group consisting of Los Angeles County leaders in the private, environmental and educational sectors to investigate the promise of a local Feed-in Tariff program. This study offers guidelines for Feed-in Tariff design for Los Angeles, designed as a result of that research.