In This Issue
As of April 6, Southern California Edison (SCE) received sufficient applications to account for Step 7 residential megawatt allotment. SCE had 0.82 MW remaining in Step 7 with 2.2 MW under review.
Once SCE officially crosses into residential Step 8, the incentive will move from $0.65 per watt to $0.35 per watt. SCE's last residential step change occurred in September 2011.
Typically, there is a significant increase in the number of applications as step changes approach. The best way to avoid processing delays is to submit all required paperwork completely and accurately. You can monitor the situation at the Trigger Tracker and check the status of applications at the PowerClerk website.
For many Californians, taking action to help the environment is already a way of life, from recycling and using low-flow showerheads to weatherproofing their homes and driving a low-emissions vehicle. Plus, more than 100,000 homes and businesses already generate power with solar PV. Now the CSI-Thermal Program is encouraging all Californians to take the next step in their green routine with solar water heating.
For "Earth Month," CSI Program Administrators are launching a $5 million statewide PR campaign for solar water heating with television and radio commercials directing customers to the campaign's website, WaterHeatedByTheSun.com. The purpose of the campaign is to let home and business owners know that solar water heating is a proven technology with both economic and environmental rewards.
Be sure to listen and watch for Water Heated By the Sun commercial messages!
As part of the campaign to promote solar water heating in California, CSI program administrators are providing training programs for contractors so that they are ready to serve increasing demand.
In San Diego, the California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE) is partnering with National Solar Trainers to provide an in-depth solar water heating training program. Attendees will learn the skills needed to launch a solar water heating career as an installer, designer, sales and marketing professional or entrepreneur.
April 23-24 – Technology fundamentals, sales, marketing and business development
April 23-26 – System design and a comprehensive installation laboratory
In Northern California, PG&E offers several stand-alone solar water heating workshops for contractors of all levels, from experienced contractors to professionals just learning the technology. PG&E also offers solar water heating basics classes for homeowners.
In Southern California, SCE offers training at its Energy Education Center in Irwindale for contractors that specialize in electric-displacing solar water heating systems, while So Cal Gas provides training at its Energy Resource Center in Downey for contractors that specialize in gas-displacing systems.
Program administrators continue to develop new courses to meet the needs of this growing solar market and encourage customers and contractors to check for monthly updates.
As part of the measurement & evaluation portion of the California Solar Initiative program, the California Public Utilities Commission is soliciting bids for the completion of a solar market assessment and market transformation study. The study will pursue three tracks:
Solar roofing assessment
Third-party ownership market impact
Customer-solar market transformation
Once the CPUC makes its selection for the evaluation contractor, the study is expected to be completed in late 2013.
The CPUC also recently issued an RFP for the biennial Impacts of Distributed Generation Study (PY 2010-2011) to evaluate the impact of distributed generations policies and programs in California. The study is expected to be finalized by October 2012 and will report to the state legislature on the impact and costs associated with integration of renewables into the investor-owned utilities portfolios through utility and customer-side generation.
For more information on the request for proposal, visit the CPUC's CSI website.
The California Center for Sustainable Energy (CCSE) will host a webinar for solar contractors on the benefits of using electronic signatures featuring a representative from Sertify, a leading e-signature and agreement execution company. The webinar will provide solar contractors and others the opportunity to learn about the value of this technology to their business as well as to provide feedback to CCSE on the use of the CSI Electronic Signature Guidelines.
This webinar will be held April 26, 2012 from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. For more information and registration, click here.
Rosaura and Francisco Montelongo just got a big break on their electricity bills. A 1.2-kw solar electric system installed by the nonprofit GRID Alternatives in late February is expected to cut energy costs for the low-income family in half, freeing up money for other essentials. And thanks to solar industry philanthropy, their up-front costs were almost nothing.
GRID Alternatives, administrators of the Single-family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) rebate program, announced last month major philanthropic partnerships with industry giants Yingli Solar and SunPower Corporation that are making rebate funds for homeowners like the Montelongos stretch. As official solar module providers, each company is supporting GRID Alternatives in 2012 through a mix of donated panels and fair market value sales. The partnerships are expected to benefit as many as 600 families.
"These companies' support for GRID Alternatives means millions more in long-term savings for low-income families that need them most," said Erica Mackie, executive director and co-founder of GRID Alternatives.
Call for Photos and Stories of CSI-Funded Solar Systems
Submit your CSI-funded solar system photos and stories here.
California Public Utilities Commission
505 Van Ness Ave.
San Francisco, California 94102