01/14/22

  03:05:00 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 270 words  
Categories: All About Solar Power, Commercial Solar, Residential Solar, Non-profit solar, Net Metering

Run on Sun Rallies for Solar Jobs - along with a few thousand of our friends!

On Thursday, January 13, 2022, the Run on Sun crew - and a few thousand of our friends and colleagues - got together at simultaneous rallies in Los Angeles and San Francisco.  Our message was simple: the Proposed Decision from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) would imperil thousands of solar jobs, drive up the cost for solar for everyone (truly meaning that only the most affluent could afford it), and frustrate California’s efforts to address Climate Change.  It is time for Governor Newsom to do more than suggest that the proposal, “needs some work."  In fact, the Proposed Decision needs to be scrapped in favor of a policy that will make solar more affordable for everyone.

Nearly two thousand people gathered in LA’s Grand Park to listen to CALSSA’s Policy Director,  Brad Heavner, and other speakers exhort the crowd to stand strong in solidarity against the CPUC’s disastrous proposal.  We then marched from the park the four blocks to the CPUC’s offices in DTLA.  Along the way we were greeted by cars honking in support of solar - including the driver of a Metro bus!

Here are some images from the rally:

Amanda does her thing!

Project Coordinator Amanda Watson puts the finishing touches on our signs!

Crowd listens

Crowd at Grand Park listens to Brad and the other speakers.

Marching to the CPUC!

Amanda’s colorful sign tells the story!

Making our voices heard

Making our voices heard outside the CPUC offices.

Colleagues

Amanda and Adrian flank Scanifly’s Chance Venable at the march’s end.

By any measure, the rallies were a success - but there’s still one metric to be determined: the final outcome! Of course, we will write about that as soon as we know more. Watch this space.

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01/12/22

  04:29:00 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 304 words  
Categories: All About Solar Power

Amanda takes Flight!

Anyone contacting Run on Sun in the past year or so has had the opportunity to speak with our Project Coordinator, Amanda Watson.  An avid cyclist - we seem to attract them! - and former racer, Amanda has thrown herself into her new gig with the same zeal that she demonstrated in her racing career.

While working in solar has a pretty steep learning curve, one aspect of how we do solar here at RoS is especially challenging - getting licensed and qualified to operate our drone.  Since we fly the drone commercially - we use it on site evaluations and for after-project photography - to operate it legally the Pilot in Command has to be licensed by the FAA (Part 107).  Central to getting licensed is passing the Part 107 written exam, which is no mean feat, requiring the student to master the complexities of sectional charts (one of the densest data visualizations ever created!), the arcana of acronym-dominated weather printouts, and a host of details that frankly, have way more to do with being an aircraft pilot than a drone pilot!

I am proud to report that this past week Amanda passed the exam on her first try with an 82 (70 is passing).  Once her license shows up she will be legal to operate the drone for us!  Of course, passing the test and getting your license doesn’t teach you how to operate the drone!  So earlier this week we went down to the Rose Bowl and Amanda got a chance to make her first flight in the park adjacent.  She did great!

  Amanda flying Oscar

Amanda at the controls of the RoS Mavic Air, Oscar!

Mastering the drone is just one step in Amanda’s evolution.  She is presently enrolled in courses at PCC, paving the way for her ultimate NABCEP certification! 

Way to go, Amanda, the sky is no longer a limit!

01/05/22

  02:15:00 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 174 words  
Categories: All About Solar Power, Residential Solar

Guess Who is Certified to Install IQ8?

Readers of this blog know quite well that the long-awaited Enphase IQ8 microinverters are almost here.  (Enphase reports that shipments have started, and our distributor is promising to have them in numbers by next month.)  But there’s one slight catch: in order to commission a PV system with IQ8’s, you have to be certified by going through an online training at Enphase University!

So guess who just got certified?

IQ8 certification for Jim Jenal of Run on Sun

Jim Jenal - newly certified IQ8 Installer!

The training takes you through all of the four use cases for installing IQ8: solar only (no backup or storage components), Sunlight Backup which allows partial backup even without adding any storage components, Partial Home Backup and Full Home Backup. Each of these use cases has different components, and those components need to be properly configured to guarantee that the solar system owner has the best possible experience.

We are excited to be at the forefront of this exciting next step in our partnership with Enphase, and with you, our cherished clients.

Let’s make 2022 one for the record books!

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!

10/30/21

  03:11:00 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 588 words  
Categories: Solar Economics, Residential Solar, Net Metering

NEM 3.0 Transition Rules - Potential Solar Clients Need to Read This!

New solar clients in Southern California Edison territory (along with their counterparts in PG&E or SDG&E territories) will soon find themselves operating under the not yet known, but certainly less advantageous NEM 3.0 rules that has the potential to significantly affect their return on investment.  While NEM 3.0 won’t go into effect for some time, we already have an idea of what clients need to do to secure the benefits of the present NEM rules.  Here’s what we know so far…

NEM 2.0 - the Present State of Play

SCE customer presently operate under NEM 2.0 rules established a number of years ago.  (Municipal utility customers, such as those in PWP or LADWP, are unaffected by any of this, fortunately.)  We wrote extensively about the impact of the NEM 2.0 transition at the time, as this article from 2017 explained: NEM 2.0 is Here - Now What? 

Essentially the NEM 2.0 rules made several changes: they introduced a one-time application fee of $75, they forced solar customers onto a Time-of-Use rate structure (instead of the more solar-friendly tiered rates), and they introduced the concept of non-bypassable charges - components of the rate structure that have to be paid on every kWh imported from the grid, even if it would otherwise be “netted out” thanks to energy exported.

Those changes, while concerning as they marked the first successful effort to chip away at the benefits of net metering, turned out to be relatively mild and the industry surged forward despite them.

NEM 3.0 - Dark Days Ahead?

Now we are in the middle of the process of bringing about NEM 3.0, and it looks far scarier than what we faced in 2017.  For example, one proposal calls for monthly fees on the order of $75 for every residential solar customer (commercial customers would pay far more).  The value of exported energy might drop by as much as 80%!  Payback periods could balloon to as much as 20 years!

(Take a moment to sign the petition to make the new NEM 3.0 rules more favorable to solar system owners!)

However that process turns out, if it is possible to get in under the current rules you will save a lot of money!  Here’s what we know about how the transition period will be handled:

  • If you sign a contract and submit your complete interconnection application to SCE by mid-January you are guaranteed of 20 years under the more favorable NEM 2.0 rules!

  • If you submit between mid-January and April, you will start under NEM 2.0, but the 20-year term is not guaranteed.

  • If you submit after April but before NEM 3.0 is fully up and running, you will start on NEM 2.0 for a set term of years, but you may be forced onto a rate that includes a monthly fee.

  • Applications submitted after August, will likely be completely under NEM 3.0

The uncertainty around all of this is distressing but is out of our hands.

What we can do is to urge folks on the fence about going solar to act before mid-January.  Bear in mind that the project does not need to be completed by mid-January, you simply have to have your completed application submitted by then.  We anticipate quite the rush to get applications in by then, and there is always the concern that a reviewer at SCE might kick back an application and deem it incomplete.  The best way to be safe is to get the application in as soon as possible, thereby avoiding the crunch.

So right now really is the best time for anyone in SCE’s service area to go solar!  Give us a call and let’s get the process started!

 

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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.

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