09:46:01 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 259 words  
Categories: SEIA, Solar News

Solar Bill of Rights - Rights # 2 & 3

Continuing our series on the recently promulgated Solar Bill of Rights, here are some thoughts on Rights 2 & 3.  Here they are:

2.      Americans have the right to connect their solar energy system to the grid with uniform national standards.

3.      Americans have the right to Net Meter and be compensated at the very least with full retail electricity rates.

The good news is that at least here in California, #2 has already been secured.  All of the utilities in our service area (the greater Los Angeles region) allow grid-tied systems to be connected to the grid with a minimum amount of hassle and red-tape.

The news is not quite so good for Right #3.  Under existing California law, there is a cap on the number of net metering agreements that utilities are obligated to offer - presently at 2.5% of the utilities peak load.  Such a cap makes no sense, and could work to seriously limit the growth of solar in California.  Fortunately, there is legislation in the works, authored by Assembly Member Nancy Skinner (D-AD14) that would raise the cap to 5%.   Skinner’s bill, AB560, will be reintroduced next year.

Finally, we made real progress on the fair compensation portion of Right #3 with the signing into law of AB920.  For the first time, solar customers in California will no longer be “donating” their surplus energy to their utility.  Instead, utilities must pay solar customers who are net energy producers using the same rate structure by which that customer would normally be billed.

What do you think about these rights?  Please add your comments, below.



  08:35:58 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 252 words  
Categories: SEIA, Solar News

Solar Bill of Rights - Right # 1

Yesterday I posted the eight Rights from the Solar Bill of Rights introduced by SEIA President Rhone Resch during his speech at last week’s Solar Power International conference.  Over the next several days I will be discussing these rights in greater detail.  Let’s start today with number one:

1. Americans have the right to put solar on their homes or businesses.

Well, of course they do - what is holding them back?  Aside from a weak economy, there are a number of things that make putting solar on a home or business more difficult than it should be.  For example, some utilities make the entire rebate process so confounding that the public becomes confused and intimidated.  Some communities charge excessively high fees for permitting and inspecting a solar power installation.  (Kudos to PWP here - they actually include the cost of the permit in their rebate payment.)  Some local jurisdictions impose “guidelines” as though they were binding regulations without ever bothering to hold a public hearing and pass an authorizing ordinance.

All of these things conspire to make adding solar more complicated, time-consuming and expensive than it should be.

What can be done?  The key, as President Resch made clear during his speech, is for solar advocates to speak up and start demanding their rights.  This involves writing letters to the editor, advocating solar with elected officials - and keeping solar in mind when going out to vote.

In the weeks and months ahead, we will be highlighting opportunities for action in these pages - stay tuned!


  08:29:03 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 185 words  
Categories: All About Solar Power, SEIA, Solar News

Solar Bill of Rights

The Solar Energy Industry Association has just published what they are calling the Solar Bill of Rights.  This declaration focuses on the importance of having a level playing field for the solar industry everywhere from the halls of Congress to local permitting agencies and homeowners’ associations.  Over the next few days we will be writing at some length about these rights and why they are so important.

Here they are, courtesy of the SEIA website:

1.      Americans have the right to put solar on their homes or businesses.

2.      Americans have the right to connect their solar energy system to the grid with uniform national standards

3.      Americans have the right to Net Meter and be compensated at the very least with full retail electricity rates.

4.      The solar industry has the right to a fair competitive environment.

5.      The solar industry has the right to equal access to public lands.

6.      The solar industry has the right to interconnect and build new transmission lines.

7.      Americans have the right to buy solar electricity from their utility.

8.      Americans have the right, and should expect, the highest ethical treatment from the solar industry.


  12:54:02 pm, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 247 words  
Categories: Solar News


Greetings, and welcome to my blog.  In it I will be providing views on the solar industry, including information about why solar is more affordable than ever, new developments in solar technology, and upcoming events of interest to solar enthusiasts.  If you find the contents of this blog interesting, please tell your friends.

Here’s a little background on me and Run on Sun:

Run on Sun was founded in 2006 by Jim Jenal and Brad Banta.  We believed then - and even more so now - that there is a need in the solar installer industry for clear communications about how solar works, and how it can best work for commercial and residential consumers.  This blog is an additional part of that effort to increase our communications with the solar-interested public.  
We welcome your questions and comments - if there is an area of solar that you would like us to discuss, please let us know.

Jim Jenal - is a resident of Pasadena, California and the co-founder and CEO of Run on Sun.  Jim holds a B.S. in Mathematics, an M.S. in Computer Science and a J.D.  
In a long and varied career, Jim has worked as a Member of Technical Staff for Bell Labs, taught high school (at Mayfield Senior School here in Pasadena), developed the nation’s first municipal ordinance regulating ozone-depleting compounds, and practiced law with the preeminent law firm in Los Angeles, O’Melveny & Myers.  
Now a recovering lawyer, he brings a multi-dimensional perspective to the solar industry and green technology.

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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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