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California Utilities trying to outlaw other installers from rooftop

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by gene, Apr 18, 2018.

  1. gene

    gene Supporting Member

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    Lobbyists for the utilities are getting traction on their proposal, Senate Bill 1088, to take control of all rooftop solar. The proposal would prohibit anyone other than the utility to install and maintain a solar system, even when on your property, behind the meter.
    SB 1088 would be a blow to the right to choose solar. Will you ask your lawmaker to help stop this proposal?

    California Bill Aimed at Wildfires Effectively Bans Clean Energy That May Help Prevent Them

     
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  2. Ardie

    Ardie Member

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    I don't see why they are calling this kind of attention to themselves. I mean, they are already raking in the dough by cranking up the rates, waiting for the public to scream, then reducing the rates a tiny bit, but then playing with the time-of-day slots that define Peak, Off-Peak, Super-Off-Peak, Day rates, Night Rates, and Weekend Rates, and the Time-Of-Use Rates and the Baseline Allocations and the Electric Car Rates and the Surcharges and the infrastructure maintenance fees.

    -- Ardie
    This is just the kind of excuse I'll need to get solar panels and a big storage battery to go off the grid completely.
    It'll be good bye, Southern California Edison, and your $0.45/kWh rates.
     
  3. ryanakata

    ryanakata Member

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    It's the same way with the Auto Dealer Associations and lobbying for no direct sales bills such as the one here in Louisiana. It doesn't do anything other than cause me a small headache but in no way could prevent me from buying a car.

    If anything, if that bill passes, then I would assume people would start to try to go completely off grid with batteries or give up on getting solar which is what they would want anyway.
     
  4. gene

    gene Supporting Member

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    This is exactly what the utilities are trying to legislate you to prevent you from installing your own solar and batteries. They want to install it, and they want to control it. Basically, they are trying to make it against the law to make your own power.
     
  5. TheTalkingMule

    TheTalkingMule Distributed Energy Enthusiast

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    This is the kind of thing NV Energy did in Nevada a couple years ago. Major efforts to sabotage distributed solar are always met with a 10x greater backlash, so I would take passage of this as good news if it happens.

    Nevada is very rapidly on their way to open energy markets and the monopoly NV Energy enjoyed is now all but gone.
     
  6. gene

    gene Supporting Member

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    Well, I am happy I had my system enlarged to 8 kw just yesterday. I'm waiting on 2 Tesla Powerwalls. We have mild weather here so no air conditioning, no pool, no jacuzzi. Just a refrigerator and 3 EV's. Anyone in the Ventura/Santa Barbara/Ojai area, I can recommend our local California Solar Electric as a fantastic company to work with. Tell them "gene sent you".
     
  7. mblakele

    mblakele beep! beep!

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    I've read through SB1088 and I don't see where it does this. Can you be more specific?

    Today's Law As Amended
     
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  8. gene

    gene Supporting Member

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    #8 gene, Apr 18, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2018
    Even for me, it is hard to see the connection but it seems according to a few environmental and pro-solar groups that these can be construed as allowing only utilities to install and operate even roof top solar. It is some fancy wording evidently written by utilities lobbyists. The utilities are certainly a sly group who are certainly not serving the public but rather themselves.

    "Language prohibiting electrical corporations from contracting out “distribution safety or reliability performance obligations.” This includes, “owning, controlling, operating, managing, maintaining, planning, engineering, designing, investing in, and constructing the distribution system.” (Section 2899.3(a)(b)&(c))"

    2899.3.
    (a) For purposes of this section, “distribution safety or reliability performance obligations” of an electrical corporation include, but are not limited to, owning, controlling, operating, managing, maintaining, planning, engineering, designing, investing in, and constructing the distribution system in its service territory, system reliability, emergency response and restoration, vegetation management, service connections, service turnons and turnoffs, and service inquiries relating to the operation of the distribution system.
    (b) An electrical corporation shall not delegate, transfer, or contract out any distribution safety or reliability performance obligation.
    (c) The commission shall not permit, authorize, or direct an electrical corporation to delegate, transfer, or contract out, or authorize any other entity to perform, a utility distribution safety or reliability performance obligation.
     
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  9. mblakele

    mblakele beep! beep!

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    Thanks, but I still don't see it. There's an important distinction in utilities between generation and distribution. Any distribution-related concerns are all on the utility side of the panel, aren't they? What does this have to do with solar on my roof, which is a generation system?
     
  10. McRat

    McRat Well-Known Member

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    It appears to only affect utility corporations, and only distribution NOT generation.
    It will increase electrical costs, hence making home solar more cost effective, but will harm the state's actual productive economy and perhaps harm desert ecology.
    It will increase bureaucracy spending for environmental impact studies, and handling enforcement and overview of the provisions.

    It sounds exactly like what California needs. More government spending on more paperwork, higher utility rates, and more jobs for State Government employees.

    I'm guessing it's a Bay Area or Sacramento Area Democrat who wants it? And those who are trying get government monies for large scale solar generation projects are against it, since it forces them to use CPUC approved plans for their distribution end of their project?

    So the Government Employees want it for more money and jobs, and the private energy companies don't want it because it will cost them more to build projects out in the desert.

    This is why we need to break the state into smaller segments.
     
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  11. SageBrush

    SageBrush 2020: Drain the Sewer

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    Wouldn't that be the staus quo ? They want something else
     
  12. miimura

    miimura Well-Known Member

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    The assertion that this bill and the language in 2899.3 somehow relates to rooftop solar depends on the definition of "the distribution system" in the bill. My understanding is that the distribution system ends at the transformer serving your meter and would never extend into your house past the meter.

    I believe that the intention of this section is to force the utility to take responsibility for all of the listed tasks to maintain the electric distribution systems. I believe that prohibiting sub-contracting these tasks is an attempt to eliminate finger pointing when things go wrong.
     
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  13. McRat

    McRat Well-Known Member

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    Sidebar, since this bill is supposed to have something to do with our wildfires:

    The wildfires are a necessary component of the chaparral laden coastal deserts we live in. But humans want to live in these deserts. That's their problem. Not a wise place to live if you've seen a chaparral wildfire, but who wants to live forever anyhow?

    The desert wildfires have to do with rainfall in excess of the norm. Too much moisture crosses the mountain ranges then a drought (or median levels of rainfall), and eventually a fire. Without man, these fires happen due to lightning which in the coastal deserts occurs in the fall. This is before the rains (if any) in these regions. Wildfire size is normally controlled by the naturally changing wind pattern of these coastal deserts. But these fires were killing the Native Americans for thousands of years before we built our mansions here.

    So... If you want to blame the latest fires on anything, you really need to look back 10-20 years. Desert plants grow slowly by design. It probably rained like a cow pissin' on a flat rock in these areas around 1997-2007 and was fairly dry since then. Well, look at that! The heaviest rainfall this century was 2004. No global conspiracy, unless you believe GHG global warming in California started in 1883 (heaviest rainfall recorded). There were probably some serious fires in California roughly 1893-1903. But we didn't even keep records of them back then. They were common events, with big fire seasons every 1-2 decades give or take. They weren't even recorded if they didn't affect houses or roads.

    The biggest factor in California wildfires is the same thing they drilled into your head when you were a kid. Humans start 1/2 the fires. These are preventable. Now that more people are in these coast fire zones, they will start more fires. And they do. Bureaucracy will not affect this problem.

    Disclaimer: I took a semester of desert ecology AND stayed at a Holiday Inn Express, so I'm an expert here.
     
  14. SageBrush

    SageBrush 2020: Drain the Sewer

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    If this bill is the utilities' handiwork there is more at play and at stake.
     
  15. SMAlset

    SMAlset Well-Known Member

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    #15 SMAlset, Apr 27, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2018
    To me unless I'm not understanding it (haven't had time to really read about it), "prohibiting sub-contracting these tasks" sounds to me like they are looking instead for a new revenue source. With the State and cities mandating solar and EV charging at home and at businesses (many will want to add battery storage systems), thats a lot of new or remodeling (to bring up to code) income they can generate. A company that manufacturers it's system or trains people on it is IMO the best to install it and I of course assume these would be licensed electrician/contractors doing the job.

    You know darn well that the utilities will keep raising rates regardless of whether they don't have to invest in infrastructure with people adding their own solar/battery systems. So they want to capture the whole installation/ownership business as a money generating resource and what we're going to see our rates reduced as a result of giving them that business? Highly unlikely.

    I have to say the utilities remind me of some of the water companies here in Calif who strongly discouraged water uses, residents complied, and then the water provider said that the usage was so low they didn't make enough money so were raising their rates and now the residents are stuck with high rates. The end user can't ever seem to win no matter what they do. If they don't get the solar panels install/equipment revenue they will just raise their rates for what they do provide. With the onslaught of EVs coming down the road in the near future and the need for electrical charging as opposed to fuel purchases, the electrical utilities should be seeing a growth in revenue from that source and like I said without needing to invest in additional infrastructure on their part. I don't want to buy my solar equipment down the road from my utility or have them install it either. Our system will be from Tesla most likely, hopefully the solar roof tiles, and I want the manufacturer to install it not PG&E.

    Any idea where Senate Bill 1088 stands?
     
  16. aesculus

    aesculus Still Trying to Figure This All Out

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    If you follow the link provided by @mblakele this is the preamble text:
     
  17. aesculus

    aesculus Still Trying to Figure This All Out

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    04/23/18 From committee: Do pass and re-refer to Com. on APPR. (Ayes 11. Noes 1.) (April 24). Re-referred to Com. on APPR.
     
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