California Center for Sustainable Energy | Pacific Gas & Electric Company | Southern California Edison
California Solar Initiative (CSI) Newsletter - July 2008

In This Issue

Solar Installations in First Half of 2008 Exceed All of 2006

News for PG&E’s E-7/EL-7 Customers

Program Manager Chosen for CSI RD&D and Low-Income Programs

CPUC Hosts CSI Budget and Drop-Out Workshop

CSI Database Increases Functionality

Performance Data Provider Workshop Report Available

PG&E Begins Six Sigma CSI Process Improvement Project

CCSE Offers More CSI Training Via Webinars

CSI Public Forum Promotes Participant Interactivity

Marketing and Media Support Available for New Solar Homes Partnership Developments


August is Solar Energy Awareness Month in California

Trigger Tracker Snapshot for July 24, 2008

Call for Photos of CSI-Funded Solar Systems

Useful Links

California Center for Sustainable Energy

Pacific Gas and Electric Company

Southern California Edison

California Public Utilities Commission 

Go Solar California Web site

CSI Handbook

Greetings ,

August is Solar Energy Awareness Month in sunny California! This month’s feature photo comes from Santa Rosa homeowners Marcia and Eckhard Konkel, whose 3.57-kW system, installed by Akeena Solar, will provide clean, renewable energy for years to come. Read on for important CSI Program updates and an opportunity to submit photos of your CSI-funded solar project.


Solar Installations in First Half of 2008 Exceed All of 2006

On July 11, 2008, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Energy Division issued the fourth Progress Report on the California Solar Initiative (CSI) Program, and announced that there have been 59 MW of installations in the CSI program in the first half of 2008, which is the same number of megawatts installed statewide for all of 2006.

>> click here to view more statistics and read about other program progress, and to download the July Staff Progress Report.


News for PG&E’s E-7/EL-7 Customers

In early April, 2008, PG&E—working with the solar industry-- filed a Petition to Modify D.06-12-025 to increase enrollment in Rate Schedules E-7 and EL-7. PG&E sought to offer its E-7 rate schedule to all eligible solar customers who submitted interconnection or rebate requests in 2007 and planned to complete their projects in 2008. The CPUC granted the modification on June 12, 2008, in Decision (D) 08-06-011, and PG&E is ready to move forward and fulfill eligible solar customers’ requests for the E-7/EL-7 . If you have any questions regarding the requirements needed to successfully finalize your interconnection, call PG&E at 877-743-4112.

>> click here
for additional information on PG&E’s net energy metering Web site.


Program Manager Chosen for CSI RD&D and Low-Income Programs

On July 1, 2008, CPUC Energy Division staff issued Draft Resolution E-4179, which proposed the selection of Itron Inc. as the Program Manager for the CSI RD&D Program. The Draft Resolution will be considered at the July 31, 2008, Commission meeting. The CPUC also announced the selection of Grid Alternatives as the Program Manager for the CSI Low-Income Single-Family Program.


CPUC Hosts CSI Budget and Drop-Out Workshop

On July 14,2008, the CPUC held a public stakeholder workshop to discuss issues raised by parties relating to the California Solar Initiative (CSI) budget, potential unspent program funds and incentive applications that drop out. CPUC staff led the discussion, which included potential options for program modifications. Parties have until Aug. 4, 2008, to submit post-workshop comments to address the issues raised in the workshop presentation. After reviewing the comments, CPUC staff will decide whether any steps need to be taken.

>> click here for the workshop agenda and presentation.


CSI Database Increases Functionality

CSI Power Clerk, the online database used by the CSI Program Administrators to record and display CSI reservation status and incentive levels for all customer classes, has recently added new user functions. The database now calculates split incentives for projects that are reserved at different steps, and also allows inverter and array association. Additionally, the design factor for each array may be entered individually and the estimated annual kWh production amount may be adjusted manually at any point during the process. Contact your program administrator for training.

>> click here to access the written instructions.


Performance Data Provider Workshop Report Available

On June 30, 2008, the CPUC issued a workshop report outlining the results of three workshops on the subject of performance data provider (PDP) protocols. With the release of this workshop report, the CSI Program Administrators have 30 days to submit a draft PDP protocol via advice letter. The draft PDP protocol will be considered by the CPUC and, if ratified, will be included in the CSI Handbook.

>> click here to view the PDP workshop report.


PG&E Begins Six Sigma CSI Process Improvement Project

Integral to PG&E’s commitment to streamline processes and improve customer satisfaction, PG&E has embarked on a Six Sigma Process Improvement project. One of the early data points resulting from this project is the identification of the most commonly omitted items in Incentive Claim Form packages, i.e., the 10-year warranty and PMRS quotes. Since missing items slow down payment of incentives by an average of 33 days, the Program Administrators have included suggestions in the upcoming Advice Filing to make it easier for customers to meet these requirements.


CCSE Offers More CSI Training via Webinars

To expand its curriculum of solar trainings for installers and consumers, CCSE has announced a new series of free solar webinars. Topics covered include How to Read Your Electric Bill, Residential Power Clerk Training and Solar for Homeowners. CCSE’s newest webinar topic—Required Documents for a CSI Reservation—provides examples of required documentation to obtain a reservation for an incentive, as well as detailed information on accurate completion of the forms. The online workshops can be accessed at any time, are self-paced and provide examples of paperwork that needs to be submitted, as well as PowerPoint slides and audio commentary.

>> click here to view the webinars.


CSI Public Forum Promotes Participant Interactivity

PG&E hosted the latest quarterly public forum at its San Francisco headquarters on July 17, 2008. The main points offered by the highly engaged group of stakeholders involved data integrity and advance notice of calculator and other program changes. Two topics in particular stimulated robust interaction: the California Energy Commission's proposed changes for 2009 and the Program Administrators’ proposal to eliminate the reservation process for residential projects. The next Forum will be held in October in conjunction with Solar Power 2008 in San Diego.

>> click here for more information.


Marketing and Media Support Available for New Solar Homes Partnership Developments

The New Solar Homes Partnership (NSHP), a component of the California Solar Initiative managed by the California Energy Commission (Energy Commission), provides financial incentives and marketing support to builders that install eligible solar photovoltaic systems on new residential construction projects sited in investor-owned utility territories. To facilitate the marketing and outreach efforts of new homebuilders and developers with completed and approved NSHP applications, the Energy Commission provides a range of support, including: media outreach to promote their development’s grand opening; a speaker from the Energy Commission at the grand opening event; builder logo featured on a Web site banner located on the Go Solar California Web site; NSHP development named on radio commercial tags; tailored Energy Commission quotes in builder press releases; and a secured radio station live remote at the development grand opening.

Marketing support varies according to the builder’s chosen partnership level. The highest level, called Platinum-level partners, are builders that feature solar as a standard feature throughout their development and exceed energy efficiency standards by 35 percent (Tier 2) or more.

>> click here for additional information about the builder marketing support available through the NSHP and to download the Builder Outreach Kit.


August is Solar Energy Awareness Month in California

The Go Solar California! campaign and the thousands who participate by going solar have had far-reaching effects on state policy. To promote even greater adoption of solar energy, the Energy Commission has declared August "Solar Energy Awareness Month." More information will be available soon on the Go Solar California! Web site.

>> click here to visit the Go Solar California! site.


Trigger Tracker Snapshot for July 24, 2008

California Solar Initiative
TRIGGER TRACKER SNAPSHOT FOR
JULY 24, 2008
Administrator
Customer Class
Current Step
  Revised Total MW in Steps
MW Remaining
MW Under Review
Residential
4
19.11
13.10
2.08
Non-Res
5
62.13
40.25
5.83
SCE
Residential
3
15.26
13.24
1.14
Non-Res
5
58.21
52.79
5.69
Residential
3
3.42
1.66
0.07
Non-Res
4
9.92
5.22
1.38

The California Solar Initiative Trigger Tracker provides an indicator of when the CSI incentive levels are expected to drop by showing the reservation and review status of all incentive classes. This snapshot compares the megawatts remaining in each step with the megawatts under review, so that users can estimate how close the incentives are to declining. When there are more megawatts under review than remaining in the step, then it may be probable that any new applications will be at the next (i.e. LOWER) incentive step level.

>> click here
to view today’s Statewide Trigger Tracker.


Call for Photos of CSI-Funded Solar Systems

The California Solar initiative seeks photos of CSI-funded solar systems for use in future newsletters or other CSI-related publicity. When submitting your solar PV system photos, please provide the following: name of photographer; name of installer, seller or system owner; system size and location; and full permission to use photo in CSI-related publicity.

>> click here to submit your CSI-funded solar system photos.



 

Workshops and Trainings

Southern California Edison Introduction to CSI Training
Aug. 12, 2008* Aug. 27, 2008*
8 a.m.–noon
6090 Irwindale Ave.
Irwindale, CA 91702

To register, please call: (800) 336-2822, ext. 42537. *Both of these classes are available online via webinar.

>> click here for maps and directions.


PG&E Monthly Installer Workshop
Aug. 13, 2008
9 a.m.–4 p.m.
Pacific Energy Center
851 Howard St.
San Francisco, CA 94103

>> click here for maps and directions.

>> click here to register.


CCSE Monthly Solar for Homeowners Workshop
July 31, 2008
11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
8690 Balboa Ave., Suite 100
San Diego, CA 92123

>> click here
for directions.

>> click here for maps and directions.


Special Events

Solar Power 2008

October 13-16, 2008
San Diego, CA

>> Solar Power 2008


CCSE Family Solar Day
Oct. 12, 2008
Spanish Landing Park
San Diego, CA 92101

>> click here to register.


Solar Metering and Performance Monitoring Exposition
Aug. 5-6, 2008
9 a.m.–5 p.m.
UC Berkeley MLK Student Union
2475 Bancroft Way
Berkeley, CA 94720

>> click here to register.


 

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CCSE | PG&E | SCE | ©2008 California Solar Initiative

 




The CSI program is funded by California investor-owned utility customers and administered by Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric, and the California Center for Sustainable Energy under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission.

California Public Utilities Commission
505 Van Ness Ave.
San Francisco, California 94102