Category Archives: Renewables and Energy

New SDG&E rates ‘time of use’ may vary for rooftop solar

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San Diego Gas & Electric is rolling out “time of use” rates that will eventually affect the monthly bills for about 750,000 of the utility’s residential customers.

But will the switch affect the nearly 155,000 residential customers who have rooftop solar systems on their homes?

Yes, but the full answer is complicated.

The vast majority of solar customers will eventually move to time of use rates but some have the option to stay on a more traditional tiered-rate structure that is considered more financially attractive than time of use — it all depends on how long ago they activated their rooftop solar systems.

“It really varies on the residential side,” said Edward Randolph, the Energy Division Deputy Director for the California Public Utilities Commission, which has directed the state’s investor-owned utilities to adopt time of use rates, also known as TOU. “That’s why (solar customers) need to contact their utility to find out their exact circumstance.”

And circumstances have been changing quickly, in California’s energy landscape.

Many customers — those with solar installations as well as those without — had just gotten used to the latest iteration of tiered rates and adopting TOU means a transition to a different pricing plan.

For solar customers in the SDG&E service territory, the 20-year rule applies to those who activated their systems before June 29, 2016.

Randolph said the commission instituted the 20-year rule as an issue of fairness to solar customers who invested in a solar installation on their homes — a purchase that can frequently run to $20,000 or more, depending on the size of the house.

“When they installed the panels, they were looking at the financing and the payback of those panels based on the rate structure at the time,” Randolph said. “Ultimately, the commission made the policy determination that the most equitable way to treat those customers was to give them the option of staying on the old rate structure.”

After the 20 years are up, customers must move to time of use rates.

“If you’re a customer who installed solar a few years ago, you’re probably going to want to stay on those tiered rates and not get shifted over to TOU,” Heavner said.

But what if you installed solar on your home after June 29, 2016?

Here’s another part of the story that’s complicated.

Customers who activated their rooftop solar systems between June 29, 2016 and March 30, 2018 were defaulted to standard, tiered rates rather than TOU.

They can stay on tiered rates for now but eventually, they will migrate to time of use — either five years from the date their system activated or June 2021, whichever comes first.

read more at: https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/business/energy-green/sd-fi-timeofuse-rates-solar-20190322-story.html

disclaimer: for information and entertainment purposes only

California’s new solar mandate

Starting next year, every new home built in California will have something extra on top.

Recently, California became the first state in the nation to make solar mandatory for new houses. Beginning in 2020, newly constructed homes must have solar panels, which could be costly for homeowners: According to California’s Energy Commission (CEC), that mandate will add between $8,000 and $10,000 to the cost of a new home.

CEC estimates suggest that the solar addition will increase the average monthly mortgage payment by $40, but new homeowners will save an average of $80 a month on their heating, cooling and lighting bills.

Still, the requirement does add a costly additional expense to already pricey new homes in one of the richest real estate markets in the country.

Read more at: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/02/15/california-solar-panel-mandate-could-cost-new-homeowners-big.html

Disclaimer: for information and entertainment purposes only

San Diego – first shipping container homes could be open by April 2019

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The region’s first housing project made from shipping containers could open as soon as April, providing homes for 21 formerly homeless veterans and possibly paving the way for hundreds of new affordable and median-priced homes in the near future.

The units are planned for a vacant lot at 2941 Imperial Ave. in Logan Heights and the project is proposed by developers Michael Copley, Jr. and Doug Holmes, partners in the real estate company Makana Properties, LLC.

“It’s just kind of a cool factor that that I think a lot of people will like,” Copley said about the container project. “It’s a popular topic right now.”

While the first project will bring only 21 units to the city, Copley said it could demonstrate a way to build new homes much faster and for much less money than conventional housing. If other developers follow their lead, that could mean thousands of more units, fewer homeless people on the street and fewer homes crowded with roommates, freeing up more vacancies for families.

While the project would be a first for San Diego County, two similar projects exist in Southern California. In South Los Angeles, Flyaway Homes recently completed a nine-unit complex that uses shipping containers. In Orange County, Potters Lane by American Family Housing used shipping containers for a 16-unit project.

In San Diego, each 320-square-foot unit would have its own patio, kitchen and bathroom. While the units will be built from metal shipping containers, they will be insulated and have interior drywalls. .

“When you walk in, these things are solid,” Copley said. “You don’t hear your neighbors. You don’t hear people walking around.”

Of the 21 units planned for Imperial Avenue, one will be for a household classified as very-low income, 10 will be for households making 80 percent of the area media income and the remaining 10 will be priced at market-rate.

read more at: http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/homelessness/sd-me-homes-containers-20181022-story.html

disclaimer: for information and entertainment purposes only