ClocksOriginally Published on Oct.2 by Morgan Lee in the U-T San Diego

The sun is setting steadily on California’s super-incentive for rooftop solar.

Customers of San Diego Gas & Electric have reached the halfway point toward a cumulative cap on a program known as net energy metering, the utility reported on its website this week.

Under net metering, rooftop solar customers of California’s major investor-owned utilities are credited for excess electricity at the full retail rate. The arrangement effectively winds a household electric meter backward, allowing some customers to pay next to nothing on electricity bills or even earn some money after a 12-month period.

California’s investor-owned utilities are phasing out the current version of net metering. New rooftop solar customers can still lock in the deal for a 20-year period. But they must act before utility regulators modify rules or before rooftop solar capacity expands to 5 percent of the region’s peak electricity usage — whichever comes first.

As of Sept. 30, rooftop solar installations and registered applications accounted for 2.5 percent of peak demand, or halfway toward the cap. State law says the new regulations must be in place by mid-2017.

The current net energy metering program, combined with rapidly rising utility rates, has fueled growth in California’s rooftop solar industry, both residential and commercial. But utilities including SDG&E say it has allowed solar customers to avoid paying for their fair share of grid construction and maintenance costs.

SDG&E is required to update its progress toward the net metering cap each month, which it does online at sdge.com/clean-energy/net-energy-metering/overview-nem-cap.

The economic rewards of rooftop solar are shifting as California moves toward unavoidable fixed fees and time-based electricity charges. The California Public Utilities Commission is in the early stages of designing a successor tariff to current net metering.

Writing  a blog about Solar power in 2014 is hard. I bet it was much easier to do in 2001, when every few months there was huge innovations in the efficiency of panels, or the legislation to make solar power accessible. The sad reality for this blog writer is that Solar is doing awesome. The California legislation as it pertains to Solar has never been more favorable. Most people understand that renewable energy sources like wind or solar are at least slightly better than the fossil fuel burning alternatives that we currently rely on. The panels are so efficient that the math is in your favor to go solar now, instead of waiting for the technology to “catch up.” The bugs have been ironed out. The rates for PPA will save about 97% of people money on their energy bill. Solar power is everywhere, from Turkey to the remote “Northern Territories” in Australia.  There’s so many options for financing and panels that you need a  solar software to figure out what works for you.  Solar is here to stay, and it’s everywhere. I’ve even written about the top reasons not to go solar.

So what is there left to write about? I don’t know. I am plum out of ideas.

So I am asking for your help. What do you want me to write about? What do you want to know? What questions do you have (about solar, about “Green Living”, about golfthat we can answer for you?

Help this poor writer figure out what you actually want to read. #transparency

Screen Shot 2014-09-29 at 1.11.01 PMOne of the things that makes us so proud of our business is that our customers are happy.  Complete Solar is currently recommended by 93% of our customers. Our mission – to bring clean, affordable solar energy, to all of California – would not be possible without our customers happiness… and their recommendations.**

Which is why we are so excited to announce the launch of our new referral tool!  As our valued customer, if you refer someone who has solar installed, then each one of you will receive a $250 check.

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Ready to start referring?

Share the Sun 

Enter your name. Enter your friend’s names. One of our Solar Advisors will get in touch ASAP to set up an appointment with one of our Solar Experts. The Solar Experts will visit the home and use our proprietary HelioQuote software to design a completely customized solar array.  They switch to solar and everyone gets rewarded! It’s that easy.

 

***As we’ve grown we’ve learned that our best 
customers are the ones who hear about us through friends. 
So we wanted to reward people for sharing.

All across California, cities have totally different permit requirements, times, and fees. For residential solar experts like ourselves that means we track and plan around all of these differences. We want to help cities do a better job of making the switch to solar painless. Today we’re announcing the Solar Ease Index, a ranking of California’s best and worst cities for solar. View the index or view the press release below.

‘Solar Ease Index’ shows huge disparity across state

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San Mateo, CA – A group of bay area solar experts have published an index they hope mitigates the relationship between local governments and homeowners.

Solar installation company Complete Solar recently released the ‘Solar Ease Index’. This index ranks California cities by key factors based on the ease of solar installment in individual homes.

“We want to honor those cities that work to make it easy for homeowners to switch to solar power,” Dan Garfield, Marketing Director for Complete Solar, said. “Install time and fees have a huge impact on homeowners who choose to switch to Solar. Permit delays can cost homeowners thousands of dollars in missed power generation. It discourages people from switching to a cheaper, sustainable form of energy.”

Cities on the list are ranked based on permit turnaround times and fees. All of the cities in the top ten return permits to install solar panels within a single day. The 2nd factor, permitting fees, ranged in the top 10 from $0 to $170 in San Francisco. The lowest ranked cities require anywhere from $500 to $1300 in permitting fees and can take up to 30 days to get a permit (San Mateo).

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For more information, please contact Dan Garfield by calling 801-376-0799 , or e-mail [email protected]

Not ready to turn up the thermostat (and your electric bill!) but looking for a toasty way to fight off the emerging chill? How about these hearty, easy to make and delicious soups from Ellie Bean’s Blog!

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For more awesome recipe ideas, check out our Pinterest Recipe Board!

Complete Solar Solution designs custom solar systems tailored to your electrical usage needs. James is a customer who during peak times had $600 electric bills. His bill was eliminated and now saves thousands every year.

“I chose Complete Solar Solution because the sales staff was knowledgeable, friendly, not pushy. They explained the technical terms I didn’t understand.”

James, Bay Area, CA

Complete Solar Solution evaluates hundreds of options finding the optimal solution for your home. Working with top solar manufacturing companies, you get the right solar system for your home. Eliminate your bill.

Complete Solar Solution evaluates hundreds of options finding the optimal solution for your home. Working with top solar manufacturing companies, you get the right solar system for your home. Eliminate your bill.

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This Mommy/Decorator/DIY expert has a beautiful home, which she invites us to share with her blog “Little Green Notebook“. If you follow our blog, you might remember her from this post on Green DIY Cleaning Products. We love her creative approach to a stylish, kid-friendly home, like this DIY Kids Dress Up Rack or her Mudroom Back-to-School Makeover.

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Inhabitat is the source for all things green and cool. From stunning houses to air purifiers that clean using living plants, this site is the destination for the latest things in creating a clean, sustainable home.

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Dwell.com’s green section is my go to source for beautiful home design, visual inspiration and cool new products. This magazine/website has the best photography and features amazing ideas from all over the world.

About as easy as switching cable companies. Let us show you how:

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Photo via Love this Pic
In our continued fight to help bring residential solar to everyone, we are working to highlight the continued challenges that homeowners face when they make the decision to switch to solar. Despite our state’s “green” appearance, there are still places in California that make it hard to go solar. Our Solar Ease Index highlights the impediments that unfriendly government can cause to quick and easy solar installation.  With that in mind, we’d like to share this message from our partners in the fight for clean energy,  VoteSolar.org.
Thanks to support from you and thousands of other Californians, state lawmakers have passed AB 2188, which will cut red tape for rooftop solar by streamlining local permitting! With this bill, cities and counties across the state will follow best practices for solar permitting rather than the complex patchwork that’s currently in use. This will mean lower costs and reduced wait times for future solar customers. Hats off especially to our friends at the California Solar Energy Industries Association, who worked so diligently to tackle this unnecessary solar cost culprit – you can download their summary of AB 2188 to learn more.
Improved local permitting is a real victory, but there’s plenty more work to do if we want to keep the way clear for rooftop solar in the Golden State. In the coming months, the California PUC is going to be making decisions about future electricity rates that could have a major impact on how much California families save when they go solar. The three big utilities – PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E – are all pushing for rate changes that would reduce solar bill savings, so we need to push back. Here’s how you can help: The PUC is hosting public participation hearings on rate design. This is a great chance to show the Commission in person that you support solar-friendly rates so that Californians keep going solar. (You can read more at the PUC website).
Attend the hearing closest to you and tell the Commission: “Residential rates need to keep supporting solar investment and other good green energy choices!”

September 16, 2014, 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.: Al Bahr Shriners Center, Upstairs Room, 5440 Kearny Mesa Rd, San Diego, CA  92111
September 18, 2014, 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.: El Cajon City Council Chambers, 200 Civic Center Way, El Cajon, CA 92020
September 23, 2014, 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.: CPUC Auditorium, 505 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco, CA  94102
September 29, 2014, 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.: Fontana City Council Chambers, 8353 Sierra Ave., Fontana, CA 92335
September 30, 2014, 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.: Temple City Council Chambers, 5938 Kauffman Ave., Temple City, CA  91780
October 2, 2014, 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.: Palmdale City Council Chambers, 38300 Sierra Hwy., Suite A, Palmdale, CA  93550
October 9, 2014, 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.: Holiday Inn Chico, Conference Center, 685 Manzanita Ct., Chico, CA 95926
October 14, 2014, 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., Fresno City Council Chambers, 2600 Fresno St., Fresno, CA  93721

I think we can all agree on one thing – during the summer, turning on the oven is a daunting prospect. It’s just too hot to slave over a stove. So does that mean you and your family should eat ice cream all summer? Maybe. But just in case that’s not an option we’ve collected a round-up of some fresh and delicious no-cook recipes.

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Refinery 29’s roundup of 5 Easy No-Cook Recipes features treats like Rainbow Tuna Salad With Quick Pickled Onions, Chorizo & Corn Nachos and Watermelon & Watercess Salad. 

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Southern Living has a roundup of 54 No Cook Summer Recipes – you’ll definitely find something for everyone!

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If you really want to get fancy, Martha Stewart takes No Cook Recipes global with her Cold Southwestern Corn & Shrimp Soup, Gazpacho, Italian Panzanella, Asian Noodles and  Japanese chilled tofu.