Category: "CALSSA"

11/09/19

  01:13:00 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 115 words  
Categories: CALSSA

Win Some, Lose Some...

And sad to say, we lost this one!  (The election to be on the Board of the California Solar and Storage Association, that is!)

But I am honored by the support of so many of you, and you can count on me to continue be a vocal advocate for this industry – and for doing things the right way.

In the meantime, here is the list of the winners this year:

Contractor Seats
Ed Murray, Aztec Solar
Gary Gerber, Sun Light & Power
Keith Randhan, Baker Electric Home Energy

 Manufacturer, Distributor, Developer, Financier Seats
Catherine Von Burg, SimpliPhi Power
Yann Brandt, Quick Mount PV 

Congratulations to them all - here’s to a very productive term of office.

 

Tags:
 Permalink

10/30/19

  12:33:00 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 477 words  
Categories: All About Solar Power, CALSSA

Jim Jenal for CALSSA Board!

The California Solar and Storage Association is holding elections to its Board, and I have decided to run for one of the three seats allocated to solar contractors. Here’s why…

Jenal headshot

Readers of this blog are familiar with my background: I was a Member of Technical Staff at Bell Labs, I taught High School, and I was a Big Law Firm lawyer - all before founding Run on Sun in 2006.  That background gives me a worldview that is not always found on a roof - or as an inspector once said (I think in jest), “A lawyer with a code book, I’ll bet you could get away with anything!" 

Along the way I earned (and maintain) a NABCEP PV Installation Professional Certification, and also wrote the book, Commercial Solar: Step-by-Step.

So why run for the Board?

I think my experiences uniquely qualify me to speak on behalf of long-tail installers - the little guys who work so hard, and so honestly every day because they believe so passionately in what they are doing. 

I understand that our resources are always stretched too thin, and that challenge is compounded by the difficulties of dealing with disparate demands from local AHJs (to say nothing of individual inspectors), overly bureaucratic rebate programs that were designed for large companies that can allocate an army of lawyers  to navigate their arbitrary requirements, a workers compensation system that is baffling at best and punitive at worst – the list goes on.

Yet we are out there, every day, trying to make the world a better place, one roof at a time.

But sadly, there aren’t enough small installers in CALSSA. I would like to increase their numbers with a “First Year Free” membership program so that smaller companies can see the value provided by the great work of the dedicated CALSSA staff.

I would advocate for stronger consumer protections, but in a manner that does not portray solar installers as predators, as the CPUC’s current program does.  The small installers I know are hard-working folks who truly believe in the value of this wonderful industry.  They deserve to be acknowledged as such.

Finally, I would like to work to reform the SGIP program, so that installing a 10 kWh storage system takes more time than filling out the required rebate paperwork.

I hope you will support me with your vote.  (Voting begins today, October 30th, and continues through November 6th, with winners to be announced on November 8th.  Only member companies in good standing are eligible to vote.)

 

Endorsements (partial list, organizations for identification purposes only)

JD Dillon, Vice President of Marketing and Pricing, Enphase Energy

Ross Gerard, Director of Sales, North America, Everest Solar Systems LLC

Kendra Hubbard, Strategic Account Manager, UNIRAC Inc.

Adam Gerza, COO, Energy Toolbase

Yann Brandt, Quickmount PV

Tor “Solar Fred” Valenza, Founder of UnThink Solar Marketing and Communications

Tom Cheyney, Content and Market Intel Lead, Renewables Practice, Kiterocket

 

03/13/19

  07:15:00 pm, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 411 words  
Categories: All About Solar Power, Solar Economics, SCE, Residential Solar, Ranting, CALSSA

Clean Power Alliance -- NEM Fail!

Back in January we wrote about the pending switch over to Clean Power Alliance (CPA) in portions of SCE’s service territory (Clean Power Alliance is Coming - is that a Good Thing?), noting that given the slightly lower rates, the switch was probably a good deal for most SCE customers.  Alas, it turns out that it wasn’t such a good deal for SCE’s solar customers!  Here’s our take and recommendation…

PLEASE NOTE: THIS APPLIES ONLY  TO SCE CUSTOMERS!
SOLAR CUSTOMERS IN PWP, LADWP AND OTHER MUNICIPAL UTILITIES CAN IGNORE THIS COMPLETELY!

Yesterday our trade association, CALSSA sent out this urgent notice under the headline: ALERT: CPA NEM snafu:

ACTION: For existing residential customers, we suggest you advise them to OPT OUT of the Clean Power Alliance (LA area CCA) by March 31st!

To opt out, they should call Clean Power Alliance at 888-585-3788 immediately.

What is going on here?  It seems that in their zeal to initiate the switchover from SCE, CPA fouled up how they are handling the “true-up” accounting.  As a result, solar customers who switched to CPA—and mind you, if you are in one of the affected cities, the default is for you to be switched to CPA—you will actually receive two true-up bills this year - one from SCE and the other from CPA.  CALSSA is sufficiently concerned that this could have an adverse financial impact that presumably exceeds whatever saving you might realize from the switch to CPA’s lower rates.

According to CPA, customers who OPT OUT by March 31, will only have one true-up bill this year “as if nothing had ever happened.”

For solar system owners who are part of the Solar Rights Alliance, they have already received notice directly regarding this situation.  (Not yet a member of the SRA?  Sign-up here.)

Here’s a list of cities participating in the CPA switch:

Unincorporated area of Los Angeles (e.g., Altadena) and Ventura Counties and the following cities: Agoura Hills, Alhambra, Arcadia, Beverly Hills, Calabasas, Camarillo, Carson, Claremont, Culver City, Downey, Hawaiian Gardens, Hawthorne, Malibu, Manhattan Beach, Moorpark, Ojai, Oxnard, Paramount, Redondo Beach, Rolling Hills Estates, Santa Monica, Sierra Madre, Simi Valley, South Pasadena, Temple City, Thousand Oaks, Ventura, West Hollywood and Whittier.

Once things get sorted out, if you want to switch to CPA, you will be able to do so, and we will write about it once we know more.  But for now, the prudent choice appears to be to make that call and opt-out.  If you have any issues in doing so, please let us know.

02/25/19

  10:45:00 pm, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 445 words  
Categories: All About Solar Power, Solar Economics, Utilities, Residential Solar, Energy Storage, Vote Solar, CALSSA

Solar Bill of Rights Introduced in California Legislature

Capitol steps launch for SB-288 - the Solar Bill of Rights

On February 19th, a bipartisan bill, SB-288, was introduced in the California legislature to enshrine into State law a Solar Bill of Rights.  tl;dr Support the Solar Bill of Rights! 
Here’s our take…

The legislation, co-authored by Senators Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Jim Nielsen (R-Fresno), has the enthusiastic backing of the Solar Rights Alliance, Vote Solar, and CALSSA.  If signed into law, the bill would require both Investor Owned Utilities (like SCE) as well as public utilities (like LADWP and PWP) to make changes to how they handle the interconnection of solar and storage systems, provide for compensation for storage systems that provide energy back to the grid, and report on their progress in streamlining their processes for approving and commissioning such systems.

The bill also makes some key findings regarding the value of distributed energy generation and storage systems:

  1. All California residents, businesses, nonprofits, and government entities have the fundamental right to generate and store renewable energy and to reduce and shape their use of electricity obtained from the electrical grid, whether their facilities are off-grid or interconnected to the grid.
  2. These fundamental rights to self-generation and storage extend to all California consumers regardless of income level, geography, or property type.
  3. Residential customers have a right to consumer protections that ensure adequate transparency in sales and contracts for renewable energy and storage installations and services. [To which we say: Amen!]
  4. Customer-sited solar and energy storage systems will play an essential role in helping the state to meet its greenhouse gases emissions and other environmental goals.
  5. Customer-sited solar and energy storage systems are valuable assets for managing the electrical grid efficiently and improving the reliability and resiliency of the grid.
  6. Removing barriers to the installation of customer-sited energy resources will help reduce costs and facilitate the deployment of these resources.
  7. The time required for utility review and approval of interconnection applications and the lack of transparency in interconnection costs has impeded customer adoption of solar and energy storage systems.
  8. Developing market mechanisms for energy and other services supplied by customer-sited energy resources can facilitate the adoption and deployment of renewable energy and energy storage technologies that will provide greater local reliability and resiliency benefits throughout the year, including during emergency conditions.

But as we have said in this space often before, politics is not a spectator sport—it takes active involvement to bring about effective public policy.  The good news is that we can make it super easy for you to contact your members of the California Legislature and urge them to co-sponsor SB-288.  Just click on the friendly button below:

Support SB-288

We will keep you posted as to the bill’s progress - watch this space!

02/06/18

  09:51:00 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 474 words  
Categories: All About Solar Power, CALSSA

A Rose by any other Name: CALSEIA becomes CALSSA!

CALSSA logo

Readers of this blog know that Run on Sun is a proud member of the California Solar Energy Industry Association or CALSEIA.  Headed by the incredible Bernadette Del Chiaro, and supported by a brilliant cast of characters (including Carter Lavin, Laura Gray, Kelly Knutsen, Brad Heavner, Meghan Vincent-Jones, and Josh Buswell-Charkow), CALSEIA is making a positive difference in California’s solar industry. 

But these days, just advocating for solar is not enough, as the future for solar, indeed the future for renewables, is to include energy storage into the mix.  Hence the need for the name change, as CALSEIA becomes CALSSA - the California Solar & Storage Association!

Of course, one doesn’t change the name of a forty-year old organization lightly.  Here’s how Bernadette explained the reasoning behind the name change:

Reflection of reality. The new name simply better captures the rising importance of energy storage in the marketplace and paves the way for the integration of a whole suite of new customer-facing energy products. Interestingly, over 70% of the storage systems installed in California in 2017 were installed (and in many cases manufactured) by existing members of the Association.
 
Big tent. Former Board President Rick Reed likes to remind me that this association has always taken a “big tent” approach. The solar hot water industry (the original solar energy storage device!) made room for the photovoltaic industry that, in turn, is making room for energy storage. The job of a business association is to create the environment within which all businesses can compete and thrive. And, to quote our current Board President Ed Murray, “We have been installing storage devices for decades. This new name is as much a nod to our past as it is a reflection of our bullish outlook on the future.”
 
Can’t get there from here without it. Without a rapid deployment of energy storage, along with other energy management tools, California will be unable to integrate high levels of renewable energy as well as electric vehicles onto the grid. We need to be able to deliver clean power whenever the consumer and/or the grid need it. We simply can’t let the sun set on solar.
 
The “internet of things” is revolutionizing energy. The question isn’t so much if this change happens but when and who benefits from it. Giving our consumers the tools they need to meet their energy needs while lowering costs is what we have always been about. As the most successful business people among us will point out, we don’t sell solar panels so much as we sell energy independence, savings, and clean air. Making the sun shine at night and giving our consumers that much more freedom, savings and clean energy is and has always been this Association’s purpose at its core.  

Here’s to another 40 years of success as the California Solar & Storage Association.

To which we say, Right On!

1 2 >>

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!

Give Us a Call!

626.793.6025 or
310.584.7755

Click to Learn More About Commercial Solar Power!

We're Social!



Follow Run on Sun on Twitter Like Run on Sun on Facebook
Run on Sun helps fight Climate Change
Web Site Engine