Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Solar Phonies; California Beware of Solar Scams!

Not only is the solar industry under attack by the recent proposition 16 measure but the consumers are under attack as well. Unfortunately there is no industry immune to scams.

A massive email went out from the department California State License Boards (CSLB).
Here is the link:

Please take the necessary precautions. Here is a clip from their web site, please read on..

CSLB Press Release - 05/10/10Contractors State License Board Warns Californians: Don’t Get Burned When Going Solar
Hot tips protect consumers from solar energy scammers

SACRAMENTO — The Contractors State License Board (CSLB) is alerting California homeowners about the need to select a licensed and qualified contractor before signing a contract for a solar energy project. Consumers who want to “go green” and take advantage of state and federal rebates and tax credits could be preyed upon by unlicensed, unscrupulous, or unaware contractors.

Unlicensed contractors in several parts of California have been convicted or are being investigated on suspicion of taking thousands of dollars from consumers for solar energy systems that were incorrectly installed – or not installed at all. Consumers may not qualify for government incentives if contractors fail to enter into solar energy contracts correctly.

CSLB urges consumers to consider the following tips before selecting a contractor for their home’s solar power installation:

Always check for the contractor’s CSLB license. The state and federal government will not grant rebates or credits for a solar system installed by an unlicensed contractor. Ask the contractor to show you his or her pocket license and a photo identification to make sure it is the same person. Compare this to the license information at to make sure this individual is a legitimate member of the business indicated on the license.
Check the registration of sales representatives who solicit a contract on behalf of a contractor. A sales representative must be a Registered Home Improvement Salesperson (HIS) with CSLB. Ask to see the HIS registration card and ID, then check it on the CSLB website to make sure that individual is actually an employee of the licensed contractor before you sign a contract.
Check your contractor’s license classification on the CSLB website. Your utility company may require that a solar system be installed by a contractor with a specific classification.
Don’t pay more than $1,000 as a down payment or 10%, whichever is less, for any contract. There is an exception for about two dozen contractors with special, consumer protection bonds that are noted on CSLB’s website.
Don’t be pressured into signing a contract by intimidation tactics, such as losing out on government incentives for not acting quickly. This might be a hint that the contractor does not have your best interests in mind.
"Take a few minutes to research contractors by using the “Instant License Check” and other helpful tools on CSLB’s website," said CSLB Registrar Steve Sands. "Legitimate, licensed contractors want customers to be comfortable and confident with the contracts they are signing. And licensees are more likely to do all that is required in order to receive available state and federal incentives for alternative energy."

More information about hiring contractors is available on the CSLB website or by calling 800-321-CSLB (2752).

The Contractors State License Board operates under the umbrella of the California Department of Consumer Affairs. CSLB licenses and regulates more than 300,000 California contractors, and is regarded as one of the leading consumer protection agencies in the United States. In fiscal year 2008-09, CSLB investigated more than 20,000 complaints and helped recover nearly $36 million in ordered restitution for consumers

In other news,

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The Solar Revolution!
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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Million Solar Roofs...GET THE FACTS! California: Vote No on prop 16

"Million Solar Roofs...GET THE FACTS!
Dear Solar Family and Friends:

If you live in California like I do, then you will love this web site. I know I do! I added this clip that can be found on the following link:

I want send out a big personal thank you to Nancy Skinner. I love what you are doing!

"Million Solar Roofs
What's New


Hey California! More of us can now go solar affordable. Thanks to Assembly Nancy Skinner (Berkeley), California can now double the number of people who can invest in a rooftop solar system. AB 510, lifting the cap on net metering, was just signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger on February 26th. The policy was a critical piece of meeting California's Million Solar Roofs goal set in motion by Environment California-sponsored SB 1 law back in 2006. Watch the signing ceremony.
In addition, Assembly member Jared Huffman authored another important solar power bill, AB 920, last year. Thanks to this bill, also signed into law by the governor, instead of you writing a check to your utility company, your utility company to pay you.
That’s right. Starting in 2011, your utility company will have to write you a check at the end of the year for any electricity your solar system generated in surplus of what your home used during that same year. It is called surplus net metering and it is one more step toward making California the Saudi Arabia of the sun."

-end of article.

There is so much information out there, and there is BIG money providing WRONG information. Please get the facts. The SOLAR REVOLUTION is happening. As you all know. I have recently took on a bold move and started my own solar company (information in previous blog posting.) I opened an office in Dublin in April of this year. I open this office because of the simple fact that there is so much misinformation about this industry and I strongly feel that with the right business partners; this industry will not only save our economy and ultimately save our planet.

Although you might think the concept of solar is new, the fact is, that it is not. Did you know that the White House had solar panels installed during the Carter Administration, and was taken down by President Regan? We must accept the facts there is a clear distinction of energy policy when it comes to the Democrat and Republican parties. Remember that the Republic Party's motto was "Drill Baby Drill" in this the last presidential election. Look at us know? I am so ashamed of what we are doing to the planet and the recent oil spill incident.

Below is another article from Environment California web site. I tell you I love this site!

"AB 920: the California Solar Surplus Act of 2009
If you owned a solar power system that generated more electricity than you used, and those surplus solar electrons were sent to the grid for use by your neighbors, don't you think your utility should pay you for that electricity? We think so.

AB 920 (Huffman), the Solar Surplus Power bill, is inherently about creating fairness within California’s solar market and about spurring ever greater consumer interest in investing in solar power bringing with it important environmental and economic benefits to the state.

Thanks in large part to the support and vision of Governor Schwarzenegger and the California State Legislature, California is a world leader in developing and promoting solar power. Our Million Solar Roofs Initiative is one of the biggest and boldest solar initiatives in the world.

The road to a million solar roofs, however, is long. While the state saw tremendous growth in solar last year, California has to go from today's 50,000 solar roofs to 1,000,000 by 2016. To achieve this feat, California must remove all barriers for consumers wanting to invest in solar energy and more deeply penetrate the consumer driven market for solar power.
PROVIDES GREATER FAIRNESS FOR CONSUMERS BY REQUIRING WHOLESALE COMPENSATION FOR SURPLUS POWER: Today’s solar system owners “lose” surplus electricity at the end of each year, essentially giving it away for free to their utility, even though the utility can turn around and sell that electricity at the full bundled retail rate to other utility customers. This “give away” is a barrier for many Californians wanting to go solar. We estimate that over 500 Californians are generating surplus power each year and giving that power to their utility without compensation.1 AB 920 would require the PUC, through a rulemaking procedure, to determine the appropriate wholesale rate.

REMOVES PERVERSE INCENTIVE FOR CONSUMERS TO WASTE ELECTRICITY: By giving solar system owners fair compensation for the surplus electricity they generate above and beyond their own on-site electricity needs, AB 920 removes a perverse incentive for solar system owners to waste electricity so as not to give any way or “lose” any to the utility. Furthermore, AB 920 would encourage greater efficiency and conservation at home and at a solar business;
ALLOWS UTILITIES TO COUNT PURCHASED SURPLUS POWER TOWARD RPS REQUIREMENTS: To encourage utility support of solar power and to reward those utilities that do the most to support roof-top solar installations, AB 920 would allow the utility to count the amount of electricity purchased by the utility through this surplus power program toward their annual renewable portfolio standard goals.

In short, AB 920 is a simple, no-brainer bill that will help remove unnecessary barriers to solar power in California, help encourage greater conservation and efficiency and provide fairness for both the consumer and the utility company within today’s growing solar market.

1: According to SDG&E, the utility received over 351 kWh of surplus electricity from the roughly 2,000 solar customers in their territory. Assuming a similar experience in the other utility territories, and assuming an average system size of 5 kW generating at a 18% capacity factor, we calculate that more than 500 Californians are experiencing a loss of surplus power each year. "

End of article.

Interesting enough, this brings me full circle to a you tube video I added to this blog of the original six million dollar man. "Gentle men we can rebuild him, we have the technology." In the same manner we can say, "People, we can rebuild it [the earth and the ozone, we can reverse global warming,] we have the technology.

I am so excited about the things to come in the next few months and hope everyone gets the right information about Prop. 16. Vote No California. I am your solar power advocate. Call me anytime, let me know if you need any solar in your home or business, or know someone who is thinking of solar.