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Home / Impact / Sustainability / LA City Council wants faster approval for sustainable energy tech

LA City Council wants faster approval for sustainable energy tech

by Joe Taglieri
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The Los Angeles City Council on Wednesday moved to hasten the process of approval and implementation for sustainable energy systems to power commercial and residential properties.

The council voted 13-0 on a motion to ask the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for a review of protocols currently in place for vetting and selecting new technologies. The motion specified solar technology, battery systems and “meter socket adaptors.” The DWP report will also have recommendations on streamlining the department’s methods to make the green energy “review process quicker and more transparent.”

Council members Nithya Raman and Marqueece Harris-Dawson were absent during the vote.

Council members Paul Krekorian, Tim McOsker and Katy Yaroslavsky introduced the motion Nov. 29.

This latest council action is guided by the city’s LA 100 plan, a guideline toward achieving 100% carbon-free electricity by 2035.

“In the years leading up to 2035, the LA 100 transition will spur innovation and the LADWP should facilitate the development and implementation of new technologies that encourage distributed generation of clean energy,” council members wrote in the motion.

Other cities have already begun using such technologies. New York has recently streamlined its approval process for several types of solar panel installations on landmarked buildings.

The city of Sonoma has provided residents with the digital application — Solar Automated Permit Processing, or SolarAPP+ — to quicken the permitting process for equipment used in residential rooftop solar panels.

“Los Angeles must likewise ensure that new technologies that may assist the city in reaching its energy policy goals are responsibly implemented by both residential and commercial customers,” according to the motion.

Council members noted concerns over meter socket adaptors.

“A meter socket adaptor … is an invention that may make some expensive electrical service upgrades unnecessary and improve electrical resilience, but which may also pose certain risks to consumers,” according to the motion. “The LADWP … should reexamine its approval process and consider ways to make it quicker and more transparent. The LADWP should give organizations timely feedback on proposed inventions.”

The LADWP has the authority to approve energy-related products on the city’s behalf.

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