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California upholds rates and proves a shining beacon for home-solar benefits
Oct04

California upholds rates and proves a shining beacon for home-solar benefits

In a major win for residential solar in California this month, the state’s Public Utilities Commission rejected attempts by Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric and San Diego Gas & Electric to make rooftop solar more expensive. The 3 to 1 decision against the investor-owned utility companies brings to close a three year battle where these companies lobbied to significantly lower the net metering rates paid to solar residents. Currently the private utility companies have to compensate solar powered homeowners and businesses for the excess electricity they supply back to the grid. Like many private utility companiess rallying against net metering in America these days, they claimed the payout to people generating their own solar power would increase the rates they charged non-solar residents. In a scathing condemnation to the Palm Springs Desert Sun, the policy director for the California Solar energy Industries Association Brad Heavner, called the utility company’s case “not that strong” at all, claiming the vigor with which they attacked home solar was “almost harassment.” Part of the utility company’s appeal for commissioners to review the low rates for solar residents was the extension of a 30 percent tax credit issued by Congress earlier this year for solar installations past the end of 2016. Anti-solar advocates argued the tax credit makes rooftop solar cheaper than it otherwise would have been and that the utility companies should no longer need to provide such generous net-metering compensation. While the state’s commission currently ruled in favor of upholding the favorable net-metering rates, keeping the cost of installing home solar at a historic low, commissioners are set to review the policy again in...

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Future dim for home solar incentives in Maine
Sep19

Future dim for home solar incentives in Maine

Maine homeowners contemplating converting to solar just got more motivation to make the change sooner rather than later, following a new proposal, which hopes to phase out state funded solar incentives over the next decade.   The good news is that current solar homeowners and those who manage to make the switch and get grandfathered into their rates before the proposal is voted on, will retain their net metering benefits for the next 15 years.       The Main Public Utilities Commission (PUC) proposed the solar incentive change at a state commission hearing on Sept 13, claiming that since solar energy powers about 1 percent of the state’s usage it’s time to reconsider the decades old program   According to the Portland Press Herald the PUC’s plan is to cut compensation for homeowners that aren’t grandfathered into the old rates by 10 percent a year for a decade until homeowners will shoulder the costs of solar themselves, without any net metering or other state benefits.   Compared to an alternative plan sought by Maine’s Republican Governor LePage, the PUC’s timeline is viewed as much more lenient. Earlier this year, LePage’s office filed a recommendation to phase out benefits for solar homeowners over the next three years.   The PUC’s recent proposal comes as a starting point for reopening compensation discussions regarding Maine’s solar market. Later this year, new legislation is scheduled to be discussed regarding how new incentive models might help stimulate solar growth in the state, while also alleviating some the financial burden from its power company.   The recent discussions on solar incentives in Maine is indicative of the trends in the rest of the New England region. According to the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center at North Carolina State University, nearly two thirds of the states with net metering policies are reconsidering them, with seven looking to impose caps on net metering capacity....

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SunJack HeadLamp Lights Up The Market
Sep12

SunJack HeadLamp Lights Up The Market

SunJack just released its new Sunjack Headlamp ™, which allows people to borrow energy from the sun to light up the night.   Gone are the days when you have to worry about your headlamp dying while camping or during an emergency. The Sunjack Headlamp uses rechargeable 900mAH batteries and plugs into any of the Sunjack’s Quick Charge Battery packs or Sunjack’s Portable Solar Charger Panels to fill up.   The Sunjack Headlamp is one of many products created by Sunjack, which uses energy from the sun to power its electronics. Keeping in line with its mantra of freedom from the grid and harnessing the power of the sun, Sunjack’s other products have included LED camping lights, an electric lighter, and small hand held heater.   Weighing in at a mere 6 oz, the Sunjack Headlamp is built tough to handle outdoor adventures, and includes seven light modes to handle different scenarios of seeing in the dark.   Three white spotlight modes ranging from a low 40 lumens, shining 5-10 meters up to a high 240 lumens, shinning 50-65 meters, the headlamp is perfect for hiking or biking at night and seeing what’s ahead of you. Likewise, the three low to high white floodlight modes, are ideal for lighting up wide areas like a campground or room during a power outage.   The Sunjack Headlamp also includes a solid red light, perfect for people like boaters or campers wanting to maintain their night vision but read charts in the dark.   The headlamp comes with comfy bands to wear on one’s head, can fit in the palm of your hand and can last up to 48 hours on low level power saving modes. This headlamp kit comes with 3 convenient AAA Rechargeable Batteries. (Included in package!)     ABOUT SUNJACK GIGAWATT INC. DBA SUNJACK, develops solutions to help people stay powered. Since 2006, GigaWatt Inc has been distributing and installing solar for residential, commercial, and government customers. In 2014 SunJack was launched on Kickstarter to continue spreading the power of solar across the globe. For further information about SUNJACK and its products, please visit http://www.sunjack.com or call us at (888)...

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The New ElectroLighter™ Sparks Excitement!
Sep08

The New ElectroLighter™ Sparks Excitement!

The creators of the world’s most powerful portable solar charger, SunJack, just released the ElectroLighter™ – a USB rechargeable flameless fire-starter. Placentia, CA (PRWEB) August 18, 2016   Since Carl Auer Von Welsback first patented ferrocerium in 1903, not much has changed in the way of handheld lighters–until today. SunJack’s latest product release of its ElectroLighter™ is the next evolution of handheld fire starting devices. The ElectroLighter™ is wind resistant, waterproof and, like all of SunJack’s products, can be fueled entirely by the sun. “We decided to add the ElectroLighter™ to our product line because the ability to create fire is essential to human life.” says Harold Tan, CMO. “Our products appeal to campers, disaster preppers, and developing communities, and they can all benefit from an effective, renewable fire-starter in their arsenal.” This lighter is the stuff of sci-fi fantasies–emitting a high-pitched laser hum as an electrical current arcs across a dual cross-heat-X-beam. The ElectroLighter™ is USB charged and can power up in less than an hour directly from any SunJack Panel, PowerBank, or USB power source with an output of 5 Volts-DC and current above 300mAh. A fully charged ElectroLighter™ can last up to 80 presses. When the ElectroLighter™ is fully charged, a built in intelligent circuit indicator lights up and turns off charging to save its battery life. The SunJack solar panel can fully charge the ElectroLighter™ from the sun’s energy–making the ElectroLighter™ and its SunJack accessories ideal for travel, outdoor adventures and emergency usage. The ElectroLighter™ is compact and slim, easily fitting in the palm of your hand or in your pocket measuring in at 4.75″ x 3.75″ x 1.25″ (12cm x 9.5cm x 3.2cm) and, like all of SunJack’s products comes with a no hassle one year warranty. Pursuing its mission to provide renewable energy independence to people around the world, SunJack launched in 2014 after a successful Kickstarter campaign, and donates solar and lighting solutions to people in developing countries in addition to powering first-world luxuries. The ElectroLighter™ retails for $29 from SunJack.com, Amazon.com, and various retailers across the nation. ABOUT SUNJACK GIGAWATT INC. DBA SUNJACK, develops solutions to help people stay powered. Since 2006, GigaWatt Inc has been distributing and installing solar for residential, commercial, and government customers. In 2014 SunJack was launched on Kickstarter to continue spreading the power of solar across the globe. For further information about SUNJACK and its products, please visit http://www.sunjack.com or call us at (888)...

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Arizona decides to keep net metering…for now
Sep02

Arizona decides to keep net metering…for now

Solar homeowners in Arizona breathed a collective sigh of relief this August as the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC) voted to maintain full net-metering incentives and reject mandatory demand charges for solar customers.   The vote ruled against the state’s rural electric company UniSource Energy (UNSE), which sought the approval of legislators to increase the fees on approximately 100,000 solar customers by an additional $31 a month.     The ACC’s decision to hold off on rate increases aligns with an Administrative Law Judge’s recommendation to wait until an analysis of a docket entitled “Value of Solar” is completed, before making any decisions that would impact solar customers. The Value of Solar docket is scheduled to be concluded by October 2016, with a final decision on net metering for UNSE customers to be concluded by March 2017.   The outcome of the UNSE case is being closely monitored by solar proponents and detractors, as the rural utility company is one of five in Arizona that are looking to eliminate...

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