NewEnergyNews: HOLIDAY READING, May 25: ORIGINAL REPORTING-HOW THE JUST ENERGY-CPF PARTNERSHIP IS CHANGING THE ROOFTOP SOLAR GAME

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

The challenge now: To make every day Earth Day.

YESTERDAY

  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Turning Distributed Energy From Threat To Opportunity
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Solar Policy Action Heats Up
  • ORIGINAL REPORTING: Maine’s Almost Solar Policy Breakthrough
  • THE DAY BEFORE

  • TODAY’S STUDY: How To Balance Competing Solar Interests
  • QUICK NEWS, December 6: Sliver Of Hope? Al Gore In Climate Change Meet With Donald Trump; The Opportunity In New Energy; Google Seizing New Energy Opportunity
  • THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY BEFORE

  • TODAY’S STUDY: A Way For New Energy To Meet Peak Demand
  • QUICK NEWS, December 5: Trial Of The Century Coming On Climate; The Wind-Solar Synergy; The Still Rising Sales Of Cars With Plugs
  • THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • Weekend Video: Trump Truth And Climate Change
  • Weekend Video: The Daily Show Talks Pipeline Politics
  • Weekend Video: Beyond Polar Bears – The Real Science Of Climate Change
  • AND THE DAY BEFORE THAT

  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-Aussie Farmers Worrying About Climate Change
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-The Climate Change Solution At Hand, Part 1
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-The Climate Change Solution At Hand, Part 2
  • FRIDAY WORLD HEADLINE-New Energy And Historic Buildings In Europe
  • THE LAST DAY UP HERE

    THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, December 1:

  • TTTA Thursday-First Daughter Ivanka May Fight For Climate
  • TTTA Thursday-Low Profile High Power Ocean Wind Energy
  • TTTA Thursday-A Visionary Solar Power Plant
  • TTTA Thursday-EVs Have A Growth Path
  • --------------------------

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    Anne B. Butterfield of Daily Camera and Huffington Post, f 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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      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.

  • ---------------
  • THINGS-TO-THINK-ABOUT THURSDAY, December 8:

  • The Record Of The New EPA Head
  • The Undeveloped New Energy
  • Walking On New Energy
  • Electric Tractor For Emissions-Free.Farming

    Monday, May 25, 2015

    HOLIDAY READING, May 25: ORIGINAL REPORTING-HOW THE JUST ENERGY-CPF PARTNERSHIP IS CHANGING THE ROOFTOP SOLAR GAME

    How the Just Energy-CPF partnership is changing the rooftop solar game; The alliance could shake up utility and installer business models

    Herman K. Trabish, January 22, 2015 (Utility Dive)

    The pressure just went up on utilities to move to a business model that includes rooftop solar and more home energy services.

    The Just Energy Group, one of the biggest U.S. independent power providers with some 1.6 million customers, will partner with Clean Power Finance (CPF), one of the leading U.S. providers of third party financing for solar, to offer rooftop solar in deregulated U.S. electricity markets. The result could shake up business models for both utilities and solar installers.

    “CPF’s platform and tool allows Just Energy to go to market with standard financial offerings for consumers,” explained CPF CEO Nat Kreamer. “Once they’ve sold the customer, we make sure the system installation is done by one of the verified members of our installation network to the expectations Just Energy has set.”

    “We’re focused on bringing things to customers that wouldn’t be easy to get or that would add value, like our green bundled products with electricity, natural gas for heating, and a smart thermostat to get better efficiency," explained Just Energy Co-CEO Deb Merril.

    The partnership

    Just Energy tried the commercial-industrial solar sector through a now-divested subsidiary. This is its first effort in residential solar.

    “We did a lot of the individual pieces in that first solar model ourselves, and we are not experts at that,” Merril said. “We’re good at managing the energy sales process, bundling products, and managing energy risk and the customer service experience.”

    CPF’s business-to-business platform brings together experts at selling, installing and financing solar, Kreamer explained. “Just Energy knows how to acquire, manage, and service customer relationships. It can take solar out to literally millions of customers. We bring capital and installation services to the table.”

    Using the CPF unlabeled platform, Just Energy can sell and deliver a solar system branded as its own product, using a finance plan chosen by its representative and the customer. The solar can also be part of a package of services that include the right energy efficiency and home energy management services available to the customer.

    Deregulation brings innovation to a market as new players offer products that customers can’t get through regulated utilities, Merril said. “This partnership adds solar to that mix and hopefully accelerates solar adoption.”

    Business models old and new

    Vertically integrated utilities will increasingly need to provide similar products to compete, Kreamer added.

    “There are three options,” he explained. In the first and most common, the utility provides commodity electrons and the transmission and distribution (T&D) system that delivers them.

    In the second option, an independent provider like Just Energy obtains the power and delivers the electrons via the utility’s T&D system.

    In the just-emerging third option, the customer gets electrons from Just Energy and from a rooftop solar installation. A portion of the electrons come through the utility’s T&D system and may be net metered. But Just Energy replaces the entire bill except for the interconnection fee and T&D charges, Kreamer said.

    The power industry, like the telecommunications industry before it, is moving to open markets that offer choice and service and value to consumers, Kreamer said.

    “Utilities can choose to play, especially in deregulated markets where they’re providing service," he said. "But the hangover of being a monopoly is you don’t build competitive muscles. Solar has competitive muscles and retail energy providers like Just Energy have big competitive muscles.”

    “The energy retailer of the future will have to flex its competitive and innovative muscles,” Meril said. “Those left standing will be the ones who embrace innovation and pull it into their product portfolios.”

    CPF will make it easier for Just Energy to add solar to its portfolio by taking care of the complexities of financing and installation and allowing Just Energy to focus on acquiring solar customers, Kreamer added.

    New rate designs

    Particular regulatory constructs, like net energy metering or rate designs, may change over time, Kreamer said, but what won't change is "the need to go out and get that customer."

    “Utilities aren’t good at customer acquisition and conversion," he said. "They tend to have very expensive cost structures and specific regulatory and tax challenges. This partnership will allow Just Energy and CPF to go out and bring in customers and provide them with high quality systems that deliver reliable power.”

    CPF presently works with unregulated and wholesale arms of regulated utilities, providing them a similar opportunity to invest in owning residential solar assets outside their monopoly territories. As the market changes, Kreamer saiid, there might be T&D service providers interested in offering solar. “Fundamentally, it’s about being able to flex you competitive muscle at scale.”

    Some regulated utilities are challenging solar growth by asking regulators to increase fixed fees to cover T&D costs. That is not necessarily a threat to Just Energy, Merril said.

    “As long as it’s a level playing field and all energy providers and utility customers pay the same charges, we’re relatively indifferent to it,” she explained. “If it’s not good for the consumer, we may not like it, but as long as there is a level playing field, that’s when markets work best.”

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