Electric Rate Increased
PG&E increased the electric rate (E-1 rate schedule) about 2.6% on the 1st day of January, 2020. Happy New Year, solar home-owners! You’re saving more than before!
Power Near Me
At last night’s PG&E “PSPS” Open House in Walnut Creek, I was able to talk to several experts from PG&E. I believe my personal odds of being without power are much reduced, based on what I understood about the availability of power near me. However, depending on where you are, it may not be relevant […]
How long will the blackout last?
Why are we certain to be measuring blackouts in days? And how will we get through it? Preparation is the best way to prevent riots and other dangers. No matter how long a blackout lasts, there are things that will help us all get through it.
Power Outage: “Public Safety Power Shutoff”
If you don’t think it can happen to you, or you want to know the odds, start here. There are links to the maps the Utility is using to determine which lines to shut off during fire season.
Lower Utility Bill – Tips for Natural Gas
Are You Paying Too Much for Natural Gas? Years ago, I signed up with one of those natural gas procurement companies that promised to be cheaper than PG&E, Tiger Natural Gas, Inc. I wanted to lower my utility bill. A couple of years later, a stranger showed me how to determine what I would have […]
Solar Suitable: Attic Parkour Edition
Last month I met site surveyor, Mark, at a client’s house for the site survey. SunStor Solar had put together a system proposal for the homeowners a couple of days earlier, and I was anxious to confirm their roof was suitable for solar. One of the reasons for my concern was that some other solar […]
Site Survey — Avoid Solar Surprises
As good as today’s solar design tools are, they’re no substitute for getting a site survey up close. The solar industry invented many semi-automated computer programs that start with your address and your geographical location. Using satellite photos, data from your Utility, historical weather patterns, and local solar production data, we can calculate the system […]
Difference Between Solar Modules and Solar Panels
You say “panel,” I say “module” Sticklers know the difference between solar panels and solar modules. The solar module is the framed unit that contains within it the solar panels consisting of multiple solar photovoltaic (“PV”) cells. The cells are usually blue or black. Modules look pretty much like a large, chrome or black, glass-fronted, […]
Clean Solar Panels: should you?
Should you clean solar panels? Probably not. Should somebody? Maybe. Is it included in your service? That depends. Can you avoid it? Quite possibly. Let’s take a look at the different scenarios. Sun Through Glass Solar modules are topped with a sheet of glass. I’ve heard the installers say, “we have glass on the roof,” […]
Solar Consultant for Valentine’s Day Solar
Last Valentine’s Day (2018), Richard, a homeowner in Martinez, invited me and a SunStor Solar consultant colleague to his home to show him the solar analysis and preliminary design we had prepared. I remember it as one of my favorite solar consultations, thanks to the unexpected presence of his valentine, Dianne. And not just because […]