NewEnergyNews: INSTALL SOLAR PANELS & BE A POWER PRODUCER?

NewEnergyNews

Gleanings from the web and the world, condensed for convenience, illustrated for enlightenment, arranged for impact...

The new challenge: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

  • Weekend Video: Colbert Helps President Obama On Keystone
  • Weekend Video: A Little History From Uncle Walter
  • Weekend Video: Before Soil Turns To Dust And Blows Away
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: HAWAII'S UTILITIES PLAN FOR 67% RENEWABLES BY 2030
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: CAN WARREN BUFFETT'S PACIFICORP BRING THE NORTHWEST'S RENEWABLE RICHES TO MARKET?
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    GET THE DAILY HEADLINES EMAIL: CLICK HERE TO SUBMIT YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS OR SEND YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS TO: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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    THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: A UTILITY IN THE MAKING: THE MUNICIPALIZATION OF BOULDER, COLORADO
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: WHAT HAPPENED TO THAT NATIONAL HIGH VOLTAGE TRANSMISSION SYSTEM?
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: THE STATE OF THE U.S. WIND INDUSTRY (AND WHAT IT MEANS FOR UTILITIES)
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: HOW SACRAMENTO'S PUBLIC UTILITY IS GETTING IN THE RESIDENTIAL SOLAR BUSINESS
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: HAS APS INVENTED A ROOFTOP SOLAR BUSINESS MODEL FOR UTILITIES?
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: THE GRID NEEDS INDEPENDENT DISTRIBUTION SYSTEM OPERATORS
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: HOW SHOULD UTILITIES VALUE SOLAR?
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: IS PUERTO RICO THE NEW POSTER CHILD FOR THE UTILITY DEATH SPIRAL?
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    Anne B. Butterfield of Daily Camera and Huffington Post, is an occasional contributor to NewEnergyNews

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    Some of Anne's contributions:

  • Another Tipping Point: US Coal Supply Decline So Real Even West Virginia Concurs (REPORT), November 26, 2013
  • SOLAR FOR ME BUT NOT FOR THEE ~ Xcel's Push to Undermine Rooftop Solar, September 20, 2013
  • NEW BILLS AND NEW BIRDS in Colorado's recent session, May 20, 2013
  • Lies, damned lies and politicians (October 8, 2012)
  • Colorado's Elegant Solution to Fracking (April 23, 2012)
  • Shale Gas: From Geologic Bubble to Economic Bubble (March 15, 2012)
  • Taken for granted no more (February 5, 2012)
  • The Republican clown car circus (January 6, 2012)
  • Twenty-Somethings of Colorado With Skin in the Game (November 22, 2011)
  • Occupy, Xcel, and the Mother of All Cliffs (October 31, 2011)
  • Boulder Can Own Its Power With Distributed Generation (June 7, 2011)
  • The Plunging Cost of Renewables and Boulder's Energy Future (April 19, 2011)
  • Paddling Down the River Denial (January 12, 2011)
  • The Fox (News) That Jumped the Shark (December 16, 2010)
  • Click here for an archive of Butterfield columns

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    Some details about NewEnergyNews and the man behind the curtain: Herman K. Trabish, Agua Dulce, CA., Doctor with my hands, Writer with my head, Student of New Energy and Human Experience with my heart

    email: herman@NewEnergyNews.net

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    Your intrepid reporter

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      A tip of the NewEnergyNews cap to Phillip Garcia for crucial assistance in the design implementation of this site. Thanks, Phillip.

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    Pay a visit to the HARRY BOYKOFF page at Basketball Reference, sponsored by NewEnergyNews and Oil In Their Blood.

  • ---------------
  • Monday, April 28, 2008

    INSTALL SOLAR PANELS & BE A POWER PRODUCER?

    Chris Bellizzi ran his air conditioning more than he normally would, more than he needed to, in Summer 2007. Why? Because he didn’t want utility PG&E to profit from the free electricity his home solar installation was sending it.

    Bellizi: "If you owe them, you've got to send them a check...If they owe you, they'll pocket it."

    California’s Assembly is considering a change to its “net metering” law, AB1920, that would change Bellizzi’s situation, the first such U.S. provision to do so. It would allow home power producers to do more than just wind their electricity bills to zero, as most net metering provisions allow. It would require the utilities to pay for excess electricity home systems send to the grid. Sounds only fair, right?

    PG&E, one of California’s biggest utilities and biggest boosters of solar energy, opposes AB1920. So does The Utility Reform Network (TURN), an important ratepayer advocate. Why?

    For interesting reasons that reveal how hard it is to make good legislation and how hard it is to create good incentives.

    PG&E contends that the payments from the utilities to system owners like Bellizzi would come out of the pockets of their other ratepayers. Since solar system owners are usually more affluent than non-owners, it would constitute a sort of unfair subsidy by those who can’t afford solar for those who can. PG&E also objects to AB1920 letting city-owned utilities off the hook on this.

    TURN points out that California already subsidizes home solar energy installations through its
    Million Solar Roofs program (aka California Solar Initiative, aka SB1). Because of that measure, solar system owners are being “paid” at a premium rate (25 to 30 cents/kilowatt-hour) for their power instead of the normal (9 to 10 cents/kilowatt-hour) rate - until their meters wind back to zero.

    Opponents of the measure suggest that if system owners want to even the rules, the state ought to even the rates as well.

    Marcel Hawiger, TURN staff attorney: "Homeowners who generate excess electricity should be paid fairly for that electricity, but shouldn't be subsidized a third time by the rest of the ratepayers, who already fund generous subsidies for rooftop solar…"

    Assembly Jared Huffmann (D-San Rafael), the AB 1920 author, and
    Environment California think differently. Dan Jacobson, legislative director, Environment California: "We should take away any disincentives there are…We don't expect this to be a huge moneymaker…This will only help to pencil out solar a little faster."

    Seems like Huffman might need to head back to the legislation drawing board to iron out some of the complications. He might need to keep his calculator handy.


    California would shift the profits to the power producers. (click to enlarge

    Cashing in on your solar savings; Bill would force utilities to pay for excess power
    Matt Nauman, April 12, 2008 (San Jose Mercury News)

    WHO
    California Assemblyman Jared Huffman (D-San Rafael); Chris Bellizzi, California homeowner and home solar system owner; California utility PG&E (Keely Wachs, spokesman); The Utility Reform Network (TURN) (Marcel Hawiger, staff attorney); Environment California (Dan Jacobson, legislative director)

    If the consumer owns the power, it seems like the consumer ought to get paid for it. (click to enlarge)

    WHAT
    AB 1920, a bill before the California Assembly that would increase payments to solar system owners from utilities.

    WHEN
    - AB1920, introduced by Huffmann, is presently working its way through the legislative process.
    - AB 1969 was enacted in 2007 to allow solar system owners to choose from categories for reimbursement.

    An alternative idea is to put the expense and metering costs on the utility. (click to enlarge)

    WHERE
    - California would be the first state to require payment to home solar system owners.
    - Michigan, Minnesota, Rhode Island and other states are considering such measures.

    WHY
    - The California Solar Initiative and other existing laws, the size of a solar system is limited to proportions consistent with the building it is built for, preventing the likelihood of significant electricity overproduction.
    - Current provisions allow solar and wind system owners to wind their bills all the way back to zero but not to become “power producers” by earning money from their systems.
    - Only 7% of California PG&E solar system owners generate excess kilowatt-hours.
    - PG&E objects to money going from its non-solar system owners to its solar system owners and it objects to having city-owned utilities excluded from the same rules it would have to follow and the same expenses it would have to bear.

    It’s the 21st century – do you know where YOUR meter is? (click to enlarge)

    QUOTES
    Assembly Jared Huffmann (D-San Rafael): "If they generate surplus power beyond their own energy needs, that's a gift to the utility…There's no compensation…This bill for many people will improve the economics…"

    1 Comments:

    At 10:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

    I just installed solar panels on my home in 2007 and find myself with a substantial case of overproduction. This should be a good thing. But instead, I wonder why I should generate all this free energy to Sempra during peak demand hours when they don't compensate me? They pay for other sources of energy, why not the individual homeowner? This could be a win/win situation for all parties and that might encourage more homeowners to invest in solar! As it stands it will probably take 10 years for me to break even on the cost. If the utility compensated for the excess production maybe the breakeven could be reduced to 6 or 7 years. Don't we all want to see more clean energy? Global warming is the real deal...help encourage us all to do our part! As it stands, I guess I'll just turn the system off once my solar production will cover my full year of consumption.

     

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