Call (888) 338-0183 or click here for solar pricing


Oh the Confusion! Understanding CA Ballot Initiatives…

Summer is ending, fall is approaching and that means the election season is in full swing. Chances are good that you know the Congressional and Presidential candidates you’re going to vote for. And since you’re reading this blog, chances are even better that renewable energy is a top priority for you. Well, for those voters in California who believe renewables are important, you’re in luck. This November you have the option of voting on two major ballot initiatives that address renewable electricity and next-generation vehicles. But don’t get too excited yet – there are a lot of contradictory claims about these ballot initiatives that you should sort through before casting your ballot on November 4th. Let’s take a brief look at each of the initiatives: The first – Proposition 7 – is an amendment to California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) that will require utilities to procure 50% of their electricity from renewables by 2025. This sounds like a wonderful law on the surface. Who wouldn’t want to set targets like that? Theoretically, it would create a robust renewable energy market for big and small players alike. But many renewable energy trade groups and environmental advocacy organizations are saying it will do the exact opposite. There’s a big debate over how the drafters have defined eligible renewable energy systems. According to opponents, the proposed law would exclude systems under 30 MW from the RPS. Indeed, in the document, “solar and clean energy plant” is defined as “any electrical generating facility…with a generating capacity of 30 megawatts or more.” That term (solar and clean energy plant) is used throughout the entire ballot initiative, which could lead one to believe that systems under 30 MW will not qualify. Proponents say it was not their intention to disqualify any size system or any technology. In fact, they fervently deny that the law could be interpreted as such. But opponents say it’s not about intention, it’s about clarity of language. And if the language is not clear enough, it could create a complex legal environment for producers of renewable energy who want their electricity to qualify for the RPS. It’s impossible to say who’s right and who’s wrong. But one thing is for sure: There are many different – often contradictory – interpretations of the proposed law. Given that, it’s uncertain how a court would interpret the law if it passes. Industry representatives like to point out that there’s already enough uncertainty in the market to begin with…. The second ballot initiative is Proposition 10. Under this proposed law, California would issue $5 billion in bonds from its general fund to pay for incentives...

Read More

Educate Yourself: Don’t Get Fooled by Renewable Energy Scammers

If you’re thinking about purchasing a solar or small-wind system, make sure you do your homework! There’s a good amount of work that goes into making such an important investment, such as doing research on your installer, knowing about the product they’re installing and, most importantly, understanding the rebates available to you as a proud producer of renewable electricity. There are an increasing number people overselling the benefits to solar and residential wind systems, so it’s extremely important that you know what you’re buying! Even worse – there are scammers out there trying to take advantage of this growing market. They’re looking to prey on uneducated, green-minded consumers, so don’t let yourself be one of them! You can help drive these people out of the industry by doing your due diligence. Earlier this summer, the California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA) received numerous phone calls from buyers who had very large deposits for solar systems taken from them. In two of the cases, $40,000 was taken and in the most egregious case, over $105,000 was taken! Now instead of enjoying the benefits of solar, these people are mired down in legal battles to get their money back. Don’t let yourself get into a similar situation. There are a number of things to keep in mind when buying a renewable energy system for your home or business. Here are a few: – Make sure your installer is a licensed contractor. All installers need to be licensed by their respective state. You can simply call your State Contractor’s License Board or visit their website and search for the company doing the job. They will be able to give you everything you need to know about a company. – Know how much the contractor can legally take as a deposit. The cases mentioned above could have been avoided if the buyers knew that in California it is illegal for a contractor to take more than $1,000 for a deposit on a residential job. – Ask if your installer is certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP). You can go to their website and search for the installer’s name. NABCEP certification is not legally required, but it will show that the installer has had good training. – Compare at least two other quotes for an installation. – Request at least two references from the installer. – Know the various incentives that are available to you and how long it will realistically take to payback your investment. In some cases, sham solar companies are telling customers they will get a return on investment within 11 months! Unfortunately, that’s not going...

Read More

Energy sources and The Grand Paradigm Shift

One of things came to my mind recently is what this renewable energy tipping point we are at is all about. It is about shifting out paradigm, the way we thing about energy. Paradigm shift is absolutely necessary for any serious change in our lifestyle and new ways energy distribution is definitely one of them. Look at old energy distribution to end consumers: it is centralized. Nuclear plants, oil refineries, any other way of collecting energy widely used these days around the world is pretty much centralized. This causes huge loses on transportation. But even worse, it causes greater dependence on providers than it could be with decentralized organization. Solar panels, wind turbines, building-integrated PV panels and other smaller energy sources decentralize the system and makes us less dependent on specific supplier (which is in case of Western world is governments and their agreements with Middle Asian partners). So far in the US rapid growth of clean energy usage is slowed by variety of legislations that are very good for those having a stake in oil and nuclear plants business. And some people even think it is ok. They refuse to shift paradigm. But time will change this. Just how telephones and Internet did. You already can charge your iPod outdoors not having an access to outlet. And our future generation is where iPods are, right? Decentralization means control to more people. Control to more people means less corruption and speculation. Decentralization first came with Internet invention in 1980s and continues to spread. It changes our lifestyle slowly. Don’t worry about this paradigm shift. This is only good for...

Read More

How to charge your iPod outdoors or just without an outlet

When you enjoy your time outdoors, handlets and gadgets like iPod, iPhone, Blackberry or any other cell phone or music player may discharge and leave you frustrated. Sure, time alone may be what you need but sometimes it’s music and friend calls. Solar cells technology of today made it possible to charge your iPod, iPhone or any other small portable device using nothing but energy from the Sun. Bags with embedded solar panels can completely charge up your iPod using energy from the Sun in 4 hours. It is available online for just $220. In a year or two we definitely will have solar cells efficient and cheap enough to charge our laptops without even plugging them into outlets. Today we already have them but they are pretty expensive. How cool is...

Read More
Page 40 of 40« Newest...102030...3637383940