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Listen Up: Protecting Your Right to Go Solar

Your right to go solar and get full credit for the electricity you send back to the grid is threatened. Not just in California and Arizona and Hawaii — but also at virtually every single investor owned utility (the aptly named IOUs) in the country. Net metering is the simplest and (arguably) the fairest way to compensate solar customers for the energy they send back to the grid during the day. But from an IOU's perspective, net metering carves away at the foundation of their profits by reducing their need for new assets and reducing their revenues. It's a war between the Guaranteed Profit Utilities and millions of potential solar homeowners.

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The next battle in the war against net metering is in California. The California Solar Energy Industries Association (CALSEIA), along with Vote Solar, SEIA and dozens of other companies and organizations are mobilizing the troops to preserve net metering. In particular, they are lobbying to prevent changes to the rules that apply to current solar customers. To help join this battle, sign the Solar Customer Petition in favor of preserving current net metering rules. 

My guest on this week's show is Brad Heavner, Policy Director for CALSEIA. Brad explains the current net metering discussions that are going on at the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), and the risks faced by both current and future solar customers if net metering is limited or fixed charges are applied. As Jimmy Carter said, "whatever starts in California ... has an inclination to spread." So please click and sign the petition — and listen up to this week's Energy Show on Renewable Energy World.

Find more episodes of The Energy Show here.

About The Energy Show

As energy costs consume more and more of our hard-earned dollars, we as consumers really start to pay attention. But we don't have to resign ourselves to $5/gallon gas prices, $200/month electric bills and $500 heating bills. There are literally hundreds of products, tricks and techniques that we can use to dramatically reduce these costs — very affordably.

The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World is a weekly 20-minute podcast that provides tips and advice to reduce your home and business energy consumption. Every week we'll cover topics that will help cut your energy bill, explain new products and technologies in plain English, and cut through the hype so that you can make smart and cost-effective energy choices. 

About Your Host

Barry Cinnamon is a long-time advocate of renewable energy and is a widely recognized solar power expert. In 2001 he founded Akeena Solar — which grew to become the largest national residential solar installer by the middle of the last decade with over 10,000 rooftop customers coast to coast. He partnered with Westinghouse to create Westinghouse Solar in 2010, and sold the company in 2012.

His pioneering work on reducing costs of rooftop solar power systems include Andalay, the first solar panel with integrated racking, grounding and wiring; the first UL listed AC solar panel; and the first fully “plug and play” AC solar panel. His current efforts are focused on reducing the soft costs for solar power systems, which cause system prices in the U.S. to be double those of Germany.

Although Barry may be known for his outspoken work in the solar industry, he has hands-on experience with a wide range of energy saving technologies.  He's been doing residential energy audits since the punch card days, developed one of the first ground-source heat pumps in the early ‘80s, and always abides by the Laws of Thermodynamics.

Lead image: Green microphone via Shutterstock

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