evaluation of community scale solar water heating in los angeles county

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J.R. DeShazo in SF Gate: California utilities’ planned blackouts prompt residents to adopt solar power

The cost of solar and energy storage has dropped in the past decade, making it an attractive option to some. But JR DeShazo, a professor of public policy at the University of California at Los Angeles, said it can be up to two or three times more expensive to invest in rooftop solar and battery storage as it is to be a typical utility customer. For example, he suggested an average $150 a month utility cost can increase to $300 or $400 a month to pay for solar and battery costs for a typical small family.

That’s why potential outages should not be the only justification for adopting solar, he said. “To some extent, people are overly alarmed that they’re going to lose power,” DeShazo said. “Even if it does occur… it would not be something that would justify at this stage the significant capital investment they would need in rooftop solar and battery storage.” He said these investments are a small-scale effort by some Californians, calling it an “environmentalist household’s vision for going off the grid.”