Welcome to the
Run on Sun Monthly Newsletter

In this Issue:

September, 2011

Volume: 2 Issue: 9

Run on Sun Turns Five - But You Get the Presents!

Happy 5th Anniversary - Run on Sun! Normally we avoid the blatant sales pitch in this Newsletter, but September marks Run on Sun's Fifth Anniversary - no mean feat in this economy, thank you very much! - and we are celebrating with our Best Sale Ever!

When you combine our Special Anniversary Discount with the lowest equipment prices of all time and add in the recently lowered sales tax rate throughout L.A. County - you are looking at some serious savings!

Here's all there is to it: for every contract that we sign during the month of September, we will take a full 5% off our already affordable prices. This offer is good throughout the Run on Sun service area and applies to all systems 5 kW or larger. All you have to do is mention that you saw this in the September Newsletter and the savings are yours!

So what are you waiting for - September won't last forever! Pick up the phone and give us a call (626-793-6025) or better yet, click on over to our Website and fill out our easy online form to get the process started.

Happy Anniversary from all of us at Run on Sun!

Run on Sun's 5th Anniversary Sale - 5% Off on All Contracts Signed this Month!

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Oops - There Goes BWP!

While we weren't watching, the folks at Burbank Water & Power (BWP) pulled the plug on their solar rebate program, continuing the trend of on-again/off-again solar rebate programs at Southern California municipal utilities which has also included LADWP and Glendale Water & Power in the past year. Of the local munis, only Pasadena Water & Power has managed their program without interruption (kudos to them).

Here is the announcement from BWP's website:

BWP logo

Due to the overwhelming success of the BWP Solar Support Rebate program and budgetary restrictions, effective April 21st 2011 the program has been suspended. Only those rebate applications in the on-line software PowerClerk with a status of “Confirmed Reservation” will be paid. These payments will be made when all remaining documentation is provided, but no sooner than July 1, 2011. All other solar rebate applications will be canceled and paperwork mailed back to the installer. Please check back to this web site in the spring of 2012 for a possible update. Solar Installers with customers that wish to proceed without a solar rebate should contact the program manager at solarsupport@ci.burbank.ca.us for details about the Solar Interconnection Agreement and other requirements.

Really? Pardon us for a contrarian view, but when you have to suspend your program mid-year, it isn't an "overwhelming success" — it is mismanaged. Potential solar clients and solar companies alike need predictability - not programs that can simply disappear without prior notice.

Which brings us to another curious thing about this website announcement - it says that the effective date for the program suspension was April 21, 2011 but the earliest public disclosure that we can find about the change is this article in the local newspaper, the Burbank Leader, titled "Burbank Officials Suspend Solar Rebate Program," dated August 30! Now it is true that we do not monitor the BWP website on a daily basis, but it stands to reason that if this suspension had been announced earlier, we would be able to find some notice of it online before August 30 - four months after the suspension date! (Interestingly, the last press release displayed on the BWP website is from April 22 but it says nothing about the suspension.)

If that timing is accurate, it means that solar companies could have been devoting time and resources in a tight economy to developing business in Burbank for a third of a year, only to have that expenditure rendered largely useless at the caprice of another muni utility that cannot manage its budget.

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Outliers & Oddities:
Galkos Construction and Solar City

We recently spent some time looking at the California Solar Initiative's (CSI) data for the first half of this year.  While we were interested in analyzing cost trends, equipment usage and efficiency, along the way we discovered two anomalies: a major outlier - Galkos Construction - and a serious oddity - SolarCity - that we believe demand greater attention.

In particular, while looking at the CSI data from the first half of 2011, we discovered that Galkos Construction (also known as GCI Energy) was charging its customers $1.40/Watt more than its nearest competitor and more than twice what another major player, HelioPower, was charging. (For the record, our prices are below all of these.)  Here's a graph:

How does Galkos compare?

Similarly, we discovered that the data shows that SolarCity – the biggest player in California solar – is charging at least $3.00/Watt more for leased systems than it is for purchased systems during the first half of this year.  This is important for the federal tax credit which is tied directly to the claimed cost of the system. When you look at the data over the lifetime of the CSI program, SolarCity's practice of inflating its stated cost on leased systems has amounted to more than $10,000,000 to SolarCity's bottom line courtesy of the U.S. Taxpayers.

Here's that graph:

SolarCity's excess tax credit earnings

There is way more detail at our blog post: The State of Solar California: Outliers and Oddities.

We welcome your comments.

What is going on with Galkos and SolarCity?
Sadly, Nothing Good...

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