Latest Comments

In response to: Understanding Tiered vs TOU Rates

Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO
Not so sure about Australia, but here in CA it is common for the IOUs to ask for the sun, moon, and stars, but the CPUC usually dials back most of their excess (thank, in large part, to the work of the folks at CALSEIA). As for grid defection charges, I’m not sure that would be constitutional - seems like that would be imposing a contractual term, and a draconian one at that, that was never agreed to by the consumer.
 Permalink 11/07/16 @ 09:04
solarkings

In response to: Understanding Tiered vs TOU Rates

solarkings
Good article. TOU rates, tiered rates, demand-charge fees, etc. They’re all concocted to keep the revenue stream of the energy monopolies going. Warren Buffet and his cronies have enough. It’s time to end the monopoly. Residential storage is in its infancy, but in the coming years, if the energy monopolies get too greedy, then grid defection WILL occur, and they are afraid of that. In fact, in Australia right now, the energy monopolies are trying to get a charge enacted even if you are NOT connected to the grid…http://reneweconomy.com.au/networks-propose-compulsory-fees-for-all-to-stop-grid-defections-28523/
 Permalink 11/05/16 @ 14:20
boaz

In response to: Intersolar 2016 - Bests & Worsts of the Hottest Solar Event of the Year

boaz
re: Beamreach - we feel the same and just signed up as an Authorized Distributor. Our sales team will get trained in the next couple of weeks and we can start quoting projects. Also, thanks for the shout-out! So glad you enjoyed the lounge. And lastly, some people like Coors….go figure. It’s a strange world.
 Permalink 07/25/16 @ 10:20

In response to: Video Release: Making the world better...one roof at a time

Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO
Thanks to you and Tom Miller for making this happen!
 Permalink 06/10/16 @ 09:10
boaz

In response to: Video Release: Making the world better...one roof at a time

boaz
Thanks for your kind words, Jim and Laurel. Video came out great!
 Permalink 06/10/16 @ 09:07
loridawn

In response to: Swing and a miss - Why some consumers don't go solar

loridawn
Excellent information, Jim!! Great article and data! I, too, find it surprising that the second issue stopping people from going solar is “Finding a trustworthy and competent installer.”
 Permalink 06/08/16 @ 16:43
Laurel Hamilton

In response to: Who Chooses Run on Sun?

Laurel Hamilton
Eek! We had a problem with people being able to leave comments. We hope it is now fixed and welcome your thoughts!
 Permalink 06/03/16 @ 16:22

In response to: 3 Rules to Avoid Shady Solar Contracts

Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO
Hi Kimberly - thanks for taking the time to comment, and your kind words. I agree completely with your observations (with the exception of the value of the lease model - there we will simply have to agree to disagree!) We also provide a similar “Owner’s Manual” with all of our projects - it collects everything in one, attractive binder for future reference. I think long-term maintenance issues are important - it is one reason that we like microinverters as down-the-road panel substitutions (for a defective panel) should be easier. Fodder for a future post…
 Permalink 10/14/15 @ 07:31
kimberly_davis

In response to: 3 Rules to Avoid Shady Solar Contracts

kimberly_davis
Excellent article, Jim! The distinction between ‘equipment warranty’ and ‘installers’ warranty’ should also be clear. If something goes wrong, we really don’t want the customer wandering around up there. I developed a “Users Manual” for our solar projects - residential leases and commercial PPAs - which addressed safety, maintenance, when to call your installer, etc. The manual was custom to each customer and included spec sheets of the panels, inverters, and racking. We found the generic template and excellent marketing tool, as it put minds at ease as to how the thing worked and what would happen if something went wrong. (We were also able to customize for maintenance in very dusty areas like AZ, or snowy ones like VT.) With the extent of Chapter 11/13 and M&A going on in the solar manufacturing - as well as contractor - space, it is fair to wonder what the Plan B is. And that leads me to defend the lease model if working with an established, reputable solar company: Prices have indeed come down dramatically, and the end of the cash-grant 1603 makes investor financing for small DG projects less common. But it can be a great way of financing your system - the Fair Market Value purchase option at the end of the lease period means you then own your system with FREE power afterwards!
 Permalink 10/14/15 @ 06:41

In response to: Sunrun Gets Sued - But is a Bad Deal Deceptive? UPDATED x2

Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO
Hi Tom - we try really hard to give people the most straight-forward info we can provide. Solar is a great investment, but not every seller of solar has the client’s best interests at heart. I have not been able to learn anything more about this case, or any other litigation against Sunrun. But I am very concerned that such litigation is sure to come, given how some of these programs have been sold to consumers.
 Permalink 10/09/15 @ 13:29
tom_combs

In response to: Sunrun Gets Sued - But is a Bad Deal Deceptive? UPDATED x2

tom_combs
Jim, Reading all the comments on SunRun, did anyone actually come up with someone who is pursuing this issue? I did some research and it looks like the original class action lawsuit by Reed, is dead in the water. Interesting enough we are trying to sell my mother-in-laws house and are having a BIG problem with potential buyers not wanting to assume the lease. Apparently this is becoming quite an issue in the real estate community. There are apparently many sellers who find themselves in the same position. Your site is the only one I have come across that is not a PR site for solar installation.
 Permalink 10/09/15 @ 13:23

In response to: The Perils of Solar Salesmen

Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO
Hi Pam – Thanks for the pointer - I will check that out. Cheers… Jim
 Permalink 09/29/15 @ 15:10

In response to: Who has the Edge? 3 Reasons to Pick Enphase over SolarEdge

Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO
William - the only claim that I made was that Enphase eliminates the single point of failure that is present with Solar Edge. That is a fact, not an opinion. In my opinion, that makes the Enphase approach more reliable from a system availability perspective. Thanks for taking the time to write. Jim
 Permalink 09/29/15 @ 15:09
chaolysti

In response to: The Perils of Solar Salesmen

chaolysti
Good message, Jim. For further reading, I recommend an expose on solar sales tactics written up by Bill Hirshman, one of PV Magazine’s journalists. http://pvandme.com/archives/2015
 Permalink 09/29/15 @ 13:35
william_brasky

In response to: Who has the Edge? 3 Reasons to Pick Enphase over SolarEdge

william_brasky
Interesting reliability claims about a product that has only been on the market since 2008.
 Permalink 09/29/15 @ 12:40

In response to: Sunrun Gets Sued - But is a Bad Deal Deceptive? UPDATED x2

Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO
Hi Walter - I’m sorry to hear about your experience. As you can see from these comments, your experience is not unique.
 Permalink 09/25/15 @ 08:20
walter_lukowski

In response to: Sunrun Gets Sued - But is a Bad Deal Deceptive? UPDATED x2

walter_lukowski
I to got duped into Sunrun, On my electric bill it shows that I owe SEC around $ 15.00 for electricity. But what they are not telling you is there is about $130.00 in generation and delivery charges, which makes my bill including Sunrun part $345.00. I have never had an electric bill over $300.00 before. Boy did I get ripped.
 Permalink 09/24/15 @ 22:54

In response to: Elon Musk's 3-Biggest Powerwall Whoppers

Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO
Austin – Well I quoted his statement in full, as you can verify from the video link. The truth is, Elon provided none of the explanation or limitation you are offering. He has to live with what he actually said, not what he (or his lawyers) might wish he had said. Moreover, if he had nuanced his comments as you are suggesting, he would not have garnered the gasps and applause he got from his audience, and he wouldn’t have had tens of thousands of people signing up for what I’m sure *they* think is the chance to go off grid for an extra $3,500. Jim
 Permalink 09/18/15 @ 22:10
Austin

In response to: Elon Musk's 3-Biggest Powerwall Whoppers

Austin
Elon’s statement about living off grid for $3,500 is entirely out of context. His statement wasn’t meant to mean you could go off grid for the price of one powerwall. He simply meant that you could go off grid with a system comprised of solar and powerwall arrays, and then he was revealing the price of a single powerwall.
 Permalink 09/18/15 @ 19:08
Michael

In response to: Sunrun Gets Sued - But is a Bad Deal Deceptive? UPDATED x2

Michael
SunRun is the worst option in solar. Completely deceptive sales and it is a bad deal. The power company buys your electricity for .o4 cents and charges you retail. You also have to pay sunrun high tier price for electricity that you can get cheaper from the power company. The power company and sunrun make out and you the customer are left holding the bag. Read every word of a contract and run from SunRun.
 Permalink 09/02/15 @ 13:51
Ivor

In response to: Google: You're Being Evil!

Ivor
Google did something like that to me. I had close to 30 five star reviews. They chopped off 20 leaving me with 10. This was right after one of their sales agents after an hours presentation was not able to convince me to do PPC. I complained and they said it was a glitch and somehow the 20 or so were now lost. A week later and the remaining 10 were also “lost". It seems all review sites can do as they please. So now I do screen captures and place then on my own website. You might want to take this into your own hands in a similar way and ask the customer to change the wording.
 Permalink 08/30/15 @ 12:11

In response to: Fire! Is Solar a Threat?

Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO
John - that is a very good point - if the slabs of the building are in danger of collapse that would make it too dangerous for the fire fighters. But of course, that could be a risk in every tilt-up slab building out there, not just those with solar. Odd that nearly 2 years later and we haven’t heard anything about the cause of the fire. Jim
 Permalink 08/23/15 @ 10:07
John Drucker

In response to: Fire! Is Solar a Threat?

John Drucker
I understand also that there was concern of collapse due to the buildings tilt slab construction. There are a number of photographs taken that seem to indicate that tilt slab collapse did occur due to the collapse of the supporting (bracing) roof assembly. A 40 Foot tilt slab dictates a minimum 60 foot collapse zone. I agree with Chief Holt a firefighters life is not worth jeopardizes over property with the numerous hazards at this facility.
 Permalink 08/23/15 @ 09:59

In response to: Google: You're Being Evil!

Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO
Thanks, Jane, for the kind words!
 Permalink 08/21/15 @ 07:32
Jane Houle!

In response to: Google: You're Being Evil!

Jane Houle!
RUN ON SUN is a highly thought of, and very well run company in the San Gabriel Valley!
 Permalink 08/20/15 @ 19:25

In response to: It's On - PG&E Declares War on Solar! - UPDATE

Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO
Vincent - You are right, that is unbelievable. Good luck finding a lawyer! Jim
 Permalink 08/20/15 @ 13:24
vincent chang

In response to: It's On - PG&E Declares War on Solar! - UPDATE

vincent chang
got solar panels for my house in san Francisco and east Oakland. the installation and hook up in san Francisco with solar city took two months. the installation and hook up in east Oakland taking two years and counting? same company different result. why? not sure. maybe the utilities don’t want the people in the ghetto to go solar and cut out pg and e. their delays in processing this simple thing is unbelievable. looking for a class action lawyer to take my case against pg ande. Vincent chang.
 Permalink 08/20/15 @ 11:07
Solar Ledge

In response to: Who has the Edge? 3 Reasons to Pick Enphase over SolarEdge

Solar Ledge
I am on the ledge with Solar Edge. Enphase is cat’s meow!
 Permalink 08/19/15 @ 23:40
frank_muntean

In response to: Will LA County Clean up its Act?

frank_muntean
Just try to re-roof a project in Los Angeles County for a residential project. Roofer contractor will not be allowed to pull a permit until solar installer takes a permit for re-installation. Solar Installer has to go thru the process as a brand new solar installation with wet stamp from structural engineer and electrical engineer. If the project was installed 2-3 years ago when central feed solar was allowed, now it is not permitted anymore, and you have to change also the main electrical panel. They ask you for the original approved plans but also they don’t have a copy, and they can’t provide it. I agree both roof and solar system have to be inspected but to see the solar system as a brand new installation it is a very long and costly way.
 Permalink 08/11/15 @ 14:03

In response to: Intersolar 2013 - Hot or Not?

Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO
Anna - that is really shocking and I’m sorry you experienced such boorish behavior as part of the solar industry. You will be pleased to know that they are the exception, not the rule. Thanks for taking the time to write. Jim
 Permalink 08/03/15 @ 13:39
john_harvey

In response to: Who has the Edge? 3 Reasons to Pick Enphase over SolarEdge

john_harvey
Regarding price - Enphase usually wins that comparison. A 5,000W string inverter runs about $2,000 to $4,000 depending on quality and guarantee (and it will be replaced at least once over the 25 year life of the panels so $4,000 to $8,000. 20 M250 Enphase micro-inverters runs about $3,000. So less money, more production, longer life, better warranty - what’s not to like? (Now if you add in the DC optimizers the price difference gets even larger.)
 Permalink 08/03/15 @ 12:50
Anna

In response to: Intersolar 2013 - Hot or Not?

Anna
Hi! I worked for one day at Intersolar in Munich with this Company! First they wanted that the cat women in the cages would wear only bra with leggings, no one wanted it, then they gave us also bodies to Cover naked Skin. Those who refused to work in the cage was told to not come to work anymore. I have Never been treated this way at work! It was horrible and downgrading!
 Permalink 08/02/15 @ 22:56

In response to: How Things Fail - Part 2 - a Commercial Disaster Waiting to Happen

Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO
Hi Carl – That’s a good catch, though compared to the hazards strewn across the arrays, it is a relatively minor concern. Jim
 Permalink 07/30/15 @ 14:07
carl

In response to: How Things Fail - Part 2 - a Commercial Disaster Waiting to Happen

carl
I also see that someone forgot to research the inverter clearance requirements. The first inverter is immediately next to the AC panelboard, without the required 8″ spacing. This is an issue for proper inverter ventilation.
 Permalink 07/30/15 @ 08:51
Stephanie

In response to: Will LA County Clean up its Act?

Stephanie
Thanks for keeping us up to date and holding local jurisdictions accountable for their rulings/actions as well as for initiating a valuable dialogue!
 Permalink 07/23/15 @ 17:56
cal

In response to: Who has the Edge? 3 Reasons to Pick Enphase over SolarEdge

cal
I came at this from a different perspective, and went SolarEdge. 1) SolarEdge has one point of failure on the ground where it is accessible, versus multiple points of failure on the roof with Enphase. This was based on my belief that roof optimizers by themselves were more reliable (fewer parts) than inverters. 2) For my particular setup (with no shading other than when it snows), my calculations showed the SolarEdge inverter would come on faster. Your mileage may vary however, and if I had shading I’d look harder at Enphase. 3) SolarEdge’s software was far better and I was able to pinpoint some panels that were not the wattage they should have been (but there software does have areas needing improvement too). Now, that being said, a month after install I had the SolarEdge inverter go out, and there are burn marks inside the DC cutoff switch. We are yet to hear what that issue was or the resolution, and how SolarEdge deals with it. That is costing me a few days of sunshine and I’m not too happy with SolarEdge at the moment on that score. Anyway … I’m somewhat non-biased other than having made a decision.
 Permalink 07/22/15 @ 19:13
omar_n

In response to: Will LA County Clean up its Act?

omar_n
Much needed content on the state of affairs for solar permitting & inspections in LA. Thanks for taking the time to write this. Hope that the county and the other AHJs take further steps to understanding the technology, installation process, and the issues at stake.
 Permalink 07/22/15 @ 13:46
jeff spies

In response to: Will LA County Clean up its Act?

jeff spies
Glad to hear that the problems are not acute with Resi at LA County, but in my role with SEAC, I will be addressing both res and non-res, so the issue that prompted this blog post is still of interest to me. Let me know if you would be free to talk via phone so I can be prepared to address your issue next week.
 Permalink 07/22/15 @ 13:20

In response to: Will LA County Clean up its Act?

Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO
Hi Jeff - Generally speaking, on resi projects County has only been something of an annoyance (for example, discounting wind tunnel testing results for ballast systems or not excluding live loads from the area beneath the array) but not a major cost factor. For the project described here, the impact was thousands of dollars - a result that neither I nor my client found reasonable. Jim
 Permalink 07/22/15 @ 12:01
jeff spies

In response to: Will LA County Clean up its Act?

jeff spies
Jim, THe issue of bonding and grounding is indeed a challenging one, has been for years. I too have run into difficulties, most recently on metal shingle roofs where the permitting official required that every metal shingle be bonded to ground. This is impractical/impossible, so I contacted LA County and explained that metal shingles deserve the same consideration as “metal accessories) in section 9.1 of UL 2703 that allows accessories to not be grounded if the system meets 4 requirements #1 non separately derived, #2 points of grounding marked, #3 using listed wire management devices, and #4 sufficient wire management that would prevent conductive components contacting the metal accessories in the event of an accidental fault. After explaining this to the chief electrical inspector, LA county determined that solar could be installed on metal shingle roofs as long as these conditions were met. There are a number of thorny UL 2703 issues being address by LA County and based upon the review of our Quick Rack system, I feel their review is fair, and their requested supplements, edits, and changes to our listing are perfectly valid. While there will be some bumps along the way, I have found their review fair and reasonable. I promise to represent your concerns at next weeks SEAC meeting, but would appreciate more specific info on the UL 2703 listing for Everest to better understand why the problems exist with LA county. Feel free to call me at your convenience to discuss.
 Permalink 07/22/15 @ 11:22

In response to: Will LA County Clean up its Act?

Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO
Hi Jeff - Nope, I’m not mixed up. LA DWP is the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power and they are the muni for the City of LA. My post is not addressed to them (although they are another whole can of worms). No, I’m talking about the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works - one and the same entity that has created this SEAC. I agree that this is (potentially) a positive step. My only point was, before they go casting about to identify the causes of PV challenges, they should remove the plank from their own eye! Cheers… Jim
 Permalink 07/22/15 @ 10:44
jeff spies

In response to: Will LA County Clean up its Act?

jeff spies
Jim, LA DPW is the municipal utility for LA City not LA County. The County of Los Angeles Department of Public Works has recently established the Solar Energy Action Committee to address the more vexing issues relating to codes, standards, permitting and inspection for solar installations in cities that fall under LA County’s is attempting to get LA City (DPW) to participate in the Solar Energy Action Committee. I recently joined SEAC and serve as the representative for the solar manufacturers group. I believe SEAC is a positive step to help bridge the communication gap between building officials and the solar community. If you have any issues with LA county (not LA City/DPW) please do bring them to me and I will go to work with SEAC to address them.
 Permalink 07/22/15 @ 10:25

In response to: Net Metering Gets 20-Year Reprieve -- UPDATED

Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO
Hi Kay - ROI = “Return on Investment” and it is typically reported in two ways: time to payback (as in years before you break even on your investment) and Internal Rate of Return. Hope that helps! Jim
 Permalink 07/07/15 @ 05:13
Kay Wong

In response to: Net Metering Gets 20-Year Reprieve -- UPDATED

Kay Wong
what is a ROI ^^
 Permalink 07/06/15 @ 21:10

In response to: Petition to Protect Solar Rights

Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO
Interesting thoughts - perhaps an economist will chime in! Thanks for writing. Jim
 Permalink 06/22/15 @ 06:48
r_santander

In response to: Petition to Protect Solar Rights

r_santander
I like that this is a way to work with the commission but is there a way that we can take this to the Californian people that care about solar as a way to provide cleaner energy? Is it possible to enable a transition from utility run power line maintenance to solar power company run maintenance? Could solar city and other solar companies bid against the utility company for a specific municipality? This would make the companies compete on service, price and innovation. Imagine a municipal battery bank that allowed for storage for night use. It would reduce the power transmission, loss and more efficiently use the power produced in a city. By contrast for cities that don’t make these investments they can continue to use traditional means or buy electricity from the neighboring city at market rate. This is to say that there is no loss to these city that chose not to invest in solar. If there’s an economist out there I’d love to see what the models predict would happen at a macro scale. Would the loss or disruption of the utilities have a negative or positive effect? Would it result in a more efficient use of resources and make the population better off? Could the solar companies actually compete with the utilities?
 Permalink 06/21/15 @ 23:08

In response to: Roofing reality check. Top 3 considerations for solar

Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO
Thanks, Jeff - but credit for this piece goes to our awesome Projects Coordinator, Laurel Hamilton. You’ll get to meet her at InterSolar next month! (And we will both be needing Battle of the Bands tickets - hint, hint!)
 Permalink 06/14/15 @ 12:50
jeff spies

In response to: Roofing reality check. Top 3 considerations for solar

jeff spies
Bravo Jim! I hope more solar installers start following this ethic of advocating re-roofing before solar is installed. The long term cost benefit of starting with a new roof under the array are almost always a great ROI.
 Permalink 06/14/15 @ 11:46

In response to: Yet Another Solar Hurdle from SCE

Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO
Brian - what is the justification for that?
 Permalink 05/31/15 @ 08:16
Brian Robbins

In response to: Yet Another Solar Hurdle from SCE

Brian Robbins
In Iowa under Alliant Energy, we aren’t allowed to line side tap at all.
 Permalink 05/30/15 @ 20:43
Jim Jenal is the Founder & CEO of Run on Sun, Pasadena's premier installer and integrator of top-of-the-line solar power installations.
Laurel Hamilton is Run on Sun's Projects Coordinator, and together they author this blog.
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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