Friday, April 17, 2015 12:25 PM

Study Says Solar Rebates Not as Effective as Just Giving Units to Low-Income Folks (AllGov California)

The researchers found that while economic incentives might not influence people to get units, behavior by neighbors does. They found that the more solar units in a neighborhood, the more likely a person was to get one.

That strategy would provide a lot more cheap power and toss in a little income redistribution on the side.

Solar industry folks were, not surprisingly, a tad skeptical of the study. Bernadette del Chiaro, executive director of the California Solar Energy Industries Association, told the Desert Sun in Palm Springs that the report was “absolutely laughable” and predicted that policymakers “are not going to take this seriously.” 

The report is scheduled to be presented in May at the Proceedings of the 14th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems. It was partially funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, according to the Desert Sun.

Monday, April 13, 2015 10:36 AM

California solar rebates not effective, study finds (The Desert Sun)

new study from Vanderbilt University and Sandia National Laboratories, set to be published next month, argues that peer influence has been a much greater factor than financial incentives in fueling California’s solar renaissance.

But while it’s long been accepted that people are more likely to go solar if they see other solar panels in their neighborhood, rooftop solar advocates are skeptical — to say the least — about the study’s conclusions.

Bernadette del Chiaro, executive director of the California Solar Energy Industries Association, a Sacramento trade group, called the study’s conclusions “absolutely laughable.” Policymakers, she said, “are not going to take this seriously, because the rebate program has been undeniably successful.”

“To say that the California rebate program had little to no effect on the adoption rates is absurd,” del Chiaro said. “There is no other state that has seen the deployment of solar like California, and the deployment began with the beginning of this program.”

Thursday, April 09, 2015 10:00 AM

The bright side of California’s drought: More solar power (Grist)

Distributed solar, on the rooftops of homes and businesses, has continued to rocket, despite the fact that state rebates faded away last year. According to Bernadette Del Chiaro of the California Solar Energy Industries Association, California is now home to over 250,000 distributed solar projects, about half of the nation’s total. Pacific Gas and Electric, one of the largest utilities in the state, connects about 4,000 new customer solar arrays each month — a new system every 11 minutes.


Tuesday, March 31, 2015 10:15 AM

SolarReviews Joins Industry Leaders in Growing California’s Solar Industry

SolarReviews becomes newest CALSEIA member.


SACRAMENTO, CA, LAKEWOOD, CO - SolarReviews has become the newest member of the nation’s largest state solar power trade association, the California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA).

“We are proud to have SolarReviews join CALSEIA to support its mission of expanding the use of clean, solar technologies throughout the state.  CALSEIA members are recognized as being true leaders in the California market as they promote high standards within the industry and advocate fair policies for solar consumers. We look forward to working closely with SolarReviews in continuing this work,” says Bernadette Del Chiaro, Executive Director of CALSEIA.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 10:00 AM

Changes Made to Solar Rebate Program (Pool & Spa News)

A separate budget has been established solely for the solar pool heating system sub-program. Thirty percent of the thermal sub-program’s remaining funds will be dedicated to pool systems, totaling $50,078,180, according to the California Public Utilities Commission.

The program now also caps cash-back at 50 percent of the total system cost. This change, which went into effect Jan. 30, will have the most impact on future clients.

But stakeholders requested it to allow the funds to be spread over more projects, said Roy Heine, the founder of Suntrek Industries in Irvine, Calif.

Without the cap, some projects saw reimbursements of 90- to 100 percent of the cost of the solar systems.

“For a period of time, some pool owners got lucky with what CALSEIA would consider to be an improper rollout of the program by the utilities,” said Brad Heavner, policy director of the California Solar Energy Industries Association.

In addition, the calculator for figuring rebates was changed, but this will have little impact on amounts. The intent remains to reward those who purchase and install the equipment earlier in the rebate cycle.

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