Welcome to the
Run on Sun Monthly Newsletter

In this Issue:

May, 2012

Volume: 3 Issue: 5

Westridge Project Video - a Viral Sensation!

Run on Sun produced a video of our award winning Westridge Project which immediately became a viral sensation - drawing huge numbers on YouTube and trending on Twitter for the week after it went live.

Ok, so that's not exactly true - but it is a really cool video! In case you missed it, click here to watch:

Run on Sun's video documenting the Westridge School Solar Project

It is very gratifying to hear the complimentary words from our client representatives at Westridge School - Head of School Elizabeth McGregor and Director of Facilities Brian Williams.

Here's a sampling of what they had to say from the video:

“What we loved about Run on Sun is the fact that they are very mission driven and really delivered everything we had asked for,” Elizabeth McGregor.

“I've worked with a lot of contractors and sub-contractors over the course of twenty years and I've found working with Run on Sun to be a very seamless process,” Brian Williams.

You can follow this link to see the complete series:
Installing Solar at Westridge.

“What we loved about Run on Sun is that they are very mission driven and really delivered everything that we had asked for…”
Elizabeth McGregor, Westridge School Head

Help Us Spread the News!

Link to us on LinkedIn

Get our toolbar!

Return to Newsletter Archive | Return to ROS Home

Pasadena Rolls Out EV Rates - But NOT for PV?

Pasadena Water & Power (PWP) is rolling out on a temporary, experimental basis, new Time-of-Use (TOU) based rates for customers with electric vehicles. The new rate structures, designated EXP-TOU-EV-1 and -2 are available to existing residential customers (either single family or multi-family service) who can demonstrate proof of ownership of a plug-in electric vehicle.

The two TOU rates differ from the existing R1 residential rate structure in that they provide discounts for energy consumed during mid- or off-peak hours. (Mid peak runs from 8 a.m. to Noon and from 9 p.m. to midnight. Off peak runs from midnight to 8 a.m.)
Here is how the two rates compare:

TOU Period Rate 1 Rate 2
On Peak
(Noon - 9 p.m.)
No Change
Mid Peak
(8a.m. - Noon; 9 p.m.- Midnight)
-$0.010/kWh -$0.025/kWh

Off Peak
(Midnight - 8 a.m.)

-$0.020/kWh -$0.045/kWh

The second rate has much greater discounts for energy use outside of the On Peak window, but it is combined with a significant penalty for energy use during the On Peak window.

Of course, this is where a solar power system comes in. Since a solar power system produces the bulk of its energy during the On Peak window, it could prove highly beneficial to EV owners who add solar to their homes.

Unfortunately, citing technical issues, PWP has informed us that for now, these rates are NOT available for solar customers. Apparently the Meter group does not yet have a TOU meter that will properly account for energy generation as well as energy consumption. We will report back when PWP has this resolved - hopefully in a couple of months. In the meantime, if you are a PWP customer who owns an EV and would like to add solar, please contact the folks at PWP and let them hear from you.

To learn more about the program, check out PWP's web page devoted to these new rates.

Return to Newsletter Archive | Return to ROS Home

Public Solar: Enphase & SolarCity

There aren't a lot of publicly traded solar companies out there - most of the companies in the solar sector are relatively small operations. However, two companies in the public sphere are subject to lots of buzz and the contrast between them is intriguing. We are talking about Enphase Energy (which went public at the end of March) and SolarCity (whose long anticipated IPO is scheduled for... sometime soon?).

Enphase logo

Enphase had its IPO on March 30, with shares priced at $6.00, and the IPO raised total gross proceeds of $61.9 million. As of the market's opening today, Enphase (ENPH) was trading at $8.49/share — a gain in value of 41.5% since it went public (and a nice contrast to, say, Facebook!). On May 10 the newly public company published its first quarterly earnings report with some strong numbers. Total net revenues grew 136% from the first quarter of last year, going from $18.1 to $42.6 million. Units sold in the quarter more than doubled from 123,000 last year to 292,000 this year, and gross margin increased from 14.7% to 21.8%.

As impressive as those revenue and growth figures are, they have yet to translate into a profit for the company, with the quarterly loss increasing to $10.2 million, up from $9.3 million last year. That loss worked out to $-5.38/share. Nevertheless, that loss was significantly less than the consensus prediction of the four analysts covering the company (by $3/share), and the stock is presently rated as a "strong buy" by two and a "buy" by the other two.

The keys for Enphase will be to continue growing market share (even in the face of growing - if dubious - microinverter competition from string/central inverter players like SMA), continue to innovate and keep costs down. It will be interesting to see how they build on this strong start in the coming years. (Full disclosure - I do not own any Enphase stock.)

SolarCity logo

Which brings us to SolarCity which announced on April 30 that it had filed a "draft" registration statement with the SEC on April 26. While normally a filing with the SEC is a matter of public record, under recent changes in the law, companies with less than a billion dollars in annual revenue can file draft registration statements with the SEC, revise the document based on the agency's feedback, and only make the filing public once it is actually approved by the SEC. This is particularly interesting given that it had been reported that SolarCity had delayed its filing while working out "accounting issues" related to its business model of leasing solar power systems. (As one pundit put it, "Apparently not all lease accounting is the same.") Also still outstanding, as far as anyone can tell, is the issue of Sunpower's lawsuit for theft of trade secrets against SolarCity.

The purpose of the pre-IPO disclosures to the public is to allow potential investors to get a look at how the company is actually doing - revenues, profits (or losses), costs, salaries, etc. This is of particular interest in conjunction with SolarCity given its unusual business model that has lead to questions about its practices being raised from a number of quarters (including this blog). Unfortunately, SolarCity has opted - as is its right under the law - to keep that information secret, at least for now.

Assuming that at some point SolarCity actually has to put its cards on the table, we will follow-up on this story.

“Apparently not all lease accounting is the same…”

Return to Newsletter Archive | Return to ROS Home