Tag: "solar bill of rights"

02/25/19

  10:45:00 pm, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 445 words  
Categories: All About Solar Power, Solar Economics, Utilities, Residential Solar, Energy Storage, Vote Solar, CALSSA

Solar Bill of Rights Introduced in California Legislature

Capitol steps launch for SB-288 - the Solar Bill of Rights

On February 19th, a bipartisan bill, SB-288, was introduced in the California legislature to enshrine into State law a Solar Bill of Rights.  tl;dr Support the Solar Bill of Rights! 
Here’s our take…

The legislation, co-authored by Senators Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) and Jim Nielsen (R-Fresno), has the enthusiastic backing of the Solar Rights Alliance, Vote Solar, and CALSSA.  If signed into law, the bill would require both Investor Owned Utilities (like SCE) as well as public utilities (like LADWP and PWP) to make changes to how they handle the interconnection of solar and storage systems, provide for compensation for storage systems that provide energy back to the grid, and report on their progress in streamlining their processes for approving and commissioning such systems.

The bill also makes some key findings regarding the value of distributed energy generation and storage systems:

  1. All California residents, businesses, nonprofits, and government entities have the fundamental right to generate and store renewable energy and to reduce and shape their use of electricity obtained from the electrical grid, whether their facilities are off-grid or interconnected to the grid.
  2. These fundamental rights to self-generation and storage extend to all California consumers regardless of income level, geography, or property type.
  3. Residential customers have a right to consumer protections that ensure adequate transparency in sales and contracts for renewable energy and storage installations and services. [To which we say: Amen!]
  4. Customer-sited solar and energy storage systems will play an essential role in helping the state to meet its greenhouse gases emissions and other environmental goals.
  5. Customer-sited solar and energy storage systems are valuable assets for managing the electrical grid efficiently and improving the reliability and resiliency of the grid.
  6. Removing barriers to the installation of customer-sited energy resources will help reduce costs and facilitate the deployment of these resources.
  7. The time required for utility review and approval of interconnection applications and the lack of transparency in interconnection costs has impeded customer adoption of solar and energy storage systems.
  8. Developing market mechanisms for energy and other services supplied by customer-sited energy resources can facilitate the adoption and deployment of renewable energy and energy storage technologies that will provide greater local reliability and resiliency benefits throughout the year, including during emergency conditions.

But as we have said in this space often before, politics is not a spectator sport—it takes active involvement to bring about effective public policy.  The good news is that we can make it super easy for you to contact your members of the California Legislature and urge them to co-sponsor SB-288.  Just click on the friendly button below:

Support SB-288

We will keep you posted as to the bill’s progress - watch this space!

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11/22/09

  04:28:41 pm, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 364 words  
Categories: SEIA, Solar News

Solar Bill of Rights - # 8 - The Most Important Right of All

Keeping the best and most important Right for last, SEIA’s Solar Bill of Rights concludes with Right # 8:

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

Beyond a shadow of a doubt, this is the most important Solar Right of all if we are to build an industry that is respected and trusted by consumers throughout this country.  This should almost go without saying - and yet, saying it, and living it, is extremely important.

As we have seen time and again, there are many solar installers out there who care way more about making a sale than they do about building a reliable system that will meet the customer’s needs for the next 25 years.  (As you can see here.)

But what does ethical treatment really mean?  We think there are some very important elements that together constitute this Right, including:

  • Systems should be sold to meet the consumer’s needs - not the installer’s revenue requirements.
  • Not all sites are appropriate for solar and installers must tell consumers when their site is just not right.
    • Sometimes that means turning down an available job because the installer knows it will never perform properly.
  • Solar power systems, while technical, are not rocket science and consumers are entitled to have all of their questions answered.
  • Solar power systems should be installed by qualified electricians - not plumbers, roofers or the handyman down-the- block.
    • Installations should make the site look better; solar should not be an eyesore.
    • Installations should work better than advertised.
    • Installations should be safe and reliable for their entire projected lifetime - none of what you see here.
  • Rebate processing is complicated and confusing; installers should bear that burden, not consumers.
  • In all of our dealings with consumers, utilities and inspectors, installers must be scrupulously honest.

These are reasonable requests for consumers (and America in general) to make of the solar industry.  As professionals in a rapidly expanding field, we need to hold ourselves to the highest standards, and hold others in our field accountable when they do not measure up.  Otherwise, all of us will be diminished by the acts of the fly-by-night artists and scammers – and the entire nation will suffer.

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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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