Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Trouble in Solar Paradise

"All the best forms of corruption are legal!"

Dale Julin, a solar system installer wrote an op-ed for the Santa Cruz Sentinel about the actual on-the-ground, er, roof effects of implementation of the California Solar Initiative.

The PG&E representatives agreed that the CSI process needed to be streamlined. "We feel your pain," they said.
Then an installer asked, "How many applications for new solar home installations have you received?"
"More than 1,000," said the earnest young PG&E representative.
"How many have been deemed 'completed'?"
This was a good question, because unless a new system is deemed "completed," the homeowner cannot turn it on. That means the installer must wait for his check.
The young PG&E representative answered honestly, if undiplomatically ...
"None," he said.
"None?" we asked.
None was the reply.

Six months into the CSI and still not one "completed" system. Don't believe it? See for yourself. You'll find documentation on the PG&E Web site. Click on www.pge.com/solar. Click on "California Solar Initiative." Click on "CSI and SGIP statewide average systems cost, May 2007." Check the dates for "completed" systems after Jan. 1, 2007. None. The same goes for residential and commercial applications in Southern California Edison and San Diego utility territories. None.