03/05/10

  09:08:13 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 192 words  
Categories: Solar News

Subscribing to the Founder's Blog

We have recently received some requests for information on how to subscribe to the Founder’s Blog.  So first and foremost, thanks for the interest - we are very gratified to learn that folks are finding this blog informative and useful.  Details on subscribing after the jump.

 

There are two ways that you can subscribe, based on the technology available to you.  If your browser (such as IE) or your email client (such as Outlook) supports XML feeds, you can copy the link for either the RSS or Atom feed and paste that into your application.  (The links are on the right hand side just below the “Go Solar Now” button.  If you do that, you will automatically receive every posting that we make to this blog.

The second method is a bit less direct, but will work if you do not have the ability to handle XML feeds.  If you send an email to “Subscribe @ runonsun.com” (no spaces) with your name, city and preferred email address, we will add you to our subscription list and auto-forward our postings to you.

Hope that helps and once again, thanks for your support!  Go Solar!

 Permalink

02/23/10

  04:42:19 pm, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 248 words  
Categories: ASES, LA Renewable Energy Society (LARES), Solar News, AB 811/PACE/LACEP Funding, PWP Rebates, Pasadena Solar, PWP

A Conversation with PWP

Yesterday I spent 90 minutes talking solar with the folks at Pasadena Water & Power.  It was a great conversation and it really re-confirmed my belief that these folks are true solar proponents who - while understaffed, overworked and underpaid - are working hard every day to make solar in Pasadena a reality.

Here are some highlights from our conversation:

  • Regarding the July 1 decline in solar rebates – the decline is in response to not just built systems, but committed rebate allocations.  A big chunk of that is destined for Cal Tech which will be installing more than 1 MW of solar in 2010.  (In many respects it is only right that Cal Tech should get the biggest share of the rebate funds since they are the biggest electric customer in PWP’s service territory.)  All the more reason for the rest of you folks to get on board now before the rebates go down!
  • AB 920 – the folks at PWP emphasized their desire to have solar customers participate in the AB 920 rate-setting hearing process.  They anticipate contacting solar customers before the hearings occur so that customers can have their voices heard.  Of course, we will be blogging more on the AB 920 process as the hearing(s) approach.
  • Support for the LA Grand Solar Tour – although the details are yet to be worked out, PWP expressed interest in assisting with, and perhaps even co-sponsoring the LA Grand Solar Tour - the signature event for LARES (the Los Angeles Renewable Energy Society) the now-forming Los Angeles chapter of ASES.

02/21/10

  08:14:00 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 250 words  
Categories: Solar News, AB 811/PACE/LACEP Funding

AB 811 Update

LA County continues to make progress toward implementing their AB 811/PACE program. The latest bi-monthly implementation report to the Board of Supervisors is here.  Some highlights from the report, after the break.

Some key milestones ahead, according to the report:

  • February - announce awarding of federal and State Energy Program grants - seed money to fund administration and outreach
  • March - file Resolution of Intention and other legal documents - including the draft administrative manual and customer forms
  • 45 day public comment period –
    Once legal documents are released, public has 45 days to comment before Board action can occur
  • April - Board approval of program and initiation of Validation legal proceedings
  • June - Validation proceedings conclude, bonds are fully authorized as proposed
  • July - Financing available for first customers

The County reports having met with the following Cities and Council of Governments (COGs) as part of its outreach efforts:

Grant support for AB 811 - the County has sought some $26 million in grant funding from the California Energy Commission.  According to the report, those awards are to be announced in February.  The County is also seeking some $30 million out of a statewide pool of some $75 million being sought from the federal government as an EECBG (Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant).  We will report on the status of those awards - and their impact on the program - as soon as we learn more.

02/17/10

  04:51:17 pm, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 147 words  
Categories: Solar Economics, Solar Rebates, PWP Rebates, Pasadena Solar, PWP

PWP Announces 23% Rebate Reduction Effective July 1, 2010

Pasadena Water & Power announced today, February 16, that it will be dramatically reducing its rebate payments for solar installations as of July 1, 2010.  Here’s a summary of the rebate rate changes compared to the existing structure:

Pasadena announces dramatic rebate reductions

These substantial rebate reductions - announced without any prior public comment or discussion - are all the more curious given that PWP also reported today that it is less than 7% of the way to its stated goal of installing 14,000 kW by 2017.  Two years into a 10 year program, by which time PWP should have reached the 20% mark to be on track but instead has seen less than half of that get installed, PWP drops its rebates dramatically. Hard to see how these reductions will help PWP meet its goal.

One thing is very clear - if you are a PWP customer considering adding solar, the time to act is NOW.  Give us a call, we can help!

02/15/10

  07:56:23 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 391 words  
Categories: Solar News, AB 920 Payments

SCE's AB 920 Notice Info

Previously we reported on PWP’s AB 920 Notices and the issues associated with them.  (If you missed it, you can read about that here.)

We have now received copies of SCE’s AB 920 Notice (find it here) and, probably not too surprisingly, there are some issues with it, too!  More about that after the break.

In particular, our concerns include:

1) While the law calls for the customer to opt-in to the program, SCE is doing that for you, unless you opt out.  But they are not doing so immediately; rather, they are waiting until your annual “relevant period” (i.e., the anniversary of you becoming a solar customer) expires before doing so.   Why would they approach the program this way?  SCE doesn’t explain their reasoning; however, since customers who participate provide the renewable energy credits to SCE, this may be a way for SCE to count the customer’s production toward their renewable energy portfolio requirements now but not pay until later!

2) The form allows for an opt-out choice - however, contrary to AB 920, the form does not make clear that the customer is entitled to roll their surplus energy credits over into the next “relevant period.”  We will be asking the SCE folks for clarification on this point.

3) The form also allows customers to reset their “relevant period” and begin accumulating credits toward a future payment now.  While the form asserts that if you do this “any surplus energy remaining under your current relevant period is forfeited,” it appears that will be the case whenever the transition to the AB 920 accounting procedure is adopted.  So what should you do?  If you are currently carrying a very large surplus and your historic usage suggests that you will be reducing that over the next months, it probably makes sense to wait.  (You need not wait, however, for SCE’s chosen time to switch - you may make that election at any time this year.)  On the other hand, if your surplus now is small, it almost certainly will be to your benefit to submit the form now and start accumulating credits that will result in an actual payment.

If you have questions about what to do, you may contact us for help or call SCE’s customer service (we would love to hear how that goes!)

Here are the phone numbers:

SCE Residential Solar Customers: 866-701-7868

SCE Commercial Solar Customers: 866-701-7869

 

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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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