Tag: "sepa"

05/07/14

  06:57:00 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 393 words  
Categories: SEIA, Ranting

They are paying him what???

We are fans of SEIA, the Solar Energy Industry Association, as we believe that they do important work lobbying on behalf of solar in Washington, D.C.  But a blog post by Chet Henry over at Red, Green & Blue titled, “Who has the best job in solar? Bet it’s not you,” (h/t SolarWakeup) had us spewing our coffee in disbelief—they are paying him what???

It turns out that SEIA is paying its President/CEO, Rhone Resch, $786,000 per year—to say nothing of a gym membership and guaranteed first class air travel.  Say what?

Now this is not an attack on Mr. Resch, whom I respect.  But seriously, SEIA, what the heck are you doing?  Julia Hamm, who heads up SEPA, the Solar Electric Power Association (which tries to get electric utilities to adopt solar-friendly policies) gets paid roughly a third of Resch, at $286,000.  Sorry, but there is no way Resch is worth three times what Hamm is.  Worse still, according to the blog post, SEIA’s records reveal three other executive women at SEIA, none of whom makes more than a third of what Resch makes.

Frankly, we have been concerned for some time about SEIA’s dues structure which is disproportionately high for small revenue solar companies, and is one of the chief reasons that 80% of solar companies aren’t members.  Indeed, we are no longer members as it simply didn’t seem like a worthwhile investment for our all too finite capital.  Dumping nearly 800 G’s into one man’s salary, however, is no way to say to small installation companies, “we represent you and want you to participate.”

SEIA has noted that there are more than 140,000 people in this country working in the solar industry.  I wonder how many of them are getting paid what SEIA is paying its President?  SEIA has said that there are more than 5,000 solar companies in this country.  I wonder how many of their President/CEOs are getting paid anywhere near what SEIA is paying its CEO?

I simply don’t buy the notion that you need to pay someone that kind of salary to attract the talent needed to do the job.  After all, Ms. Hamm has to hobnob with the heads of IOUs who make 10 times as much as she does, but she can do it for nearly half a million dollars less than SEIA is paying out.

Time for reform at SEIA.

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07/18/13

  08:36:00 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 585 words  
Categories: All About Solar Power, Utilities, SEPA, Vote Solar, Net Metering

Net Metering Debate - Two Strategies

As the debate over net metering’s future intensifies, two newly introduced tools have caught our eye - an outreach effort by the folks at Vote Solar targeting the California Assembly and the release of a net-metering Primer by the folks at SEPA.

SEPA’s Primer

SEPA primerLet’s start with what SEPA has done.  For those not familiar with them, SEPA is the Solar Electric Power Association and it is dedicated to “helping utilities integrate solar energy into their portfolio."  In order to have an informed debate about the value of net metering, SEPA observed that there is a need for all participants to share the same lexicon, specifically as it pertains to two, very complicated disciplines: “state utility regulation (particularly rate-setting) and principles that are considered during the valuation of incremental resource additions, specifically distributed solar resources."  Needless to say, for most people who do not operate under those state regulations (or set them), this is an arcane lexicon indeed.

Into that breach SEPA had provided a forty-nine page report titled, Ratemaking, Solar Value and Solar Net Energy Metering - a Primer, with the stated goal of providing “an unbiased foundation for broad and productive participation in NEM-related discussions and policy processes.” The report is divided into three main sections: The History and Status of Net Metering; the Regulatory Processes relevant to Net Metering Policy Review; and Solar Value Analyses.  It includes an extensive set of expert resources (from a variety of perspectives) and concludes by hoping that “this paper will support better critical understanding of those references and more productive communications going forward.”

This is not an easy read by any means.  But it should be “must read” material for those of us who would opine on the issue of net metering as public policy.  It is on our Kindle App and once we’ve had a chance to work our way through it, we will have more to say about this important contribution to the debate.

Vote Solar’s Campaign

Vote Solar logoWhile SEPA is looking to provide a non-partisan primer to raise the level of the ongoing discussion, Vote Solar is looking to advance the solar cause more directly. Vote Solar has set up an online campaign to help the public contact their members of the California Assembly urging them to continue supporting strong solar policies, like net metering.  Under the headline “Help us celebrate California’s solar success story,” Vote Solar declares:

Rooftop solar is helping California families, schools and businesses take charge of their power supply and electricity bills like never before. Today we have more than 165,000 solar roofs – that adds up to a whole lot of clean, reliable, local power that’s improving air quality and creating jobs right in our own communities.

But with some big utilities lobbying hard in Sacramento to create new barriers to rooftop solar, your state representative needs to know that you see and support this kind of solar progress!

Exactly so.

The site then allows visitors to enter their zip code to determine their Assemblymember and provides an editable letter that can be easily emailed through their system.  Personalization would seem important here as politicians tend to discount identical messages but are more likely to attend to something that explains who you are and why you support the solar cause.  If you care to participate, click on the sunny Vote Solar logo and it will take you to the page.

Although reflecting the different starting points of their sponsoring organizations, both of these tools are welcome additions to the debate and deserve your attention.

10/16/11

  10:30:00 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 381 words  
Categories: All About Solar Power, SEIA, SPI 2011

SPI2011: See You in Dallas!

Solar Power International 2011 starts next week in Dallas and we will be there, thanks to our friends at Enphase Energy. If you are going to be there as well, we hope you will stop by the Enphase booth and say hi!

 

Here’s how this came about - as readers of this blog probably know, we have attended the Solar Power conference every year since entering the business back in 2006.  However, this year the show has moved out of California - a certainly reasonable decision given the size of solar markets in other states - but given the added expense, we were sadly resigned to giving it a pass.  Then, out of the blue, we were contacted by the folks at Enphase who invited us to participate with them in demonstrating how quick and easy their new M215 line is to install.  So, along with five other installers from around the country, we will be spending time at the Enphase booth - #1331 - on Tuesday and Thursday morning helping to spread the word about the value of Enphase micro-inverters.

(Full disclosure: this is the first time that Run on Sun has received any stipend or other consideration from Enphase and everything we have ever written about them and their products was done without any inducement of any kind.  The stipend in this case is to merely cover our expenses in attending the conference.)

As always, we are really looking forward to attending the show as it is a great way for us to see what innovative products are coming (it was the 2008 show that introduced us to Enphase), touch base with all of our suppliers (who will all be there) and generally get recharged from the collective energy exuded by thousands of other believers in the value of renewable energy in general and solar power in particular.  It should be a wonderful show - and will hopefully help to generate some positive press about the solar industry at a time when it desperately needs it.

So if you are attending the show, feel free to reach out via the SPI online social app or just come by the Enphase booth - #1331 on the main floor - on Tuesday or Thursday morning.  I’ll be the good-looking guy with the beard, sporting Run on Sun livery!  Hope to see you in Dallas!

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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