Latest Comments

harry_hamilton

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

harry_hamilton [Member]
Please keep me informed of all things happening with this Sunrun Company. I thought i was doing a good thing, but my electricity is higher than when I started with Sunrun. It really does make me upset that companies take advantage of senior citizens and veterans, and other people.
 Permalink 02/27/15 @ 14:13
ShortOrder

In response to: Top 5 Reasons to Stay Away from that Solar Lease!

ShortOrder [Visitor]
There’s also the fact that the system is likely to have a lot more than 20 years of useful life. Most warranties are somewhere along the lines of “will produce at least 90% of rated capacity” through the first 20 years. Why would you throw it out after 20 years if still produces 90%, or even 50%, of the original capacity? Don’t want free electricity? The system is paid off and it’s not like you have to pay for fuel. I could see removing it in order to upgrade to more efficient panels that create more power on the same limited roof space. It’ll be interesting see how many systems end up having useful lives of 40-50 years.
 Permalink 02/16/15 @ 11:36

In response to: Pasadena's Electric Rates Spark Concern

Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO [Member]
Hi Dave - welcome! They will indeed get the 30% federal tax credit (since they own the system) but because it is a “commercial” system for them, they also get accelerated depreciation. Taken together, that accounts for ~50% of the system cost. You commented on a post regarding PWP’s rates - if that is your utility, they will also get a rebate from PWP which is presently $0.85/Watt, which on an 8 kW (CEC AC) system would be worth $6,800. So, putting that altogether, on a $30,000 system, they get $6,800 from PWP and after the tax incentives, they need to recover ~ $12,000 from you over the course of 20 years. By my calculations, using your $135/month starting point and increasing by 2% every other year, they break even sometime in Year 8. By Y10 they are $4,600 to the good and by Y20 they are $23,000 to the good. Pretty sweet profit on an 8 kW project! So that is what is in it for them. That is why we have never done residential leases, and never will. The good news is you have other options - home-equity lines of credit are now available as are solar loans. Even HERO funding can be a good option if you can pay it off in 5 years (otherwise the interest rates are just too high). Hope that helps… Jim
 Permalink 02/10/15 @ 09:46
dave

In response to: Pasadena's Electric Rates Spark Concern

dave [Member]
As a home owner considering solar install I’m looking at possibility of either ownership outright or Operational Leasing. The Leaser is offering me 1/2 my electric bill currently (averaged out over past 12 months) plus a 2% increase every other year and option to purchase system at end of a 20 year PPA with them. I am just wondering what is really in it for them (as they call themselves “Independent Power Producers” (which I’ve never really heard of before)? They say they will establish a 20 year PPA with my utility which makes me also wonder what kind of value do they get for doing something like that? Do they also get SREC’s (if there was enough to qualify) and the Tax rebate from the Fed’s? Could you please break down for me what you think there is in it for them? How can they survive of half my electric bill (will amount to about $135 mo) on what will probably be a $30K system (about 8kW)? Thank you for your thought. Dave
 Permalink 02/10/15 @ 09:14
Faith

In response to: Top 5 Reasons You Shouldn't Wait to Go Solar

Faith [Visitor]
Yes! If you have any money in savings … It earns what? A few %? If you install solar, you get Dividends in the firm of saved utility expenses immediately. Put your $ to work and get those solar panels up. Our array is nearing the 19 MEGAWATT milestone in 20 months. We did not have all the $ at the start so We installed 12, then another 12, and finished our 48 last April. Worth it every day!
 Permalink 02/08/15 @ 17:11
mary helen glenn

In response to: President Obama: Extend Solar Tax Credit... Congress: Don't make me laugh!

mary helen glenn [Visitor]
We all need & want solar and wind 10 years ago. We must have permanent tax credits for solar, wind & geothermal. Projects NOW!
 Permalink 02/07/15 @ 14:24
Lou Reyes

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

Lou Reyes [Visitor]
Hey Guys We bought in to the whole dog and pony act. The first 2 years were great and our end of the year reconciliation from SCE was under $50. Roll forward to the last 3 years where they have averaged around $500 + a year. And this year after 9 months, we owe SCE around $1000. Combine that with the $156 that we pay Sunrun and it comes out to over $2500 yearly bill. We are retired senior living on a fixed income of around $3500 and it eats up a sizable chunk of money that we can’t afford. Does anyone know how the lawsuit is going.
 Permalink 12/17/14 @ 00:38

In response to: Scam Warning - Why Solar is NOT a DIY Project

Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO [Member]
Steve - that is a function that any UL-listed inverter will handle. Jim
 Permalink 10/31/14 @ 14:51
steve_sywak

In response to: Scam Warning - Why Solar is NOT a DIY Project

steve_sywak [Member]
Aren’t there also issues with matching phase (of the 60Hz power line) when you put energy back into the system? Or is that pretty much taken care of in even the most rudimentary converters?
 Permalink 10/31/14 @ 14:22
denise

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

denise [Member]
David - We are currently in a lease with Sunrun & have experienced things very similar to what others have posted. We are trying to find out the status of the lawsuit. Can you give us any updated information? Is the lawsuit still pending or was it settled?
 Permalink 10/05/14 @ 22:42

In response to: Yet Another Solar Hurdle from SCE

Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO [Member]
Sondra - it varies from utility to utility. We just heard of a jurisdiction in Texas where they aren’t allowing them at all! By comparison, this is just an annoyance. Jim
 Permalink 10/03/14 @ 16:07
Sondra

In response to: Yet Another Solar Hurdle from SCE

Sondra [Visitor]
Is this issue only a problem in SCE’s territory or have you had the problem elsewhere?
 Permalink 10/03/14 @ 16:02
vivian

In response to: Support Solar!

vivian [Member]
The sad part of this is SDG&E pays $0.03 kw for the excess energy from the solar customers and then sell it to the non-solar customers for alot more. SDG&E makes money from the solar customers, but I guess it isn’t enough for them. Greedy!
 Permalink 09/30/14 @ 14:37
svea

In response to: Meet Kendra Hubbard - Intern Extraordinaire!

svea [Member]
A match made in heaven! I’m looking forward to all the stories and cool things you’re going to experience. Keep us posted, please. Miss you guys. Svea
 Permalink 09/23/14 @ 03:58
stephanie

In response to: Meet Kendra Hubbard - Intern Extraordinaire!

stephanie [Member]
Awesome!! This is terrific news- and truly a win-win situation! All the best to Kendra and the hardworking Run on Sun team!
 Permalink 09/22/14 @ 17:53
pierre viret

In response to: Financing Commercial Solar: Part 1 - The Basics

pierre viret [Visitor]
I do solar Repo’s, If the numbers work I buy the system and resell it as a used system at a 25% discount over a new system. This gives the home owner some of the money to pay off the loan, though some keep the money.
 Permalink 07/31/14 @ 20:11

In response to: Intersolar Wrapup: Sexism Declines, but Chaos Looms

Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO [Member]
Hey Jeff - Thanks for the back story on the solar racers - I hope they do catch on as I agree that they were really fun to watch! (And really fast!) As for contacting you in advance for B of B tickets, consider it done!
 Permalink 07/18/14 @ 10:58
jeff_spies

In response to: Intersolar Wrapup: Sexism Declines, but Chaos Looms

jeff_spies [Member]
ps. next year, contact me 1-2 weeks prior to Intersolar so I can reserve you a ticket :)
 Permalink 07/18/14 @ 10:49
jeff_spies

In response to: Intersolar Wrapup: Sexism Declines, but Chaos Looms

jeff_spies [Member]
Jim, Thanks for the show summary. Since I always struggle to tour the show floor, I rely on you, Tor, and Tom Cheney to tell me what is new and interesting. The Solar Rollers race car competition does have industry relevance, but since they are a startup non-profit they were not as effective at communicating their message to the solar industry. Solar Rollers is a non-profit organization based in Colorado that organizes competitive solar charged remote control race cars at the high school level. Each school that competes is limited to $1000 to build a solar powered remote control race car. The cars are all charged under a light hood or out in the sun. The winning cars will likely combine light weight, higher efficiency solar cells, more powerful powertrain, and better steering/suspension. Currently, the program is taking place in Colorado high schools, but Solar Rollers is planning to expand the program to California and other active solar states. I was very impressed with the speed and sophistication of the cars and hope to see this program catch on big time. There is no better way to interest youngsters in solar than cool fast cars that demonstrate the power of solar energy!
 Permalink 07/18/14 @ 10:46

In response to: Unirac Pulls the Plug on SM-E

Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO [Member]
I don’t think you can call Unirac’s products “cheap,” but I do agree with @no_unirac that their purchase by Hilti has not been good for the company. (A point with which I know some Unirac folks would concur, albeit not for attribution.) As for finding a new torch bearer, I think we have. Watch for my Intersolar Wrap-up post, coming (hopefully) on Friday!
 Permalink 07/17/14 @ 00:52

In response to: Solar Repairs Done Right!

Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO [Member]
Hey Dale - SMA’s install manual for that inverter says nothing specific about either point. We did use PV wire coming from the array into the combiner, but not back to the disconnect. The remaining DC wires are in conduit (a raceway)and per 690.35 (ungrounded PV systems): (D) The pv source conductors shall consist of the following: … (2) Conductors installed in raceways, or (3) Conductors listed and identified as PV Wire installed as exposed, single conductors. Given that - we used PV wire where exposed, and regular conductors in the conduit. As for the fusing on both conductors, again, we used the fused disconnect that SMA has listed for this inverter. I believe the requirement with an ungrounded system is that the disconnect must disconnect both conductors (since both are ungrounded) and presumably the SMA disconnect, which is designed and listed to be used in this configuration, does that - though I admit I did not test it. Jim
 Permalink 07/17/14 @ 00:47
dale_weber

In response to: Unirac Pulls the Plug on SM-E

dale_weber [Member]
Its a small sample, but I used the SM-E 1 time and found it very intuitive and flexible. Jim, let us know who you find to carry the torch!
 Permalink 07/16/14 @ 18:12
dale_weber

In response to: Solar Repairs Done Right!

dale_weber [Member]
Hey Jim, long time Nor-Cal reader of the blog. We get these calls too and debugging older systems can certainly provide some surprises. We try to give original installers the benefit of the doubt (but most have gone out of business, so we don’t want to speak ill of the dead!). The reasoning for upgrading the inverter alongside the re-wire is bang on. My issue with this post though is the photo - does not a transformerless inverter require a)the use of PV wire and b)a fuse on both sets of conductors? Also agree 100% with pointing to NABCEPs resources for contacting qualified installers in one’s area. Regards, Dale Weber Freedom Solar, Inc.
 Permalink 07/16/14 @ 18:03
no_unirac_anymore

In response to: Unirac Pulls the Plug on SM-E

no_unirac_anymore [Member]
Something has really changed for the worst with Unirac! I have been an installer in the California for over 6 years and recently I have seen a shift in there business model. I suggest looking for another racking system. Unirac’s business model is cheap products with sub-par service. The only thing going for them was this SM-e product line. I will not use them anymore!
 Permalink 06/01/14 @ 04:20
ken

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

ken [Visitor]
Sounds like SunRun did an end-run and is now on-the-run. Consumers need to do their homework or someone else will do it for them and that’s when it gets expensive.
 Permalink 05/19/14 @ 19:00
Jennifer Coleman Solar Broker

In response to: Scam Warning - Why Solar is NOT a DIY Project

Jennifer Coleman Solar Broker [Visitor]
MY APOLOGIES. I Previously ENTERED THE WRONG email address. This one is correct. I agree! We see many DIY’ers lamenting they wished they had at least hired a solar energy consultant to guide them through. Much more costly to go back and fix the problems with proper equipment selection, wiring, design-engineering, layout, ROI IRR. I find no problem with wanting to curb costs, but knowledge, and safety cannot be compromised. Some may say that they simply can’t afford to hire a consultant. However, I encourage DIY’ers to be creative and think about what professional talents they have to offer a solar energy consultant as a sort of “barter". If you’re a marketing professional, then offer some free marketing consulting to the solar consultant. But please do not short cut your pocketbook, safety or the performance of your solar energy system.
 Permalink 05/11/14 @ 14:00
stephanie

In response to: Who's Building Solar?

stephanie [Member]
Interesting, unexpected, and concerning. Yet another example of bureaucracy barring the way- at least temporarily! Thanks for the info, Jim!
 Permalink 05/02/14 @ 17:53

In response to: Solar's Top 10 Women - and then some!

Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO [Member]
Hi Laureen - Consider yourself added (on LiinkedIn)! Cheers… Jim
 Permalink 04/24/14 @ 08:55

In response to: Solar's Top 10 Women - and then some!

Laureen Peck [Member]
Congrats to all my fellow women in solar leaders. I hope I will make the list next year! I invite all of you to connect with me on LinkedIn. I would love to pick your brains on better ways to get women get more excited about solar. Although my company has made great strides in this area in our targeted marketing campaigns, I would love to see improvements and advice is welcome. Here is my LinkedIn address: https://www.linkedin.com/in/laureenpeck Laureen Peck, Vice President of Marketing & Director of Inside Sales Solar Energy World www.solareworld.com
 Permalink 04/24/14 @ 08:36

In response to: Open Letter to LG: Life's Not So Good!

Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO [Member]
They are significantly higher, and in most cases, the benefits do not outweigh that cost premium. But it does highlight the spot that LG is putting its most loyal customers - it’s installers - in not providing us with a reliable supply of their flagship products. We don’t compete in a vacuum, and someone else is always looking to swipe our lunch!
 Permalink 04/18/14 @ 13:58
Sean McLoughlin

In response to: Open Letter to LG: Life's Not So Good!

Sean McLoughlin [Visitor]
Well said Jim. SunPower is out there pushing their 345W panels aggressively. How do they compare $/w wise?
 Permalink 04/18/14 @ 13:50

In response to: Solar's Top 10 Women - and then some!

Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO [Member]
Jane - Jennifer was already on my list – happy for the additional names!
 Permalink 04/13/14 @ 22:54
Jane Pulaski

In response to: Solar's Top 10 Women - and then some!

Jane Pulaski [Visitor]
A few more notable women in solar, from Renewable Energy World: Jennifer Runyon, Meg Cichon, Stephanie Kolodziej, Amy Lanza, Jessica Morello.
 Permalink 04/13/14 @ 20:54

In response to: Solar's Top 10 Women - and then some!

Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO [Member]
Christina is a great addition to the list… as are you!
 Permalink 04/11/14 @ 15:55
LoriDawn Messuri

In response to: Solar's Top 10 Women - and then some!

LoriDawn Messuri [Visitor]
Great list Jim!! It’s nice to have women recognized in this wonderful solar world! GO GREEN! I would have to mention the wonderful Christina Danenhower, Co-Owner and Marketing mastermind for The Solar Company! She is wonderful to work with and is passionate about all things solar!!!
 Permalink 04/11/14 @ 15:49

In response to: Solar's Top 10 Women - and then some!

Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO [Member]
Hey Jane - happy to have you, and your chums, called out! Even twice!
 Permalink 04/11/14 @ 14:39
jane_pulaski

In response to: Solar's Top 10 Women - and then some!

jane_pulaski [Member]
Holy Moly! Blush! AND how about all these astonishing women in the IREC family (our bench of solar women is deeeeeeeeeep): Jane Weissman, Pat Fox, Laure-Jeanne Davignon, Kristen Ferguson, Laurel Passera, Sky Stanfield, Erica Schroeder McConnell, Mary Lawrence, Sara Baldwin Auck, MT Colello, Michelle Barrett, Diane DePuydt, Ruth Fein, Barbara Martin, Cheri Olf, Louise Urgo. But wait…here are a few more: Vicki Colello, NYSERDA Adele Ferranti, NYSERDA Deep bows of gratitude to all.
 Permalink 04/11/14 @ 14:32
jane_pulaski

In response to: Solar's Top 10 Women - and then some!

jane_pulaski [Member]
Holy Moly! I’m ineffably honored. Our bench of solar women is deep. Here are a few more IREC women to thank: Jane Weissman, Sky Stanfield, Erica Schroeder McConnell, Pat Fox, Laure-Jeanne Davignon, Mary Lawrence, Ruth Fein, Kristen Ferguson, Cheri Olf, Michelle Barrett, Chelsea Barnes, Laurel Passera, Sara Baldwin Auck, Barbara Martin, Louise Urgo, Diane DePuydt, MT Colello Still others: Vicki Colello, NYSERDA Adele Ferranti, NYSERDA Deep bows of gratitude to all women in solar.
 Permalink 04/11/14 @ 14:24

In response to: Solar's Top 10 Women - and then some!

Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO [Member]
Christine - you fit right in amongst this august crowd. Thanks for all that you do to advance the cause!
 Permalink 04/11/14 @ 13:33
Christine

In response to: Solar's Top 10 Women - and then some!

Christine [Visitor]
Thanks for the shout out, Jim! I’m honored to be listed amongst such amazing women.
 Permalink 04/11/14 @ 13:18

In response to: Solar's Top 10 Women - and then some!

Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO [Member]
Hey Pamm, thanks for the names - but I’m (waaaaay) older than you think!
 Permalink 04/11/14 @ 08:46
Pamm McFadden

In response to: Solar's Top 10 Women - and then some!

Pamm McFadden [Visitor]
Sara Balcomb Susan Yanda Jane Weissmann There are a whole lot of us that have been around longer than you have been alive. :-) Don’t forget, solar does not just mean PV
 Permalink 04/11/14 @ 08:44

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

Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO [Member]
David - I am sorry to hear about your experience. Leases and PPAs make sense for large-scale commercial operations, but they are a poor fit for residential clients like you. The solar industry really needs standardized disclosures so that all consumers can fairly evaluate what is being offered to them and properly compare one proposal against another. Jim
 Permalink 04/02/14 @ 16:46
david

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

david [Member]
Hi I have to comment on sunrun. I have sunrun panels on my roof. When sunrun came to my door I told the rep that we wernt interested because we herd all about people getting stuck in a lease agreement. The rep assured us there were no lease agreement. He also told us that if we were not happy we just tell sunrun to get the system off our house. He also told us if we wanted more panels all we had to do is call them. I asked him if we were to sell the house what would happen to the panels. He told us if we sold the house they would count on the new owners wanting to save money and turn the system back on. There was no catch or strings. The rep told us that sunrun would maintain the panels for 15 years. I asked him if I still had the house what would happen to the panels after fifteen years and he told me the panels would be mine they wouldnt want them because technology would have got better. We signed everything had them installed and right to the end he assured us we would not be stuck in a lease or anything like it. Over the last week I have had solar companys call me and asked me who I had and what kind of agreement I had and I told them everything I just said. They told me I needed to call sunrun because they thought I was in a power purchase whicth they said was the same as a lease. I called sun run and they said I was responsible for 20 years and if I wanted more panels then I would have to have a whole new system put on my roof. After I found that out I started looking on line and found out I wasnt the only one lied too. Sunrun reps told other people the same line. I contacted a lawer and he said I was already part of the law suit against sun run for the same thing. I dont want to be stuck with these panels for 20 years. The receipt shows they only cost 15 to 16 thousand dollars. These big companies keep taking advantage of people they got whats coming to them. Thank you
 Permalink 04/02/14 @ 15:11

In response to: Humor Break: Who Do You want to Be?

Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO [Member]
I guess the question for Caddy is whether they really want to self-identify with that degree of “brash Americanism". Or more to the point, whether anyone who would actually consider buying a Caddy wants to?
 Permalink 03/31/14 @ 23:33
It's a brand thing...

In response to: Humor Break: Who Do You want to Be?

It's a brand thing... [Visitor]
The Caddy commercial is about challenging the euro-luxe brands that stole their market over the last 30 years. How else are you going to take down MB & BMW other than through sheer brash Americanism? Which is not to steal anything away from Ford for the shrewd countermove. But let’s be honest with ourselves… it’s a battle out there in the auto industry, and we should applaud both these brands for fighting.
 Permalink 03/31/14 @ 22:05
Shane Ripka

In response to: Humor Break: Who Do You want to Be?

Shane Ripka [Visitor]
I think we need one that’s in the middle of the two. We need the hard driven attitude, but also the compassion of the second ad to actually make a difference. Sorry, couldn’t vote for one only.
 Permalink 03/31/14 @ 17:55
Haddo Jamaica

In response to: Here's a Shock: Fair Piece on Solar at Fox!

Haddo Jamaica [Visitor]
You are correct that this is Fox Business not Faux noise.
 Permalink 02/11/14 @ 11:25

In response to: REC Solar Claims 40% of Solar Projects are Cancelled

Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO [Member]
Carter - Don’t think so - the quote refers to install orders being canceled - don’t think you can reconcile that to quotes that aren’t pursued. Jim
 Permalink 02/07/14 @ 13:24
carterl

In response to: REC Solar Claims 40% of Solar Projects are Cancelled

carterl [Member]
Maybe 40% is supposed to refer to people who get a quote that end up not getting a system?
 Permalink 02/07/14 @ 11:50

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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.
In addition, Run on Sun offers solar consulting services, working with consumers, utilities and municipalities to help them make solar power affordable and reliable.

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