12/01/09

  12:13:25 pm, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 246 words  
Categories: Solar News, AB 811/PACE/LACEP Funding, PWP, BWP, GWP

AB 811 - Is Your City In?

Yesterday we reported on the Stakeholder’s meeting that is being held next Monday, December 7, at the MTA HQ building. This is an important update meeting on the County’s progress toward implementing an AB 811 program for LA County and its member cities that will greatly facilitate funding for solar projects.

Today we are reporting on the Cities that we have been able to identify as potentially attending the meeting. Is your City on the list? Find out after the jump.

Here is the list of Cities that we have been able to identify so far (we will update this list if we learn of more participants):

  • Claremont
  • Culver City
  • Lancaster
  • Lomita
  • Long Beach
  • Los Angeles
  • Malibu
  • Monrovia
  • Palmdale
  • Palos Verdes
  • Santa Clarita
  • Santa Monica

That is it!  Pretty pathetic – there are 88 incorporated cities in LA County - the above list accounts for 12 of them.  (There are also two Government Associations listed, the San Gabriel Valley Council of Governments and the South Bay Cities COG.)

Why does this matter?  As we understand the program, if your city does not adopt a resolution of participation, YOU, as a potential solar customer, will not be eligible to participate in the program - and thereby cutoff from a low-cost source of solar financing.

Frankly, there is no excuse for any city not to participate.  So contact your city manager and find out why your city is not represented.  Better yet, insist that they have someone attend this meeting and get with the program!

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11/30/09

  09:05:47 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 218 words  
Categories: Solar Economics, Solar News, AB 811/PACE/LACEP Funding

AB 811 Stakeholder Meeting - Monday 12/7 @ 2:00 p.m.

Learn more about AB 811 financing for solar at this meeting on Dec. 7!

We just received notice regarding the upcoming LA County AB 811 Program Stakeholders Meeting.  We will be attending this meeting and will report back on what learn.  However, it is important that County officials see the interest in this program from members of the public.

Details follow after the break.

Here are the details:

Date: Monday, December 7, 2009
Time: 2 - 4:30 pm
Location: One Gateway Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90012-2952 (a map is attached) Board Conference Room 2nd floor. (This is the MTA HQ building at Union Station so it is easy to reach via public transit.)

Agenda:

Introductions – Los Angeles County (County) Chief Executive Office (CEO)
Updates on AB 811 District Formation:

  • County AB 811 Program Design, Implementation, Admin Consultants (Internal Services Department (ISD)/Consultant)
  • District Formation Milestone Update (Treasure and Tax Collector (TTC))
  • Program Financing Update (TTC)

Program Design/Implementation Committee Meetings – Updates (each committee head):

  • Marketing – Outreach
  • Residential vs. Commercial/Eligible Properties
  • Eligible Improvements
  • Financing Requirement
  • Coordination W/ Existing Programs
  • Grants & Funding

Grants Status (ISD):

  • County Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG)
  • State Energy Program (I and II)
  • Federal Competitive EECBG

Program Name Discussion (ISD)
Next Steps for Cities (ISD/Consultant)
Close (CEO)

Contact:
Ana Dávila, LEED AP
ADavila@isd.lacounty.gov
Energy Management Division
1100 North Eastern Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90063
(323) 881-3928
(323) 260-5237 fax

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.

11/19/09

  01:00:31 pm, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 120 words  
Categories: AB 811/PACE/LACEP Funding, Pasadena Solar, PWP

AB 811 - Progress in Pasadena

The attached memo reports on Pasadena’s progress toward becoming part of the LA County AB 811 program.  The good news is that Pasadena appears to be on-track to start funding solar projects under AB 811 by late Spring or early Summer of next year.  We will be keeping a close eye on this program throughout LA County and will provide updates here on the Founder’s Blog.

If you have questions or comments about the AB 811 program, we would love to see them posted here.  If your city has not yet committed to participating, please let us know and we will work with you to provide materials and support that you can use to spur your city council to get with the program!

11/15/09

  09:51:46 am, by Jim Jenal - Founder & CEO   , 166 words  
Categories: All About Solar Power, SEIA, Solar News

Solar Bill of Rights - Right # 7

The last two of the eight Rights in the Solar Bill of Rights once again focus on the rights of consumers.  Here is number Seven:

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

As utilities operate under Renewable Portfolio Standards they are required to purchase increasing amounts of renewable energy.  Utility customers should be allowed to purchase the renewable energy of their choosing, thereby voting with their dollars for the energy source that they prefer.

Some utilities, such as Pasadena Water & Power, have a “Green Energy” option that allows customers to purchase some or all of their electricity from renewables, but it does not allow them to choose solar specifically (and right now that appears to be all wind power).  By allowing consumers a choice, utilities would receive a premium for providing solar energy which can then be used to fund incentives for adding solar, thereby increasing the supply.  It would also let consumers proclaim their desire to avoid using coal-fired electricity.

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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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