Category: "Ranting"

01/22/22

  01:43:00 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 392 words  
Categories: All About Solar Power, Commercial Solar, Residential Solar, Ranting, Non-profit solar, Net Metering

CPUC Delays Decision - Urgent Action Needed!

TL;DR - We are having an impact, but we need your voice on the 27th!


Rally goers in downtown LANine days ago, thousands of solar supporters rallied against the CPUC’s Proposed Decision that would gut the value of rooftop solar, driving payback periods from 5-7 years to 20 years or more! As of that date, the CPUC was scheduled to vote on the Proposed Decision at its next scheduled meeting - January 27th.  A veteran of many a march in my time, I know that sometimes it can seem futile - does anybody care?  Is anyone who matters really listening?

Turns out the CPUC was listening: earlier this week we learned that, quietly, the vote on the Proposed Decision was taken off the agenda for the meeting on the 27th!  So, squeak, squeak, we are having an impact - and by we I mean everyone of the 120,000 people who have signed our petition, or called the Governor’s office, or yes, marched in the streets.  You have taken action and you have been heard!  So thank you for taking the time to help save rooftop solar.

But there’s more to do (of course)…

We need as many people as possible to sign up to speak to the CPUC board during the public comment period on Thursday, January 27th at 10 a.m.  Certainly every solar company in the state should have someone speak, but we also need the public to add their voices.  We know that the utilities like SCE will be having their workers call in, repeating the same scripts over and over.  What we need to counter that are regular folks - people who have solar now and are angry that the CPUC would change the rules midstream, or people who would like to add solar but won’t be able to afford it if the payback period goes to 20 years or longer, or simply people who believe that SCE shouldn’t be able to tax people for the privilege of putting solar on their home or business.

In other words, we need YOU.

CALSSA is making it easy - providing a form where you can sign up to speak.  How?  Just SMASH the Sign Me Up! button below and we will take care of the rest.  Speakers are limited to one minute, so all you really need to do is say something short and sweet, from the heart.

Thank you for your support!

SIGN ME UP!
 Permalink

12/16/21

  05:16:00 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 380 words  
Categories: Ranting, Net Metering

Your solar investment is under attack. Fight back!

Folks –

We have written about the changes being contemplated to Net Energy Metering (NEM) 3.0 previously, but the Preliminary Decision released on Monday is nothing short of a disaster for the industry and for existing solar clients.  We are asking folks to take action as we have just six weeks to convince the Governor and CPUC to put a stop to this utility power grab.

Here’s a brief blurb from our friends at CALSSA, outlining our urgent next steps:

On December 13th, the California Public Utilities Commission announced their intent to give in to demands from PG&E, SDG&E and SoCal Edison to retroactively reduce the amount of time solar customers like yourself stay on their net metering rate from 20 years to 15 years. While this shocking decision from the Commission would hurt the solar investment you and over 1.3 Million Californian families, businesses, schools, community groups and farms have made, we still have time to stop this. 

**Click Here**  to join 100,000+ Californians asking Governor Newsom to step in and save solar.

The Commission also announced new fees and drastically lower credits for solar customers that would make solar unaffordable for everyday Californians. We need to make it easier for people to get solar, not harder. Rooftop solar gives everyday Californians the power to control their energy bills and keep the lights on. We must ensure that Gov. Newsom and the Public Utilities Commission see that California supports rooftop solar!

That’s why I’m asking you to please sign a public comment to Governor Newsom to save solar in California!  The final decision is January 27th so we only have a few days left to make our voices heard! 

Tell Governor Newsom: stand up to the utility attack on solar users

It’s easy and only takes 30 seconds.

Once you’ve signed (or if you’ve already signed), please consider forwarding this email to your network.

Thank you!

If you signed our petition before, we still need you to click on a link and speak out again.  In addition, on January 13th there will be rallies in Los Angeles and San Francisco to make our voices heard.  We need everyone who can, to show up on the 13th!  You can register by clicking here, and we will be publishing more details as they become available.

Together, we can win this!

05/26/21

  04:43:00 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 173 words  
Categories: All About Solar Power, Solar Economics, SCE, Commercial Solar, Residential Solar, Ranting, Non-profit solar, SDG&E

Stop AB1139!

We have written about the perils of AB 1139 and how it would gut net energy metering for all solar owners, regardless of “grandfathering” that they were promised.  Having sailed through two Assembly committees unscathed, it is scheduled for a floor vote in the Assembly tomorrow, Thursday, May 27th. 

We need you to call your Assemblymember NOW to get them to vote No on this terrible bill.

Here is the News Flash that we just sent out to our subscribers:

 AB 1139 Heads to Floor Vote
Take Action Today

AB 1139, the Utility Profit Grab bill to kill rooftop solar and hurt your solar investment heads to an Assembly Floor vote expected TOMORROW. Call your assemblymember to stop the bill right now! Click here to take action.
 

We need to flood the assembly with thousands of phone calls. Phone calls work! So, Please call now. It takes 2 minutes.

When you click the link below, we will help you determine your Assemblymember and set up the call for you - it couldn’t be easier.

 
Call your Assemblymember Now
 

Thank you for your support!

02/17/21

  08:47:00 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 927 words  
Categories: All About Solar Power, SCE, Residential Solar, Ranting, SDG&E, Net Metering

The Battle to Preserve Net Metering is Underway - Time to Fight!

TL;DR - We need your help to preserve net metering - Sign the Petition!

Run on Sun has been installing grid-tied solar power system since 2007, and one constant in all of that time has been the hostility towards such systems evinced by the Investor-Owned Utilities (IOUs): SCE, PG&E and SDG&E. Nowhere is that hostility on clearer display than it has been in their efforts to erode, if not eliminate altogether, net metering.  But now, with the IOUs lobbying for the creation of Net Metering 3.0, the battle for the survival of net metering is about to be joined in earnest.  If your right to put solar on your home or business is to be preserved, we are going to need all of you to join the fight.  Here’s our take…

What is Net Metering?

Net Energy Metering (NEM) or just net metering for short, is the basis by which a solar system provides the owner with a significant portion of their financial benefit.  Solar systems on a clear, sunny day produce energy that follows a normal distribution, with the peak energy production occurring around solar noon, and rolling off in a typical “bell curve” on either side.  That energy saves the system owner money twice: first, by directly offsetting the energy usage of the home or business, but secondly, by allowing the excess energy to be exported back to the grid for retail credit.  That retail credit is then applied against energy imported from the grid to power loads at night or on cloudy days.  At the end of the billing cycle, those two values - the amount of energy imported versus the amount of energy exported - are “netted” out, and if the amount imported is greater than what was exported, the difference is charged to the customer.  Conversely, if more energy is exported than imported, the customer has a credit for that period that can be carried forward.

Of course, the energy exported to the grid for which the net metering customer gets credit doesn’t disappear - the utility sells it to another customer for that full retail value.  Moreover, because that energy did not have to be transported from far-off generation facilities, there is less demand to build expensive infrastructure like high-voltage transmission lines - you know, like the lines that have sparked deadly wildfires in the past few years.

So you might think that net metering would be a win-win for everyone - solar clients get a greater financial incentive to foot the bill for installing energy generation systems and the utility gets additional energy without incurring the costs of building or maintaining them.  But you would be wrong.  You see, IOUs don’t make money selling energy.  They make money building things.  In fact, in a stunningly perverse incentive structure, the IOUs get a guaranteed return on investment of 10% for every dollar they spend building stuff: generation plants, transmission lines, etc.  So they see the growth of solar, particularly rooftop solar, as a threat to their antiquated business model, and the best tool at their disposal is to take as big a bite out of net metering as possible.

Where are We Today and Where are the IOUs Trying to Go?

The version of net metering described above actually no longer exists with the IOUs, instead, they transitioned to NEM 2.0 a few years ago.  (Municipal utilities, like PWP, still offer full net metering.)  Under that scheme, a one-time interconnection charge was created, along with what are known as Nonbypassable Charges, which require their customer to pay a relatively small amount for every kilowatt hour of energy imported, even if that energy is actually offset by exported production.  The real kicker was that all solar customers in IOU territory were switched to Time-of-Use rates that made the value of exported solar lower, and energy imported from 4-9 significantly more expensive.

But now, heading into NEM 3.0, the IOUs are going all in!  A recent report by the consulting firm E3 was released by the CPUC and it highlights some options for changing net metering that would seriously impact the value of solar.  In particular, the report proposes fixed monthly charges of between $50 and $70 for all solar customers, combined with a “grid access charge” each month of between $5-$7/kW installed!  That means that under the best case scenario of their proposals, a residential customer with a 4 kW solar system installed would pay an extra $70 per month, every month, just because they have solar - that they paid for - on their home!  That is an $840/year penalty for going green! 

If that doesn’t make you see red, nothing will!

We’re Not Gonna Take It!

To say that the California solar industry is in the fight of its life is an understatement.  But so are all solar customers, who could see the value of their investment greatly eroded by these misguided policy proposals.  And that is where you come in.  We are fighting back and we need you in the fight!  The California Solar and Storage Association (CALSSA - our trade association) and the Solar Rights Alliance are gearing up to organize against the threat.  The first step is in signing a petition to Governor Newsom - we need him as an ally now.  It is super easy to sign on and we are looking to collect 20,000 signatures before April 1.  As of this writing, we are at 923 supporters, so we have a long way to go - and that starts with you!  (We will have more news on ways to fight back in the coming weeks, so watch this space.) 

Please click the big button below and let’s get this done!

Sign the Petition!

08/16/20

  02:00:00 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 846 words  
Categories: All About Solar Power, Ranting

On an Inglorious Anniversary...

A year ago we woke up to one of the worst surprises a business could imagine - our website was gone!  Read on to see what happened and our journey over this past year…

A Rude Awakening

Last August the runonsun.com website was humming along, generating thousands of visits each and every month, and from those thousands of visits, the majority of our leads.  Apart from boosting the occasional Facebook post, we generated that traffic without advertising. That success was years in the making, producing a high-quality website and an information rich blog.

OopsBut then, on August 15th, when we went to open our browser, what we saw made me catch my breath - runonsun.com could not be reached?  What did that mean?  I checked with my hosting service - everything there was fine.  I could access my host server, all of our files were intact.  But you could not reach the actual website.  What on earth?

I went to check my email to see if there would be some indication of the cause of our problem.  But then I realized - no email!  We could neither send nor receive emails!  Holy crap, this was serious!  What will prospective clients do if their emails to you bounce?

Unfortunately, that was not the worst of it.  The backbone of our operation is our Client Relationship Management system.  The Run on Sun CRM was written inhouse and we track every client contact from initial website connection or phone call, all the way through final inspection of their project.  We schedule our site evaluations through it, and store for display the data we gather there - and suddenly it was all gone!

Fighting Off Panic

I have to admit - as the realization of the scope of our problem dawned on me, I was in a state of shock!  How could this happen?  As I dug into the technical details, I pieced together what had happened.  The registration of the domain name was on a five-year renewal cycle, so it wasn’t like its status was top-of-mind.  The registration was in my former partner’s name, and apparently someone hacked his email account and got the credentials to our account at the domain registrar.  This person then initiated a transfer of the domain to bizcn.com - a notorious registrar associated with lots of unsavory businesses - and because the confirmation emails went to the hacked email account, they were able to confirm the transfer!

We contacted bizcn.com and explained what had happened.  They didn’t care.  We had our old registrar contact them and explain what happened.  The still didn’t care. To this day, runonsun.com is parked at bizcn.com, pointing to nothing.  

Coming Back

While we tried - unsuccessfully - to get the domain back, we needed to come up with a Plan B to move forward.  The first step was to register a new domain name - runonsun.solar - and point that to our website. Then we had to change the Internet records to allow us to send and receive emails at the new domain.  Then we had to change all of the dozens of places where we had links pointing to the old domain and get them changed to point to the new one.  (The simple way to do this - set up a permanent redirection from runonsun.com to runonsun.solar was unavailable to us since we didn’t have control over the old domain.  Sigh.)

We sent Google new sitemaps showing our pages now at the new domain.  Unfortunately, that didn’t immediately change the search engine results page - we would see searches find our content, only to be linked to the dead domain!  This was going to take time!

A Year Later

So it has been a year, how are we doing?  Well, of course this hasn’t really been a normal year for anyone, now has it?  But this image gives a pretty good sense (click for larger):

The orange line is daily users from August 1 to August 16, 2019, whereas the blue line is the same days this year.  (You can clearly see our traffic fall off a cliff on August 15!)  The summary numbers are brutal: users down 67%, same for total sessions, and pages viewed is even worse, off a whopping 82%!  If they can’t find you, they can’t view you!  One glimmer - average session duration has increased by 27% - which means if they get here they stay longer than before!

 But we are making progress: a Google search for “Enphase Ensemble” produces our blog post, “Hands-On with Ensemble - My Trip to Enphase!” as the number seven result, and on a mobile device it is the first listing under “Interesting finds".  Searching for, “I’ve got solar, why are my bills so high?” finds our blog post excerpted at the top of the SERP as a cherished “Featured Snippet” - thanks, Google!

So that is our saga - we are grateful for those of you who have found us, we hope to be a source of quality information for a long time - to say nothing of the best solar installations in the Pasadena area! 

Meanwhile, please tell your friends about us, we still need to grow back another 67% to break even!

1 2 3 4 5 ...6 ...7 8 9 10 11 12 ... 42 >>

Search

Jim Jenal is the Founder & CEO of Run on Sun, Pasadena's premier installer and integrator of top-of-the-line solar power installations.
Run on Sun also offers solar consulting services, working with consumers, utilities, and municipalities to help them make solar power affordable and reliable.

Ready to Save?

Let’s Get Started!

We're Social!



Follow Run on Sun on Twitter Like Run on Sun on Facebook
Run on Sun helps fight Climate Change
b2evo