Vote on Solar Power in Los Angeles this March 3

On March 3, Los Angeles voters will be able to vote on a ballot measure that could significantly increase L.A.’s use of solar power.  So-called Measure B, the “Green Energy and Good Jobs for Los Angeles Program” (you want some crackers with that cheese?) would require the Department of Water and Power to “install, operate, maintain and repair and/or oversee the installation, operation, maintenance and repair of solar power installations within the City and on City-owned airports to meet specified goals regarding the production of electric generation ….”  The full text of Measure B is here.

In general, I think that increased use of solar power is a quadruple win-win:  it can create “green collar” jobs; it can help generate technology that can be sold overseas; it can reduce our dependence on foreign oil from nasty dictators; and it can reduce global warming.  However, there has been some disagreement about Measure B, including the process by which it was placed on the ballot.  More information about these disagreements can be found here and here.  So, instead of going all editorial on your asses, I encourage you to find out more about Measure B and make up your own minds.  And then, as always, I encourage you to vote on March 3.

4 thoughts on “Vote on Solar Power in Los Angeles this March 3”

  1. I think the initiative has potential, the snippet on the news was that its going to bring about a 1% increase in the rate to implement. I think it would be an easier sell in this economy if it was a break even or pay back. The number given was to achieve 10% power from solar which isn’t much and isn’t enough to take their coal plants in the desert out of commission.

    What I’d like to see is it to become easier for homeowners to go solar. I understand that LA has some rules regarding size and open roof area (3 foot perimeter?) that significantly reduces the amount of cells and power that can be generated.

    Though I’m not in LA I’m looking into solar as an option to help control my power bill and see how close I can get to self sufficient in the process (I don’t like rolling black outs). Another reason I’m looking at it is the electric cars coming our way won’t be green if we pull power off the grid and I’m seriously considering one as my daily driver when their prices drop to more affordable.

    If I lived in LA proper I’d probably vote no on this one and look for a better more inclusive Measure to show up so homeowners are involved to get a bigger impact and potential to take those coal plants off line.

  2. @Frazgo — I agree with you in large part. An increase in energy rates is off-putting. Solar power requires an initial investment, but then it pays dividends in reduced electricity. Is Los Angeles promising to roll back those rates once the solar installations are operating and saving money?

    I also agree that educating and encouraging homeowners to use solar power is a good idea. Santa Monica has some innovative programs to do this. I think tax credits would help homeowners and businesses be able to make their intial investments in something that would benefit all of us down the road.

  3. My take on the news is that it wouldn’t be a roll back down the road just an increase.

    I’m a big fan of solar. You ought to see the solar array Fresh and Easy Markets set up on their warehouse/dist center in Riverside. Absolutely amazing. The place just about covers its needs on average days and only on really hot days does it draw from the grid. They showed it can be done now we need to get others to follow suit.

    I guess that is the problem with the measure, its local gov’t and not much of a direct benefit to us. The incentives, like you mentioned would be terrific to get more homeowners involved, but more importantly we need local govts to streamline the process and make the requirements plain and simple. Right the process is so onerous no wonder fewer businesses and people aren’t making the jump.

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