Welcome to the
Run on Sun Monthly Newsletter

In this Issue:

March, 2011

Volume: 2 Issue: 3

Gasoline in LA Hits Record February High
Scary Summer without Solar!

If you live in the Los Angeles Basin this is probably old news, but a recent LA Times story reported that the average price for a gallon of regular gasoline in Los Angeles hit an all-time high for February - averaging $3.50/gallon.

From the article:

The price, which reached $3.99 in some parts of Los Angeles, was the highest since October 2008, according to the AAA Fuel Gauge Report. Some stations are charging more than $4.25 for premium and $4.69 for diesel.

Various factors are cited for the spike, including unrest in the Middle East as well as West Coast refineries running at 74% capacity, instead of the 90% capacity that is common in other parts of the country. Running at less than capacity limits inventories and drives up prices. Speculation exists that the lower capacity figures could be a deliberate attempt to manipulate prices, or simply the result of refineries needing to shift over production to the "summer-time blend" that is sold in California starting next month. Regardless of the reason for the current spike, experts believe that the February price bodes ill for the upcoming summer driving season when gas prices historically go up.

All of this has some consumers resigned to their fate - but are they?
Again from the article:

"You need to use your car, so you have no choice but to buy it…you're helpless," said small business owner Alonso Larita, 40, of Culver City, who found that $25 at the downtown Shell station would buy him just 6.4 gallons for his Ford Ranger.

Others seemed to chide themselves for still being dependent on fossil fuels after enduring so much pain at the pump.

Actor and downtown Los Angeles resident Keifer Grimm, 23, for example, said "I don't even think of it anymore" as he spent $20 for 5.1 gallons for his midsize sedan. "That's the shameful part of it. We continue to consume it without even thinking."

Nissan Leaf

Meanwhile, Nissan has received 20,000 paid reservations for its all-electric Leaf and GM has reported strong demand for its plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt. According to a CNN Money article, "sales of these cars are limited by how fast the automakers can produce them and get them to dealers" - certainly a nice problem to have. "Right now we're selling every one we can make," GM spokesman Tom Wilkinson said, "so as shipments rise we expect sales to rise as well."

Despite the naysayers, these are the cars of the future. They are the solution to our unsustainable dependence on foreign oil - indeed, to oil period - and when coupled with an appropriately sized solar power system, owners of these vehicles will sail past the pump while they Run on Sun.
What could be better than that?

These are the cars of the future - and they can Run on Sun!

Help Us Spread the News!

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Here's Two Takes from the Solar Kid!

We bring you two short takes from that Solar Kid who has really been getting a lot of notice lately (see below) - and we might be just a tad jealous if we weren't to busy bursting with pride!
Check it it out.

Misconceptions 2 - Handle Me Carefully

The long awaited second installment in the Misconceptions series! This time I will tackle the the misconception that solar panels are really fragile and break super easily. Let me shatter this myth for you.

Behold this marvelous video!

This was what was running through my head at the time: Eesh, that's a hailstone? It is gigantic. Oh no, don't hit the solar panel! What? The panel isn't broken? Not damaged in the least? I don't even see any cracks or anything. Wow, that's really cool. Oh yes, let's watch it again.

The truth of the matter is that solar panels are tested to withstand the impact of a one inch hailstone at 60 mph without any damage. The Conergy panels, offered by Run on Sun, are the ones you saw in this video. The video shows that the Conergy panels were recently certified to withstand a 55 mm (about two and a quarter inches) hailstone going at speeds of 120 km/hr (74.5 mph).

If you aren't already amazed, just stay tuned for the next post! This myth will be put under wraps.

How Cool is This?

Due to the not-so-ancient bloggers' dilemma of "Does anyone actually read my blog? Eh. . . Probably not," I am always surprised and thrilled when I get comments. It means that somebody, somewhere, is reading my work.

Now I have a big heads up: someone is indeed reading my blog and, wonderfully, is liking it! KACO new energy is one of the biggest inverter makers. Today, their blog featured me in their most recent post, accessible here. I am honored to be featured by such a forward-looking company. Their whole commitment is to creating solar PV inverters whose production is carbon neutral.That is really cool.

Thank you, KACO!

How Cool is this? The World is Starting to Notice that Solar Kid!

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What You Need to Know About Commercial Solar Power in Three Easy Lessons

We are publishing a three-part series that will demystify the process of installing commercial solar power systems. Written with the building or business owner in mind (along with their facilities manager, accountants, Board members, etc), the series will break the learning process down into three easy lessons:

  1. Understanding Your Current Electric Bill - there are mysteries and horrors hiding here, but also some potential savings even before you sign a solar installation contract! We will break it down and tell you what you should be looking for today.
  2. Understanding Solar Rebates and Tax Incentives - this is a complicated subject made more difficult by the myriad rules that apply in different jurisdictions. We will help make you an expert - or at least know the right questions to ask your potential solar contractor.
  3. Understanding Your Bid - eventually you will ask some (hopefully well qualified) solar professionals to give you a bid. We will explain how to find those well qualified contractors in the first place and how to make an "apples-to-apples" comparison of their bids.

So tell your friends - this is one series you won't want to miss! And if there are other questions you have about how to install a commercial solar power system, please let us know and we will do our best to work them into the series.

You can find the complete series on Commercial Solar Power at the Founder's Blog!

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