Thursday, May 24, 2012

Do I Need to Sue Somebody! AAAH!!!!!!!!

PSE&G is killing me.  Thanks to my ongoing bureaucratic nightmares I've already lost the lucrative spring period of net metering, which in monetary terms is probably upwards of five hundred to a thousand bucks.  And there's no end in sight.  The last word from the enigmatic entity known as PSE&G was that I need to submit a  "Part 2 (or Part B) of the interconnection application agreement."  No clue as to what the hell that is or where to get one.  The person suggested that I email it, which seems to be a clue that it exists in electronic format, but without a reference to a place to download it, that's rather useless.  I can't get the person on the phone, despite numerous messages left.  Nor can I even get an email returned.

If I can get them to tell me what it is and who has to prepare it, I'll probably then have to go to my installer, groSolar, and ask them to fill it out.  Of course, since the job was completed nearly three years ago, that's going to be another nightmare.  I already sent them a message about it, but just like PSE&G -- no reply.

As I just said in my latest email, the reasonable thing to do would be to "grandfather" in my net metering arrangement, given that they've been enforcing it for nearly three years and billing me accordingly.  They discovered by accident that some form was either not filed by the installer three years ago or maybe just lost.  So what?  Everything works.  Just let it keep working.  If they didn't have what they needed, they never should have started the net metering arrangement in the first place, and they never should have billed me accordingly.

Would it be unreasonable to sue somebody here?  It's not like I want a million bucks because coffee was hot.  I don't want any money at all.  I just want people to do their jobs so I can continue to generate green energy and pay off my system.

I'm dyin' here...

Friday, May 18, 2012

Dear Lord, What a Friggin' Nightmare

I thought I was out of the woods after trucking down to the township hall of records and securing a copy of the UCC inspection-passing thingie (mostly because my PSE&G helper told me that's all I needed to solve the problem, have a new meter installed, and resume net metering).

But no.

I just received a new letter from somebody else at PSE&G, telling me the following:

We have received your UCC certification.   However, we need the completed Part 2 (or Part B) of the interconnection application agreement.

I'm really trying.  I tried to politely reply that I don't have any idea what that is, but if they could give me a few hints maybe I could work on it.

What happens if I miraculously find that?  I'm betting that there will be some thing else that I need to submit.  And so on, and so on.

This is so frustrating.  If they didn't have everything they needed back in 2009 (and I'm not implying that this isn't true) they should have asked for it then, when there was a faint hope that I might actually be able to find it, or even know what it is.

Whatever has gone wrong, they are as much at fault as anybody because they have been net metering my account for nearly three years! 

I asked at the bottom of my reply if it might be easier to just pretend that my installation is new, and start the process over.  Because I don't think this is every going to be resolved any other way.

I feel like I'm living in a Dilbert comic strip...

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Just Came Across a Cut-rate SREC Deal

I just came across a deal out there in Solar Land.  If a solar energy producer is willing to lock into a contract for the next three energy years at $120 per SREC, somebody might buy them.

Please excuse my flippancy (I made that word up, I think).  Perhaps if I inquired further, I'd learn that in return for the commitment there'd be some guarantee that all SRECS generated would be purchased at this price.  

For me, it's a moot point because I wouldn't make that deal anyway.  This offer -- agreeing to buy SRECS for a very low price (the lowest it's been in years!) -- well, just doesn't appeal to me, to say it as politely as possible.  I don't think I need a long-term contract to sell SRECs at a price like that.  Even if I did, there's not much to lose by not selling them, if that's the going rate. 

I'd rather take my chances that there will be some legislative modifications at some point over the next three years to artificially boost the price (after all, the SREC market is artificial anyway -- customers buy them because they are required to by law).  I don't think changes are imminent, but it seems unwise  to gamble that nothing will change all the way through energy year 2015.  I don't see this as a mutually-beneficial arrangement.

I've already been contacted by some mavericks who are interested in a grass-roots movement to institute a voluntary price floor, in order to drive up the price.  The point the mavericks make is that if we didn't panic and sell them at these fast-dropping prices, we could push the price back up.  Now, I don't understand the market well enough to say whether or not this is possible, but my gut feeling is that we couldn't pull it off.  On the other hand, even though I'm not signing on with said mavericks, I'm also not going to wave the white flag and lock in at the lowest price the market has seen in years.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Progress Toward the Solution

Today I dropped by the construction office in our municipal building, where it took them all of two minutes to provide me with the signed UCC approval letter (it was in a file -- they don't mail them out unless there's a request).

Then I scanned it and emailed it to PD at PSE&G.  I never got around to calling up there to see if it got there, etc.  That'll be for tomorrow...

Friday, May 4, 2012

SRECs: A Buyer's Market

I just accepted an offer from my SREC broker and sold my current SREC holdings (four of them) for $125 each.  The transaction happened instantaneously when I accepted the deal.  I don't blame my broker, the market is what it is, but this made me feel like a sucker, somehow.

The SREC market is definitely the property of the buyers right now...

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Holy Moly, Can't give SRECs Away Right Now

I figured I'd clear the decks, and so I dropped my SREC floor price to $200.  None of my 4 sold! 

Between this and my recent net metering troubles, my original system payoff date of July 2013 is becoming fantasy.

OutcomeDescriptionProposed PriceTransacted QuantityTransacted PriceTotal Sale
UnsuccessfulNo Sale: 2011/12, NJ sited, NJ certified SREC (NON39555)$200.000 of 1$0.00$0.00
UnsuccessfulNo Sale: 2011/11, NJ sited, NJ certified SREC (NON39555)$200.000 of 1$0.00$0.00
UnsuccessfulNo Sale: 2012/01, NJ sited, NJ certified SREC (NON39555)$200.000 of 1$0.00$0.00
UnsuccessfulNo Sale: 2012/03, NJ sited, NJ certified SREC (NON39555)$200.000 of 1$0.00$0.00

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

PSE&G is Avoiding Me

I've been trying to get in touch for over a week now with the person who supposedly can help me out with my net metering problem.  To be fair, I've only left two messages over that period (the other times he's been unavailable), but shouldn't one message be enough? 

Tommorrow I'll try the first guy again, and ask him what I should do.

I knew this was going to be a nightmare.

edit: [about an hour has passed]

I take back everything I said!  The guy from PSE&G just called me back and he was extremely cool to talk with!   I almost asked him if he'd be watching the Devils game, since he's in Newark.  He told me exactly what I need to do, which isn't that bad.  I just have to fax him a copy of the certificate of approval for the system, which should have been issued by Washington Township.  Then I'll get my new meter.

I'll have to go to the Township offices and hope they can turn up a copy for me.