solar

HEAR OUR INTERVIEW: EMMA HIGGINS, GRID ALTERNATIVES

 

 

Company seeks donors to bring solar job training and installations for low-income homeowners to East County

December 18, 2017 (San Diego) -- Emma Higgins with Grid Alternatives in San Diego sat down with ECM editor Miriam Raftery on our KNSJ radio show recently to discuss how the nation’s largest nonprofit solar installer is offering solar installations free to low and moderate homeowners, saving 75-100% on their energy bills.

The organization also provides job training to qualified persons in need including veterans and refugees. Participants can earn an income while training and after completing the program, can make $19 an hour. 

Audio: 

SUPERVISOR JACOB AND SIERRA CLUB JOIN SOLAR ADVOCATES IN PROTEST AT SDG&E TODAY

 

East County News Service

March 16, 2016 (San Diego) – Elected officials, environmental groups and solar advocates plan to hold a rally from 2. p.m. to 2 :30 today in front of SDG&E’s corporate campus at 8326 Century Park Court, San Diego to oppose SDG&E use of ratepayers’ funds to attempt to influence the CPUC over solar net metering.

The California Public Utilities Commission issued a decision on solar net metering that solar advocates say was a compromise for both the solar industry and utilities. Rally organizers say they aim to take a stand against “greed” and in support of the Commission’s decision.

CPUC VOTES TO KEEP NET METERING FOR SOLAR

 

 

East County News Service

Photo by Jessica Walls

January 28, 2016 (San Diego) – By a 3-2 vote, the California Public Utilities Commission today voted to retain net energy metering that supporters say is crucial to support growth of rooftop solar power.  Though some changes will be made, the ruling protects compensation for consumers who produce surplus solar power for the grid.

Hailed as a victory for rooftop solar advocates, the decision has drawn praise from environmentalists but criticism from San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E).

SOLAR CITY PROGRAMS EMPOWER COMMUNITIES AND HOMEOWNERS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

 

 

Hear our exclusive interview with David Guefen, Solar City in San Diego: http://k003.kiwi6.com/hotlink/p9k7v10vp9/Newsmaker-DavidGuefen-SolarCity_and_SolarFoundation.mp3

October 12, 2015 (San Diego)—Solar City, the largest solar company in the U.S., has launched some of the most ambitious and empowering programs in the solar industry.  The company can even act as your utility company, enabling you to get a solar system for no money down and start saving on your utility bill from day one.   Average savings per home run 20 to 60 percent on utility bills, says David Guefen with Solar City San Diego.

The company is also giving back through programs that provide free solar to schools in impoverished countries, giving free solar power to families in military housing, and offering a rewards program for referrals. (If you buy a system from Solar City and mention East County Magazine, our nonprofit will receive a reward. Just click the ad in this story.)

But the window to go solar with maximum incentives ends December 31st, when a 30% federal tax credit is set to expire or be slashed.

Audio: 

HERO PROGRAM HELPS HOMEOWNERS SAVE MONEY IN EAST COUNTY, SAN DIEGO

 

 

 

 

 

East County News Service

October 17, 2015 (San Diego's East County) -- New, updated HVAC systems offer ways for homeowners to save energy, and therefor money in their wallets. But some homeowners may avoid updating their systems because they are afraid of what seems like a high cost to install.

Now with the new Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO) program, that doesn’t have to be a concern. HERO offers financing for approved energy and water efficient products, as well as renewable energy products, for homeowners in San Diego. With the program, homeowners can get low, fixed-rate financing options and payment plans that can vary from five to 20 years, making it as easy as possible for homeowners to upgrade their heating and air conditioning units and better protect the environment.

SIERRA CLUB PLANS RALLY TO PROTEST SDG&E OVER SOLAR ROADBLOCKS

 

 

East County News Service

September 26, 2015 (San Diego)—The San Diego Sierra Club plans a rally on October 7th at 12 noon outside Sempra Energy headquarters (488 8th Ave., San Diego) to protest the utility’s actions that environmentalists say are aimed at “crippling solar.”

SOLAR GOLD RUSH IN SAN DIEGO: RULES FOR SOLAR CHANGING

 

Monumental changes in solar market set to spur largest demand in history

 

East County News Service

Hear our interview with Erica Johnson, Sullivan Solar Power, on why some solar incentives will soon be going away as well as advice for consumers and ratepayers:  http://kiwi6.com/file/3v2a5ryrbc

February 20, 2015 (San Diego’s East County)--The rules of solar are changing for California property owners, and property owners who wait for the future will not receive the favorable conditions of today.  The first region to lose incentives may be San Diego, where a cap on net metering is close to being attained later this year.

MILHOLLAND SOLAR AND ELECTRIC CELEBRATES 25TH ANNIVESARY AT NEW EL CAJON LOCATION

 

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 30th 2014 (El Cajon)—The San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony on January 22nd to welcome Milholland Solar and Electric to East County and celebrate the premier solar installation and electrical contractor’s 25th anniversary.  

Representatives for officials including Supervisor Dianne Jacob, State Senator Joel Anderson and Assemblyman Brian Jones were on hand to present awards, along with Chamber leaders, at Milholland’s spacious new headquarters at 1475 North Cuyamaca Street in El Cajon.

TSIMBOUKAKIS VIES FOR SENATOR ANDERSON’S SEAT: TAKES STAND AGAINST INDUSTRIAL-SCALE ENERGY PROJECTS IN EAST COUNTY

 

 

By Jessica Richmond

Listen to our radio interview with Fotios “Frank” Tsimboukakis here:  http://kiwi6.com/file/t5e89mc5cl

April 12, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) - The race for California’s 38th State Senate district seat has been heating up since the arrival of Fotios “Frank” Tsimboukakis.  He has made it a point to challenge incumbent Joel Anderson on many key issues—including taking a stand against environmentally harmful energy projects in East County. Tsimboukakis has testified in public hearings against industrial solar and wind projects, as well as the Quail Brush gas-fired power plant, while Anderson has been largely silent on these controversial plans, critics have pointed out.

Tsimboukakis has also proposed plans to make college tuition free, cut wasteful spending, and convene public hearings on funding firefighting, with an eye toward possibly repealing or amending state fire fees.  He has also pledged to hold regular town hall meetings in the district to hear from voters, faulting Anderson for not hosting town halls for constituents to share their views.

HOT TOPICS ON OUR SHOW WEDNESDAY! BIG THREATS TO EAST COUNTY & HOW TO SAVE OUR BACKCOUNTRY

Listen online here from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Wed. April 16: http://knsj.org/knsjpopup.html

Hot topics:

  • ECM special investigative report on Sheriff response times. How safe is your community?
  • Solar leader Daniel Sullivan says "absolutely" industrial wind/solar projects in our backcountry are not needed. We can produce more clean power for less money AND save our scenic areas. Find out what must change to stop this senseless devastation.
  • Frank Tsimboukakis, candidate challenging State Senator Joel Anderson, takes stand against big energy projects in our region and shares his plan to eliminate tuitions at public universities and colleges in California.
  • Ariele Johannsen’s Destination East County tells you about the hottest events coming up—from a glow-in-the-dark egg hunt to Lakeside's Western Days, a wine-and-rails ride through our backcountry and many others.

All this and more on this Wednesday's East County Magazine show!

You can listen online at the link above (it may take a few moments to load, after you click the play button) or on KNSJ 89.1 FM at 5 p.m. Wednesday.

A BETTER OPTION TO INDUSTRIAL ENERGY PROJECTS IN OUR REGION IS PROPOSED

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 5, 2014 (San Diego) –“The San Diego County Planning Commissioners and Board of Supervisors have an obligation to look out for the greater good of the people of San Diego,” Timothy D. Schoechle, PhD, an international consultant on smart grid expert technology, engineering expert, and author of the report Getting Smarter About the Smart Grid wrote in his comments to the County’s planning director opposing Soitec’s plan to industrialize rural East County with massive solar modules that other experts have said could destroy the entire ecosystem of the region.

Instead, Dr. Schoechle lays out a detailed case for a saner, safer alternative—and why current government policies are polar opposites of what’s needed to protect the public against rapacious energy corporations.

EXPERTS VOICE ALARM OVER SURVIVAL OF LOCAL BIGHORN SHEEP

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 17, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – Could big energy projects proposed in East County lead to the decimation of federally endangered Peninsular Bighorn Sheep? 

From 1972 to the present, the Carrizo Gorge band of these bighorns has plummeted from about 120 sheep to less than 40.  “Off-road vehicles, trespassing cattle, poaching in the 1960s and ‘70s, drought, disease and Mountain Lion predation have worked together to push this population o the edge. We hope we can save this group before it is too late,” Mark Jorgensen, advisor to the Bighorn Institute and former Superintendent of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park wrote in the Desert News.

In his comments submitted on  four solar projects proposed by Soitec in Boulevard, Jorgensen writes that “Construction of yet another group of solar projects will further impede the free movement of wildlife by reducing habitat connectivity and ruining wildlife corridors.”  He further notes that Soitec’s sites are very near lands purchased and set aside specifically to protect species  the endangered bighorn, golden eagles and other species in peril.

DOES BOULEVARD HAVE ENOUGH WATER FOR SOITEC’S SOLAR PROJECTS?

 

SDSU water expert concludes Soitec’s 4 projects will use more water than rainfall can replace, placing entire ecological system at risk. Other experts confirm serious water concerns

A special joint investigation by East County Magazine and The Eco Report

By Roy L. Hales; Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report

 

 

(photo:  Dead trees from well pumping that lowered water table elsewhere illustrates what experts and residents fear could occur in Boulevard.)

February 9, 2014 (Boulevard)—Hydrology experts are casting serious doubts about the credibility of water use claims made by Soitec Solar for four massive solar projects proposed in San Diego’s rural East County.

REVIVING GAIA: NEW ENVIRONMENTAL NEWS SITE FEATURES MANY LOCAL AND NATIONAL ISSUES

Photos courtesy of Boeing, Brad Gibson and Jim Pelley

January 24, 2014 (San Diego)--A new website is dedicated to exploring how lifestyle choices and technologies impact the environment.  Reviving Gaia (www.revivinggaia.com) has considerable San Diego content, including some of Miriam Raftery’s articles reprinted from East County Magazine on regional energy and environmental issues, news stories from Jo Communications and features by San Diego biologist Renee Owens.  

The site’s owner/editor, Roy L Hales, was the editor of San Diego Loves Green last year and frequently wrote about net-metering, the biofuel industry and the industrialization of East County. (Some of these articles were reprinted by East County magazine.) He continues to cover these topics in Reviving Gaia.

AN INTERVIEW WITH ONEROOF ENERGY: SHOUT OUT FOR SOLAR

 

Reprinted with permission; originally published at http://www.revivinggaia.com/green-blogs/area/usa/san-diego/an-interview-with-oneroof-energy-shout-out-for-solar/

By Roy L. Hales

January 23, 2014 (San Diego)--The U.S. has good reason to “Shout Out For Solar” when the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) celebrates its 40th anniversary on January 24.

While costs of solar panels have been dropping, companies have been streamlining the sales-to-installation process and this increased efficiency has resulted in lower prices. The explosive growth of rooftop solar has enabled the U.S. to surpass Germany in cumulative new PV installations in 2014, according to a study by Greentech Media Research.

JAMUL SOLAR INCENTIVE PROGRAM LAUNCHES FOR LOCAL PROPERTY OWNERS

Community Solar Program Supports Creation of a Strong Solar Community: Learn More at a Free Solar Seminar Feb 15 at Jamul Restaurant and Bakery

 

January 17, 2014 (Jamul) – With the vision of creating a strong solar community in Jamul, local business Sullivan Solar Power announces its launch of the Jamul Solar Program. The company is offering cash incentives in addition to the federal tax credit to property owners within the unincorporated community of Jamul. The innovative program allows residents in Jamul to go solar for no upfront cost and receive substantial cash-back awards for their involvement.

“With many residents looking to declare energy independence from the utility and foreign fossil fuels, Jamul is the ideal community to adopt solar in the masses,” said Daniel Sullivan, founder and president of Sullivan Solar Power.

MASSIVE SOITEC SOLAR PROJECTS PROPOSED IN BACKCOUNTRY AT BOULEVARD; EIR RELEASED BY SAN DIEGO COUNTY

Public Comments Due by February 17

By Sharon Penny

January 5, 2014 (Boulevard)--On Thursday, January 2, the County of San Diego released an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) on massive solar projects proposed in East County by Soitec Solar (http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/pds/ceqa/Soitec-Solar-EIR.html).

At the Boulevard Planning Group meeting, County employees made a brief presentation of the EIR.  The small community room was packed with over two dozen residents of Boulevard, all expressing major concerns with the proposed projects. Robert Hingtgen and Mindy Fogg from the County’s Planning and Development Services discussed Soitec’s four proposed projects, which combined would encompass a total of 1,490 acres in Boulevard, with almost 7,500 solar trackers, each measuring 30 feet tall by 48 feet wide.

DESERT SOLAR PROJECTS ARE BURNING BIRDS ALIVE

 

Shocking toll from solar facility pales, however, compared to estimated 100,000 bird deaths from wind turbines in CA

By Miriam Raftery

November 25, 2013 (California) – Desert solar projects have been touted as environmentally friendly.  But now disturbing evidence has emerged that these projects are incinerating birds flying overhead.Two months ago,  34 birds were found dead or injured at Ivanpah Solar (photo, left, by Tom Budlong) owned by BrightSource Energy in  San Bernardino County, California. Almost half had singed feathers and some had nothing left but spines where feathers melted from  reflected beams of sunlight, according to a report  in The Desert Sun.

The toll was even worse in October, when 52 dead birds were found at the site, 17 with scorched feathers (see photo, below right)  Ivanpah, still in testing phase, is the world's largest solar facility -- but it's not the only one frying birds. Another 19 birds were found dead at another project, Desert Sunlight, also in California.  More such facilities are planned, incdluing Palen’s proposed project in the Coachella Valley that would be located near two wildlife refuges where migrating birds stop in the Pacific Flyway.

CONTROVERSIAL NET METERING MEASURE SIGNED INTO LAW BY GOVERNOR BROWN

 

By Paul Kruze

“The way everything has turned out, the energy hogs are being rewarded…Now, no matter how much you conserve energy, no matter how much you generate, the residential ratepayers are stuck with this.” – Pete Hasapopoulos, San Diego Sierra Club

October 11, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) -- Amid a chorus of cheers and jeers, Governor Jerry Brown signed Assembly Bill 327 reflecting the first change to electric rates and how  major power utilities account for residential rooftop solar systems.

Introduced by Fresno Democrat Party Assemblyman Henry T. Perea, the legislation directs the California Public Utilities Commission to design a new net metering program that would take effect within four years. The bill also gives the CPUC authority to require utilities to source more than 33 percent of their power from renewable sources like wind and solar. In addition, the new law will replace the electric rate restrictions adopted by  California during the state’s energy deregulation crisis in 2000.

SOLAR LUNCHEON AND OPEN HOUSE IN LA MESA SEPT. 21 AND 28

September 11, 2013 (La Mesa) – Sullivan Solar Power invites the public to two free  events on solar energy in La Mesa:

  • La Mesa Solar Luncheon on Saturday, September 21st at 11:00 a.m.at the La Mesa Community Center (4975 Memorial Dr.). will provide opportunities to, learn about solar technology, how to determine if solar is right for your home, rebates and incentives, and local case studies. The presentation will last one hour; lunch will be provided. RSVP: 1.800.SULLIVAN. 
  • Solar Open House on Saturday, September 28th from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in La Mesa at 7430 Orien Avenue. Utility rates went up as much as 39% recently. Learn about solar technology, rebates and incentives, and the SDG&E rate hike from solar industry experts while talking to property owners that went solar. Call 1.800.SULLIVAN for more information.

SOLAR ADVOCATES PROTEST UTILITY-BACKED AB 327

 

 

By Paul Kruze

September 5, 2013 (San Diego)-- A small but passionate group of local environmentalists and workers for Sullivan Solar Power, a local solar panel installation company,  gathered in front of Sempra Energy’s downtown corporate offices on August 28 to protest the energy conglomerate’s backing of California Assembly Bill 327. Opponents here and at protests elsewhere in California said the bill would irreparably gut incentives for energy conservation and rooftop solar development.

Introduced by Assemblyman Henry T. Perea (D-Fresno), the proposed bill was approved by the California Senate Energy Committee late last week, with major amendments. If passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor, it would replace  what utilities and other supporters say are outdated restrictions on how electrical rates are decided and approved.

"EDISON HATES SOLAR" VIDEO PARODY SPARKS THREAT OF LEGAL ACTION; LATINO GROUP KEEPS AIRING VIDEO, REFUSES TO BE INTIMIDATED



Group vows to continue fight for solar, reveals lobbying of Latino legislators by utilities industry



August 19, 2013 (Los Angeles)  In response to a letter written by Southern California Edison demanding that a parody video posted on the website www.SaveRooftopSolar.com be removed from YouTube, leaders of Presente.org have refused to remove the video. Instead, they vowed to continue their efforts of exposing Southern California Edison and other energy companies that have lobbied against solar panel initiatives throughout California.

These utility companies have targeted Latino legislators throughout the state in an attempt to abolish solar panel initiatives and to stop working class families from gaining access to this a major form of sustainable energy, the group said. The video titled "Edison hates rooftop solar" released by Presente.org and the Other98.com , satirizes Southern California Edison and the other companies who have taken part in these efforts.

CITY OF SAN DIEGO POWERS UP PARTNERSHIP TO PUT SOLAR ON ROOFS OF LOW-INCOME RESIDENTS

 

Program also benefits East County students learning solar installation

By Nadin Abbott

May 2, 2013 (San Diego)—Mayor Bob Filner, Sullivan Solar owner Daniel Sullivan and Paul Cleary of GRID Alternatives hosted a press conference today at the Martin household in Broadway Heights.  It’s all part of a new partnership between the city, Sullivan and Grid Alternatives to put solar on the rooftop of low-income residents.

SANTEE GOES GREEN

By Nadin Abbott

Photos by Tom Abbott

April 25, 2013 (Santee)—Three items before the Santee City Council this week reflect a growing green agenda. These included adoption of a program to help residents finance solar energy and energy efficiency improvements, declaration of May as bike to work month, and announcing April 27 as Arbor Day, when trees will be planted as part of SanTree Fest.

Council voted unanimously to join FigTree Energy Financing’s Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, which allows residents to finance solar and energy-efficient projects at low finance rates with zero cost to the city. http://www.figtreecompany.com/

JACOB, ROBERTS LEAD EFFORT TO UPDATE COUNTY STRATEGIC ENERGY PLAN

 

Measure will lead to taxpayer savings, energy efficiency

March 14, 2013 (San Diego)--County Supervisors Dianne Jacob and Dave Roberts want to save taxpayers’ money and quickly bring more energy-saving projects like solar to the region.

Several days after meeting with San Diego Mayor Bob Filner to discuss energy issues, Roberts and Jacob on Tuesday pushed for more green energy and less reliance on fossil-fuels in the county’s unincorporated area. Roberts called for a working partnership with the city of San Diego “on all things green”.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: TOP LOCAL AND STATE NEWS

COUNTY TO EXAMINE ENERGY FINANCING OPTIONS; COULD CLEAR WAY FOR MORE CLEAN ENERGY PROJECTS INCLUDING PACE PROGRAMS

Information provided by County News Services

February 28, 2013 (San Diego)--The  County Board of Supervisors this week launched an analysis that could lead to more rooftop solar and other small-scale alternative energy projects across the region. At the urging of Vice-Chairwoman Dianne Jacob and Supervisor Dave Roberts, the board unanimously voted to initiate a detailed look at financing options for homeowners and businesses interested in installing energy-saving systems.

“We’re fortunate to live in one of the sunniest regions in the nation, but the tools needed to help pay for solar panels and related technology are out of reach for many property owners,” said Jacob. “We’re hoping the analysis will help us lift the financial cloud hanging over solar, particularly for homeowners.”

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: TOP LOCAL AND STATE NEWS

SAN DIEGO COUNTY TAXPAYER ASSOCIATION PUSH FOR QUAIL BRUSH GAS POWER PLANT FUELS IRE: OPPONENTS SAY PLANT IS A BOONDOGGLE THAT WILL BE COSTLY FOR TAXPAYERS

 

“The danger is that consumers will be required to pay for an expensive gas-fired plant they don’t’ need now or in the future.” – The Utility Reform Network

By Miriam Raftery

February 24, 2013 (San Diego) – Why is the San Diego County Taxpayers Association (SDCTA) pushing for a fossil fuel power plant that many authoritative sources indicate is not needed and will prove costly to taxpayers?

In a letter sent February 20, 2013 to the California Public Utilities Commission, Lani Lutar, president and chief executive officer of the SDTCA, urged the Commission to postpone a decision on the Quail Brush gas-fired power plant near Mission Trails Regional Park, until after the California Energy Commission has completed its examination of the project. 

ECM WORLD WATCH: GLOBAL AND NATIONAL NEWS

February 14, 2013 (San Diego’s East County)--ECM World Watch helps you be an informed citizen about important issues globally and nationally. As part of our commitment to reflect all voices and views, we include links to a wide variety of news sources representing a broad spectrum of political, religious, and social views. Top world and U.S. headlines include:

U.S.

WORLD

HEALTH

Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.

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