Archive Category : California News: Finance, Incentives, Rates & Nem

This Clean Energy Home Loan Program Has Problems. California’s Trying to Fix Them

A decade after California became ground zero for what is now one of the country’s fastest-growing home loan programs, the state has Read More →

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Los Angeles is setting the PACE for the clean energy economy

California’s homes are being strengthened with clean technology – solar power to generate electricity and efficiency measures to do more Read More →

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U.S. solar industry battles ‘white privilege’ image problem

Solar power companies have an image problem—and they are beginning to do something about it. Despite a sharp drop in the price of solar panels and innovative financing plans that have brought the technology to many middle income households over the past decade, it is still seen as a luxury only rich, mostly white, consumers can afford. Read More →

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The Silicon Valley Idea That’s Driving Solar Use Worldwide

Silicon Valley has something to offer the world in the drive toward a clean energy economy. And it’s not technology. It’s a financing formula. In a region that spawned tech giants Apple Inc. and Google and is famous for innovators and entrepreneurs like Steve Jobs, a handful of startups began offering to install solar panels on the homes of middle-class families in return for no-money down and monthly payments cheaper than a utility bill. Read More →

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Why Rooftop Solar Advocates Are Upset About California’s Clean-Energy Law

California’s aggressive push to increase renewable energy production comes with a catch for people with solar panels on the roof: You don’t count. If a home or business has a rooftop solar system, most of the wattage isn’t included in the ambitious requirement to generate half of the state’s electricity from renewable sources such as solar and wind by 2030, part of legislation signed in October by Gov. Jerry Brown. That means rooftop solar owners are missing out on a potentially lucrative subsidy that is paid to utilities and developers of big power projects. Read More →

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Not just California: Solar Battles Raging Across U.S.

California has more rooftop solar installations than any other state, and it isn’t particularly close. But the Golden State is far from the only place where the solar industry and utility companies are clashing over how much money solar customers should be allowed to save. Officials in 24 states have recently changed or are debating changes to rate structures for solar customers, according to a report released by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center earlier this month. Read More →

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California Solar Costs & Value

There seems to be a lot of confusion about how much a home solar power system costs in the year 2015. Solar Power Now says the cost is about $3 per watt, or $15,000 for a 5,000 watt system, which seems to be about the average size for a single-family home. Actually, the size of the system will depend upon how much electricity that home uses, so you might need less than 5,000 watts. Obviously, the benefit is that then you would pay even less. Read More →

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Clean-energy lender Renovate America tops $1 billion in loans

A leading clean-energy lender has topped $1 billion in loans for home improvements — a milestone for the San Diego company as well as a once-foundering government program to encourage projects that reduce electricity or water use. Read More →

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Rooftop Solar Brings Higher Home Appraisals

Homes with rooftop solar are appraised at a higher value, according to new research from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. For the past few years, Berkeley Lab has been collecting data on the value of homes with solar photovoltaics compared to those without PV. Early studies relied on modeling and found that buyers were willing to pay an average of $15,000 more for a home with a solar PV array. Read More →

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Should homeowners with solar panels pay to help maintain the electrical grid?

Homeowners face a simple calculus when deciding whether to install solar panels on their roof: Will the panels pay for themselves with savings on their electric bill? But buried in that bill are complex variables defined by what’s known as the state’s net metering rules – the very essence of which are under debate at the California Public Utilities Commission in San Francisco. Read More →

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