Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Walton Family Undermining Solar, ILSR Finds

http://www.ilsr.org/walton-report/ "The Walton family — majority owners of Walmart — are impeding America’s transition to a clean energy future, a new study by ILSR finds. At a time when more than 500,000 households and businesses are generating their own solar electricity, and the U.S. solar industry is employing 143,000 people, the Waltons are funding nearly two dozen organizations working to roll back renewable energy policies, while a Walton-owned company is pushing for regulations aimed at hindering the growth of rooftop solar power."

Friday, October 24, 2014

Latest Electric "Bill"

"Thank you for participating in Paperless Billing. Your current PSE&G bill statement is now available for online viewing. Your current balance is a credit of $66.27 and no payment is required."

Not bad, considering we just came out air-conditioning season...

Thursday, October 23, 2014

New Revenue Grade Meter Finally Installed

We finally decided that it wasn't smart to throw away the opportunity to earn SRECs (which, if you've been keeping up, we haven't been doing for nearly two years). It took a lot of research and many phone calls and emails, but we finally found a meter that met the requirements:

  and an electrician to install it.

 

  It's not the most glamorous thing I've ever seen. I was hoping for something high-tech, but it looks like something from the sixties*. Oh well, no matter. It only cost $685, installed. It'll pay for itself in half a year, tops. I've already let my SREC broker know that we're getting back into the SREC business. We'll have to make a modification to our account, I suppose, and then I'll have to figure out where to enter the meter readings. Then we'll be back in the clean energy market.

 

  * On the other hand, I'm something from the sixties myself, 1963 to be exact, so who am I to complain?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Who Are the Winners Here?

Nothing new to report, except that we are no longer generating SRECs.

So who wins in the new scenario?  Installers and electricians stand to benefit, I suppose.  I chose not to spend the money on new equipment, mostly because SRECs are near worthless right now and it would take nearly a year just to break even.  But I'm sure some people will make the investment.

The SREC brokers?  I'm not sure.  There will probably be fewer SRECs to broke.  On the other hand, if that's the case, then that makes SRECs more valuable, I'd think, so commissions would be bigger.  It's probably a wash for them, at best.

The big power companies that are required to purchase the SRECs?  If what I said above is true, I'd think they'll have to pay more per SREC now.  Not more than they were two years ago, though, when they were going for ten times what they go for now.

So, after two minutes of deep reflection, I don't see any obvious winners here as a result of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJBPU) decision to require the new equipment.  Anybody else have an idea?  Why did they do this?  

Friday, December 14, 2012

Final Clarification (Again)

Yeah, in light of the lists of acceptable meters that I posted yesterday (one of which included mine), I AGAIN asked my broker if my meter was sufficient.  Hey, it's on a friggin' list.  I know they're totally annoyed with me, but I feel like there are people relying on me to help clear this up.

They replied that the new meter is "in addition to the electric meter installed by the local utility to measure the home or business' electric consumption."  (that's a quote from the NJ BPU declaration).

They added that "if the meter you are speaking about is your utility net meter, then it is not sufficient to meet the requirements of the NJ BPU mandate."

I dunno', I guess I'm supposed to feel like an idiot, but I just don't.  This shouldn't be so complicated, but I still haven't seen a simple explanation as to what equipment is needed in order to continue to accrue SRECs.  After asking various questions of various people I'm now satisfied that my setup doesn't cut the mustard,
 but it shouldn't have been so difficult to figure that out.

A simple paragraph and maybe a schematic or diagram showing what is needed and where it fits into the existing system would do wonders to clear this up for me and the dozens of blog readers that are e-mailing me.  Part of the problem is that there really isn't an advocate for the small solar producers, somebody who has a stake in getting this message delivered clearly.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Lists of Approved Meters

I just noticed that the New Jersey Clean Energy website has a page which includes a link to two lists of electric meters, along with an indication as to whether the meter has been approved for meeting ANSI CR.1-2008 standard of +/- 2% accuracy (as of December 1, only meters which meet this standard can be used to report readings for generation of SRECs).

Here are the two lists on that page.  I'm inferring that the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities (NJ BPU) is saying that if it's approved on one of these lists, it's good enough for them.  It might be worth a few minutes to look.  Maybe your meter is good enough:

New York State Department of Public Service

GoSolarCalifornia

My meter (General Electric I-210+C, installed by PSE&G on July 25, 2012) is marked as "approved" on the New York list but as "not approved" on the California list.  I just e-mailed my broker about it, because they seem to be the gatekeeper here, but I don't have much hope.  I already annoyed the hell out of them a couple of weeks ago and was finally told that my meter doesn't meet the standard.  I just figured that now that I'd seen a list, I'd ask again and point the list out.



Monday, December 3, 2012

"About Five-Hundred Bucks"

Just for the heck of it, I emailed a local solar installer and asked for a ballpark estimate for installing a revenue grade meter.  He just replied that it would be in the neighborhood of $500.  I'm just assuming that he knew what we were talking about, even though I really don't.  Does that make sense?

So at least we know what we're dealing with.   Another way to express the amount would be "About seven SRECs worth..."