02/03/22

  05:00:00 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 402 words  
Categories: All About Solar Power, Commercial Solar, Residential Solar, Ranting, Non-profit solar, Net Metering

NEM 3.0 Update - Call the Governor!

UPDATE: Bloomberg News makes it official - CPUC is delaying a vote on NEM 3.0 to allow more time to consider changes. Read their piece here - and check out that great sign front-and-center!


We have been reporting on the struggle with the CPUC’s Proposed Decision on Net Energy Metering 3.0 which, in its present form, would decimate the solar industry in the territory of the state’s three Investor-Owned Utilities (IOUs), SCE, PG&E, and SDG&E.  Originally the PD was supposed to be voted on during the CPUC’s January 27th meeting, but that was quietly taken off-calendar.  Not so quiet was our response, as 325 of us spoke out against the PD (compared to only 4 who spoke in support) during the longest public comment period ever at the Commission. (You can read my prepared remarks here.)

That meant that the soonest the PD could be voted on was February 10th - but when the Agenda for the meeting was released, the PD was nowhere to be found!  Again, with nothing being said officially from the CPUC.

Then, just today, over on investing site Seeking Alpha, came this tantalizing tidbit:

California Public Utilities Commission President Alice Reynolds reportedly has asked for more time to review and consider revisions to a proposal that would cut incentives for residential rooftop solar systems in the state.

No idea where that “report” comes from, as we haven’t been able to find any news stories on point.  Keep in mind that our marathon public comment period at the last meeting was only Reynolds’s second meeting as President of the CPUC - previously she was working for Governor Newsom.

Even without a clue as to what revisions Reynolds might be considering, the delay itself is a benefit as it gives potential solar clients more time to pull the trigger and get in under the existing NEM rules - which will certainly be better than the new rules, regardless of what revisions might come down the pike.

In any event, our collective outcry has clearly been heard, but we will need to keep the pressure on, and I’ve got just the means to do that - Call Governor Newsom!  Our friends at CALSSA have made it super easy to do just that.  Just mash that button below, and that will take you to the CALSSA Call Newsom website that will hook you up.  It’s fast, simple, and effective.  So don’t delay, mash away!  And watch this space!

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01/27/22

  01:51:00 am, by   , 492 words  
Categories: All About Solar Power, Commercial Solar, Residential Solar, Ranting, Non-profit solar, Net Metering

Prepared Remarks of Jim Jenal before the CPUC

Today’s CPUC public comment period attracted more than 400 people looking to speak - each for no more than one minute.  Below are the prepared remarks of Run on Sun Founder and CEO, Jim Jenal.

My name is Jim Jenal, and I am the Founder and CEO of Run on Sun, a solar and storage installation company in Pasadena.

I saw the flier that SCE distributed in my service area proclaiming that the present NEM rules are “Making Billionaires & Big Businesses Rich” – and I just had to shake my head, as I really don’t know who they are talking about.

Run on Sun is a gross revenue, half-a-million a year company, not exactly a big business; and no, I’m not a millionaire, let alone a billionaire.  Nor is anyone I know in this industry.  Most of us are small, and scrapy, and are doing this because we believe in the mission: to make the world a better place – one roof at a time.

And after all, isn’t that what we all strive to achieve?  To make the world a better place for our kids?

The Proposed Decision does the opposite, and it needs to be scrapped.

(Editor’s note: this was all that could be presented in one minute.  The remainder of the prepared remarks continue below.)

SCE's lying flyer

SCE’s lying flyer distributed to rate payers.

The statements on SCE’s flier prove just one thing: the IOUs and their allies LIE.  They are lying to the public and to this Commission about what is at stake with this rule change.

My company, Run on Sun, has been in business since 2006 – we have weathered two massive recessions and survived a once in a century, global pandemic.  We went a full quarter in 2020 and didn’t book a nickel in revenue – but we are back, stronger than ever.

And why is that?  Because our clients want what we offer – independence.  Independence from the misrepresentations and mismanagement of SCE and its IOU counterparts.

We are a local company, roughly 60% of our business is in SCE territory.  After thousands of “kitchen table” conversations with prospective clients I can tell you that if the Proposed Decision is adopted, 80% of our SCE clients will NOT go forward.  A twenty-year payback period just doesn’t make sense for most folks.  Rather, the only ones who will go forward will be those for whom payback periods just don’t matter. 

Surely that won’t make going solar more equitable.

The Proposed Decision is a disaster for the rooftop solar industry, for our clients, and for California’s stated goal to be a leader in solving the Climate Crisis.

The Proposed Decision does the opposite.  It will decimate the rooftop solar industry in California, and send a terrible message to the rest of the country.

It needs to be scrapped, and replaced by a rule change that spurs the necessary expanding growth of the most successful solar and storage market in the country.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

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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!

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.

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!

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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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