A new poll has found that 87 percent of voters in Los Angeles want more local solar powering the city, with 76 percent specifically noting that LADWP should be doing more to expand the use of local rooftop solar in Los Angeles.
81 percent support LADWP increasing its local solar goal to 1,200 megawatts. Support for this goal remains strong across the political spectrum, with majorities of Democratic, Republican and Independent voters all expressing support.
A memo detailing the survey findings is available online at www.votesolar.org. The poll on L.A. attitudes toward renewable energy was conducted by the public research firm Fairbank, Maslin, Maullin, Metz & Associates (FM3) for the Vote Solar Initiative.
The Vote Solar Initiative is a non-profit grassroots organization working to fight climate change and foster economic opportunity by bringing solar energy into the mainstream.
"Sunny Los Angeles has enormous potential to lead the state in solar energy, and in recent months city leaders have done a commendable job of putting L.A. in a position to harness that homegrown renewable resource," said Susannah Churchill, Southwestern Solar Advocate for Vote Solar. "Our poll shows that this is the kind of solar progress that Angelenos overwhelmingly want to see in their community."
"Local solar power puts our energy dollars to work building a healthier and more prosperous L.A. An expanded solar program would put more boots on roofs and create more jobs in areas that need them most," said Bill Gallegos, Executive Director of Communities for a Better Environment (CBE), a leading environmental justice organization. "Poor communities often get the worst of the fossil fuel energy system. It is only fair that they enjoy the environmental, health, and economic benefits of the clean energy system."
"In addition to proving hugely popular among L.A. residents, expanded use of local clean energy can reduce the city's dependence on out-of-state dirty coal power," said Evan Gillespie Sierra Club, America's largest grassroots environmental organization. "City leadership has set an exciting goal of getting LADWP off dirty coal. It just makes economic and environmental sense to harvest our homegrown solar resource, creating more local jobs and economic development for Angelenos."
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) is the largest municipal utility in the country, accounting for 10 percent of California's electricity demand. The utility currently gets less than 1 percent of its power from solar generation. Los Angeles has recently taken important steps to expand its use of local solar power. In September 2011, LADWP reopened its Solar Incentive Program with a goal of installing 125 megawatts (MW) of solar to meet on-site power needs at homes and businesses. And in April 2012, the City Council and Mayor authorized LADWP to move forward with a new program called CLEAN LA Solar that will add 150 MW of rooftop solar power to the city's electricity mix. Together these programs will result in about five times the amount of solar currently installed in L.A. and generate enough electricity to power more than 60,000 homes.
Survey findings confirmed that Los Angeles voters stand behind the kind of solar leadership demonstrated by the city and would support further solar investment. An overwhelming majority feels that the city should achieve 1,200 MW of solar, which is LADWP's share of Governor Brown's statewide goal of 12,000 MW of local clean power by 2020. 1,200 MW of rooftop solar would generate enough clean, reliable electricity to power more than 260,000 homes.
From March 14-18, 2012, FM3 completed 400 telephone interviews with registered voters who are Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) customers. Results for the full sample have a margin of sampling error of +/- 4.9%.