A March 2012 report on the energy future of California identifies the Open Neighborhoods group-purchasing program in Los Angeles County as offering the lowest cost residential photovoltaic solar panel systems in California, at $4.40 per Watt.
The report, Bay Area Smart Energy 2020, is a roadmap to rapid, cost-effective conversion to clean energy – providing a framework for converting existing homes and businesses to zero net energy buildings through a combination of energy efficiency measures and rooftop solar power.
The report notes that the solar panels being offered through Open Neighborhoods are equipped with integrated micro-inverters to reduce costs and simplify installation by converting DC solar power to AC household electricity at the panel. The “plug ‘n play” solar panels are manufactured by Sharp USA in Memphis, Tennessee.
Open Neighborhoods launched an eight-month program in September 2011 offering up to 33% discounts on residential, commercial and multi-family solar installations in partnership with solar system designer and builder PermaCity. Los Angeles County property owners are eligible to participate in the discount program by calling (310) 893-3100 or visiting openneighborhoods.net/gosolar prior to April 30, 2012 to request a free rooftop assessment.