Imagine if the buggy whip industry could have added $10 per month to the cost of a car?  And the money go to them.081811_solar-sm

That is what PG&E and its representatives in the Legislature are trying to do.  If Assembly Democrat Perea has his way, you buy solar panels for your home or business and the State will force you to pay your utility $10a month for the “privilege”.  Democrats are not about saving the Earth, they are about taxes and protecting their donors.  PG&E, along with SoCal Edison have given millions over the years to the Democrat Party and Democrat candidates (in 2012 PG&E gave Perea $3900—Edison gave him $3500)

Why should a utility company have government forced ratepayers to pay a fee for buying another service?  Maybe they should promote their own version of solar and charge for that.  This is a way to use government to harm their competitors—commonly called crony capitalism.

“The state Legislature is maneuvering to add fixed costs to electric bills, watering down the incentive for homeowners to go (small) solar. A bill by Assemblyman Henry T. Perea, D-Fresno, would add $10 per month in fixed charges, costing customers of investor-owned utilities $120 a month extra. Standing to benefit would be Pacific Gas & Electric and Rosemead-based Southern California Edison.

The Sierra Club is fighting the bill, saying it will discourage as many as 40 percent of new customers to go solar if their electric bills are higher no matter how much energy they use.”

 

Steve Scauzillo: Assembly bill threatens to fry solar movement

A proposed flat charge could take away homeowner incentives to go green
Steve Scauzillo, San Gabriel Valley Tribune,  8/11/13

What do Linda Hecht of Redlands, Laureen Pittman of Riverside and Joy Brown Meredith of Palm Springs have in common?

Nothing, really. Except that they are the first three people to invest in PBS food show host Cliff Young’s latest project, a solar-powered ice cream truck called SoCal Scoops.

Launched on the crowd funding website RocketHub.com, SoCal Scoops is looking for $17,500 to kick start this green venture. While it may be only 1 percent funded, the idea is representative of the growing trend of small solar projects sweeping across the Sun Belt.

Some call it green going small.

You may have heard of those large solar panel installations being built in the California desert? If not, I’ll list a few: There’s Copper Mountain (150 megawatts) in Nevada; the Ivanpah solar plant (392 MW) under construction near Las Vegas; the Mojave Solar Project (280 MW) under construction near Barstow.

These are large projects spread across acres of land in the sun-drenched desert. Solar projects are even popping up on military bases. Case in point is the Nellis Solar Power Plant built on the Nellis Air Force Base outside Las Vegas (14 MW).

The state Legislature is maneuvering to add fixed costs to electric bills, watering down the incentive for homeowners to go (small) solar. A bill by Assemblyman Henry T. Perea, D-Fresno, would add $10 per month in fixed charges, costing customers of investor-owned utilities $120 a month extra. Standing to benefit would be Pacific Gas & Electric and Rosemead-based Southern California Edison.

The Sierra Club is fighting the bill, saying it will discourage as many as 40 percent of new customers to go solar if their electric bills are higher no matter how much energy they use.

“If the utilities change the rules of the game, what is to stop them from doing it again down the road? It might discourage many (homeowners) from a 20-year lease (on rooftop solar),” said Evan Gillespie, Sierra Club spokesman in Los Angeles.

The environmental group started by John Muir says everyone should have the right to go small and produce their own electricity from the sun. Whether that is on the rooftop of a home, a church, a synagogue or an ice-cream truck, owners should be free to harness the freely provided energy of the sun.

The going-small solar movement incorporates many goals, from reducing carbon emissions that contribute to global warming, to saving money on electric bills, to providing jobs.

“Every Californian family that installs solar panels on their roof is creating jobs for their community,” said Allen Hernandez, Inland Empire Community Organizer with the Sierra Club. “Community by community, neighbor by neighbor, Californians are going solar and are making California’s economy stronger.”

Solar installations reached record numbers in California in 2012, and 2013 shows no signs of slowing down, Gillespie said.

Last year, Temple Sinai in Glendale added a 125-panel solar array to the roof of its synagogue. The installation is saving the congregation $250 a month and that will grow to $1,000 a month in seven years. The temple estimated it will save $900,000 in electricity costs in 25 years.

My colleague, Opinion Editor Mariel Garza, says a $99 solar-powered charger from Voltaic allows her to re-charge her cellphone and iPod without plugging into a wall socket. It’s on my list of things to purchase.

There’s no end to the creativity of American entrepreneurs. That is, as long as the Legislature and investor-owned utilities don’t stand in their way.

When Young saw a solar-powered ice cream truck on the East Coast on one of his shoots, he said: “L.A. would eat that up!” So he bought a used ice-cream truck and got his friends at Hot Purple Energy in Palm Springs to pimp his ride. They’ll also retrofit the diesel engine to run on old french fry oil. Young also wants to employ at-risk young adults from a Hollywood shelter called My Friend’s Place.

“I want to use the sun to cool down my ice cream,” Young said.

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