Thursday, April 30, 2015 06:14 PM

Southern California Edison could hike electricity rates (The Desert Sun)

Under the proposed changes, the number of tiers would gradually be reduced from four to two from 2015 to 2019. By 2019, electricity use in the higher tier would cost just 20 percent more than electricity use in the lower tier, as opposed to the 114 percent difference between the higher and lowest tiers now. It's not yet clear what the cost for each of the two tiers would be.

The elimination of the pricey third and fourth tiers will mean there's less incentive for high-end electricity consumers to invest in solar power and energy-efficiency measures, consumer advocates and environmental groups say. It could also mean those consumers will have less incentive to save energy in general.

"None of it is good. It's bad for solar, bad for energy efficiency, no doubt about that," said Brad Heavner, policy director for the California Solar Energy Industries Association, a trade group. "It could have been worse, but probably not a whole lot worse."

Utilities commission representatives have downplayed the seriousness of those concerns.

Thursday, April 30, 2015 10:05 AM

CALSEIA applauds California's new greenhouse gas targets (PV Magazine)

The California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA) has welcomed California Governor Jerry Brown’s executive order to set a new 2030 greenhouse gas emission reduction target, claiming that the move puts California "in the driver’s seat toward a clean energy future and a strong economy".

Brown’s executive order will see California quadruple its greenhouse gas reduction from 1990 levels by 2020 40% further by 2030. 

Such ambitious goals have been applauded by CALSEIA’s executive director, Bernadette Del Chiaro, who said that not only would the transition prove the right thing to do for the state’s natural resources and public health, but would also benefit California’s economy, creating thousands of new employment opportunities.

"Today," said Del Chiaro, "54,000 people work in the solar industry and more than 2,000 companies are doing business here. We also expect a 20% increase in jobs in this year alone. Already, California’s solar industry employs more people than the state’s five largest utilities combined."

Wednesday, April 29, 2015 10:14 AM

Batteries to store solar energy could presage independence from utilities (OC Register)

If residential batteries become commonplace, regulations and electricity rate structures may need to change, said Brad Heavner, the policy director at the California Solar Energy Industries Association.

Rates will need to be structured to give people incentives to use less electricity from the grid at peak times and instead rely on battery power.

“To get widespread adoption, we’ll need a bigger difference between peak and off-peak time of use rates,” he said. “Policy makers want more solar, and they recognize if they want more solar, they’re going to need batteries.”

Wednesday, April 29, 2015 01:13 AM

One of the fastest-growing industries pays $60,000 entry level, is based in the Sacramento area (News10 ABC)



"There are two reasons why solar growing well in Sacramento region. One is the interest in high tech and solar is a high tech industry. The other is high energy bills in the summer when it's hot and the air conditioning load. That's leading to more people going solar and that means more jobs right here in Sacramento," Bernadette Del Chiaro, with CalSEIA said. "he state's solar industry association, says there are currently 54,000 solar energy jobs in California ... with more on the way. The industry is projected to grow by 20 percent this year."

Thursday, April 23, 2015 10:56 AM

Nonprofit goes solar through community based crowd-lending campaign

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – ODC, the San Francisco-based contemporary arts institution will be generating more than applause in the coming years. They will be generating their own electricity. Through a new crowd-lending campaign with CollectiveSun®, ODC has raised nearly $200,000 from their community for a solar power system.  The community investors will be repaid at a 4.8% interest rate over 10 years.

Berkeley-based Sun Light & Power installed the 140 Canadian Solar, Inc. panels with 3 SMA Inverters on ODC’s two buildings in the Mission district: ODC Theater and the ODC Dance Commons. Lee Barken, Chief Community Officer at CollectiveSun® said  "Sun Light & Power is a natural partner for CollectiveSun® as we reach out to communities to support solar power for nonprofits. Since Sun Light & Power is committed to making a positive difference in the world, we were delighted to see them selected by Oberlin Dance Collective for their project in San Francisco's Mission District. Sun Light & Power has gone above and beyond to make this project a success."

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