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Published on July 7th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan


Petition: Let Californians Oversize Their Solar Power Systems

July 7th, 2013 by  

One of our readers has dropped a noteworthy petition in our comments a few times. I wanted to give it a bit more attention, since I know that the large majority of readers never make it down to the comments. The gist of the petition is to let Californians oversize their renewable energy systems (most notably, their solar power systems) and sell any electricity back to the grid for 25 cents per kilowatt-hour.

The petition goal is 1,000 signatures. It has 932 as I’m writing this. The petition will be delivered to the California Energy Commission, the California Public Utility Commission, and Governor Jerry Brown

The petition statement is as follows:

The California Feed in Tariff allows eligible customers’ generators to enter into 10-, 15-, or 20-year contracts with their utility companies to sell the electricity produced by renewable energy systems. Let California home owners take advantage of the Feed in Tariff, allowing them to over-size their solar systems.

And background, from the petition page, is as follows:

California law does not allow home owners to size their Solar systems larger than what they use. In order to get the California Solar Initiative (CSI) rebate, the customer is not allowed to install a system that inherently over-produces more than what is needed for his home.

The Feed-in Tariff can not be earned if you receive a rebate from your utility company for solar panels or if you are participating in other utility solar incentives programs such as the CSI. It also can not be earned if you are participating in net metering, which only pays one time a year under the AB 920 California Solar Surplus Act.

Our Feed-In Tariff should mirror Germany, Japan, Vermont, Los Angeles County Ca. and Hawaii where residential FIT is 13 cents – 37 cents per kilowatt hour.

The California Public Utility commission can change the FIT to payment levels that are differentiated appropriately, and distribute the solution to all tax-paying citizens who should not be deliberately handcuffed. Residential homeowners should be allowed to oversize their Renewable Energy systems and participate in the State mandated goal to achieve 33% Renewable Energy by 2020

“Examples of how they (and our complicit energy “experts”) have been “slowing the process” are:

(1) Renewable portfolio standards (RPS) which create de facto caps on the deployment of renewable energies. (The Germans don’t have any RPSs. Their FIT program is open ended, the more capacity, the merrier!)

(2) Net-metering caps. Most states only allow a small percentage of one to two percent of peak load to be net-metered. There are exceptions however. Colorado, for example, has no aggregate capacity limit. However, most states do. Net-metering, therefore, will certainly “hold back the clean energy tide.”

(3) The third party leasing rent-to-own outfits like Sungevity, but more importantly, Solarcity, which just went public with an IPO, fight tooth and nail to protect scarce capacity carveouts (from the state RPSs) so as to bolster their chosen business models as the expense of all others. The same goes for the utility-scale folks. The in-fighting, due in part to the small de facto caps of the RPSs, have significantly slowed the deployment of renewables in the U.S.

(4) Most importantly is how we connect distributed renewable energies to the grid in the U.S., the most salient difference between the American net-metering program and the German feed-in tariff is that net-metering is *retail* energy whereas the FIT is *wholesale* energy. Thus, net-metering does little more than offset onsite loads and in the process it shifts the rate burdens of lost customers onto other ratepayers. Those rate burdens also include all of the utility’s overhead as well since compensation is at the retail rate. A FIT, on the other hand, as wholesale energy feeds the energy directly into the electric grid, and because it is must take wholesale energy it must be used first, and in many cases it will off set more expensive energies found on the grid, such as peaker plant power,spinning reserves and so forth saving rate payers money.” Bob Tregilus.

Due to these laws, we have automatically taken out over 8 million roof tops, that would generate over 11,500MW of power, thats 5 San Onofre nuclear power plants.

We need to let our tax paying, Home Owning citizens in on a Feed in Tariff, and allow Homeowners to oversize their Renewable Energy Systems.

In the spirit of Bill McKibben and 350.org for our children and eaarth, lets make real global sustaining changes for all of us.

We are buying and selling clean air, all inhaling life sustaining pollution free air.

Dirty kilowatt vs Clean Kilowatt, what kind of air do you want to breath ?

The Feed in Tariff will address Global Warming, which is causing Climate Change.

Head on over to the petition page and sign it right now! 

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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA] — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in this company and feels like it is a good cleantech company to invest in. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort on Tesla or any other company.

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