How Long Does it Take to Install Solar in Los Angeles?

Did you ever wonder how long it would take to install solar panels on the roof of your home or business?

According to the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP), installing a rooftop solar system in the City of Los Angeles may take 5 months for a small system (<10 kilowatts), and longer than 7 months for a larger system (>10 kilowatts).

LADWP Processing Time Goals
LADWP Solar Processing Time Goals

The LADWP website reports that once you sign an agreement with a contractor to install solar panels it can take LADWP 3 weeks to review and approve a solar rebate application for a small residential system, or 4 weeks to approve a rebate for a larger system.

Though the actual construction of a solar array can take just a few days, LADWP’s processing goal is for solar contractors to complete the combined permitting and construction process within 56 days for a small system — or 102 days for a larger system.

Once construction is complete, LADWP allows another 2 weeks for inspections.

After inspections have passed successfully, LADWP’s goal is to approve the rebate payment within 6 weeks.

Issuing the rebate payment itself can then take LADWP another 4 weeks.

Most solar contractor handling rebate processing, and will generally wait until the system has been paid for in full, including rebate payment, before activating the system.

In total, roughly 13-14 weeks of the entire process are consumed by LADWP’s handling of rebate payments, representing 45-55% of total installation time. Streamlining (or foregoing) LADWP’s rebate processes could help accelerate solar deployment with the City of LA.

SMALL (<10kW) LARGER >10kW
Rebate Confirmation 21 days 28 days
Permits & Construction 56 days 102 days
Inspections 14 days 14 days
Payment Approval 42 days 42 days
Payment 30 days 30 days
TOTAL 163 days 216 days
5.4 months 7.2 months

If you have installed solar on your rooftop, are these numbers consistent with your experience?  Please leave your reply in the comments below.


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