04/28/10

  06:44:34 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 191 words  
Categories: AB 811/PACE/LACEP Funding

Stakeholder Meeting for AB 811 - Last Chance for Meaningful Input?

There will be a final AB 811 Stakeholder’s Meeting on Wednesday, May 5 from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the MTA Board Room (located next to Union Station, downtown Los Angeles, map here).  This will be the last opportunity to provide meaningful input to County staff and their consultants before the Board meeting on May 25.  This is a stakeholder’s meeting - if you care about the future of solar in Los Angeles County, you have a stake in the outcome of this meeting and you should be there.  (You can read our report from the December Stakeholder’s Meeting, here.)

Many questions remain about how this program will be implemented and the answers to those questions will determine whether this program is a great success, or a millstone weighing down the local solar industry.  At that meeting we expect to be hearing about what the bond interest rates will be, the impact of the recently passed SB 77 on lowering those interest rates, how much and how easily interim funding will be, how credit will be determined for previous homeowner efforts at energy efficiency, and more.  When documents are distributed, we will update this thread to include them.

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04/26/10

  08:14:40 pm, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 273 words  
Categories: All About Solar Power, Solar Organizations, Solar News, NABCEP

Run on Sun Bats 1000 in Achieving NABCEP Certification!

Last March, all three of the Principals at Run on Sun - Founders Jim Jenal and Brad Banta as well as Chief Electrician Velvet Dallesandro - sat for the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners’ Certification Exam for Solar PV Installers.  Touted by NABCEP as the “Gold Standard” for industry certification, it is generally referred to as “the one that’s hard to get” in the installer industry.  Requiring appropriate educational accomplishments as well as practical, on-the-job experience with a number of installed systems as the lead installer, the certification process culminates in a multi-hour exam that covers every aspect of PV system installation.  Among the topics covered in great depth is the applicant’s knowledge of the NEC - the National Electrical Code - which provides the standards by which safe and efficient solar systems are judged.  The exam is so tough that pass rates, even for experienced installers, are typically below 50%.

Well now the results are in and it is a clean sweep for the solar professionals from Run on Sun!  Whereas many solar companies would be thrilled to have even one NABCEP certified installer on their team, Run on Sun now has all three of its Principals designated as Certified PV Installers!  No other solar company can make that claim.

As NABCEP put it:

When you hire a contractor with NABCEP Certified Installers leading the crew, you can be confident that you are getting the job done by solar professionals with the “know-how” that you need.  They are a part of a select group of people who have distinguished themselves by being awarded NABCEP Certified Installer credentials.

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves!

 

04/19/10

  06:23:00 pm, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 209 words  
Categories: AB 811/PACE/LACEP Funding

City Adoption Toolkit now available for LACEP - the LA County AB 811 Program

The County of Los Angeles has released the “City Adoption Toolkit” as part of its build-up to the public hearing on adoption of the Los Angeles County Energy Program (LACEP),  the working name for the County’s AB 811 program that we have been writing about for several months now.  The Toolkit provides a number of resources for Cities to use, including a draft Resolution, a set of FAQs and a Presentation outlining many of the Program’s features.

As a reminder, the LA County Board of Supervisors will be holding the public hearing on LACEP on May 25 (read about that here).  Assuming that the Program is approved at that time, the Cities in the County will be able to opt-in by adopting a Resolution along the lines of the one published here.

Your city’s City Manager should have received all of this information directly, so now would be a great time to ask your City Manager where your city stands on participating.  The more cities participate, the broader the applicability of the program and the more pressure we can bring to bear on the County to get the Program right!  You can visit the new LACEP website to sign-up for updates from the County.

As always, we welcome your (non-spam!) comments.

04/08/10

  09:09:39 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 213 words  
Categories: AB 811/PACE/LACEP Funding

Public Hearing on LA County AB 811 Program Set for May 25 - BE THERE!

On Thursday, April 6th, the LA County Board of Supervisors adopted a “Resolution of Intention” and thereby scheduled a public hearing and vote for the formal adoption of the AB 811 program in Los Angeles County.  Assuming that the Board approves the program, individual Cities will then be able to “opt-in” to the program by passing their own resolutions (more on that next week).  Details about the hearing notice after the break.

As we have noted in this space before, there are still some flaws in the program as it is presently being discussed, most notably the failure to disburse funds to contractors until 60-90 following completion of the project and interest rates on the loans that make the program unattractive.  Indeed, the example contained in the information provided to the Board members showed an interest rate of 9%!

This public hearing will be our last chance to make our concerns heard and hopefully make this program a viable means of growing jobs while going green.   The public hearing will be held as follows:

May 25, 2010 at 9:30 a.m.

Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration,
500 West Temple Street, Room 381
Los Angeles, CA 90012

For those so inclined, you can reach the Hall of Administration easily from the Red Line subway in downtown Los Angles by taking the Civic Center exit.

04/06/10

  07:06:46 pm, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 183 words  
Categories: AB 811/PACE/LACEP Funding

AB 811 Timeline Update

We have learned that a letter was sent to City Managers around the end of March advising them of the updated timeline for the AB 811 program in LA County.  You will recall that AB 811 allows for PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) financing where money is loaned to property owners and paid off as an assessment against the owner’s property taxes.  (We have written at some length about AB 811 previously, you can find those posts here.)  That program - presently referred to as the Los Angeles County Energy Program (LACEP) - is coming quickly.

We have attached a copy of the letter to this post.  The key upcoming dates are as follows:

  • April 12, 2010 - City Adoption Toolkit materials (i.e., draft resolution of participation, etc.) distributed
  • May 25, 2010 - Public Hearing and Adoption Vote (presumably in downtown Los Angeles)
  • May 26, 2010 or later - Local City Councils vote to adopt resolution to join the County program
  • September, 2010 - AB 811 program goes live with first projects being funded.

We will be posting additional materials as we receive them so check back here often (or subscribe using the RSS or Atom feeds at the side).

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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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