Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas
L.A. County Board of Supervisors, 2nd District
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 20, 2009 Contact: Aurelio Rojas James Bolden
RIDLEY-THOMAS APPLAUDS LAUNCH OF NEW
L.A. COUNTY SOLAR MAPPING PROGRAM
Program allows property-owners to finance renewable energy upgrades
through property tax assessments, resulting in long-term cost savings
LOS ANGELES – Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas and Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky today unveiled Los Angeles County’s new solar mapping program and website that will allow homeowners and businesses to go online to determine if their properties are suitable for solar power.
The program uses roof size, pitch, tree shading buildings and mountains to assess a building’s solar potential and the value of installing solar panels. By entering an address into the new website – available at solarmap.lacounty.gov – residents will learn about their property’s roof size, area suitable for solar panels, electricity produced, electricity savings, carbon reduction, nearby solar installations and case studies, available rebates from utility companies, and information about installers.
The solar website calculates and ranks incoming solar radiation every 25 square feet. The County’s Chief Information Office developed the site in conjunction with the Internal Services Department.
Supervisor Ridley-Thomas praised the project, considered the largest solar map in terms of geographic area in the world, covering 3,000 square miles, which will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy costs.
“As our communities combat global climate, it’s up to local governments to devise and deploy creative green solutions to reduce our carbon footprint,” the Supervisor said. “But in a time of economic crises, our green strategies must also be cost-effective. While the solar map is a critical tool in our collective quest to become more informed and empowered about how to live greener lives, it is important that such renewable energy upgrades are accomplished without breaking the bank.”
“This program will allow all property-owners to finance renewable energy upgrades over the long haul through their property tax assessments, allowing residents to realize cost savings much more quickly.”
The County is a major electricity user, with facilities spread over a wide geography, operating in more than 3,000 buildings that comprise more than 60 million square feet, so the mapping project will save countless hours developing initial estimates and prioritizing projects manually.
Buildings account for 65 percent of electricity consumption and 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the United States, according to the U.S. Green Building Council. Energy consumption can be reduced by as much as 20 percent by the use of energy-efficient measures in existing buildings. The County is currently developing a program that would assist homeowners and businesses in financing solar panels.
On April 14 the Board of Supervisors approved Supervisor Ridley-Thomas’ motion to create by July a program that would allow property owners to finance energy-efficiency upgrades by borrowing money from the County and paying it back through their property tax bills.
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