There are 3 big current energy policies that favor California businesses, but time is running out to capitalize on the financial benefits:

  1. Federal Investment Tax Credit (FITC) – 30% of the cost of the solar system
  2. Net Metering – sell solar electricity to the PG&E grid at $0.36/kWh when the sun shines, and use this credit to buy electricity at night at $0.13/kWh.
  3. Meter Aggregation (NEMA) – Connect a single solar array to any meter at your operation and virtually offset any other meters that are less accessible, significantly reducing the cost of installation.


Gaia Energy Systems can educate you on these policies and assess how they can benefit you. Let Gaia help you save on your utility costs while these programs are still available.

Net Metering works with a solar PV system. When the sun is shining, solar generates more energy than you use. Excess energy spins your electric meter backwards as electrons are fed back on to the grid. PG&E records a credit, which is then used to offset your electricity bill when your electric consumption exceeds generation… after the sun sets.

On an E6 rate excess generation could be credited “on-peak” at $0.36/kWh; these credits are then applied against grid- purchased electricity costing as little as $0.13/kWh. Gaia designs solar systems to maximize the Net Metering policy, allowing you to buy low” and “sell high”.

NEMA or Net Energy Meter Aggregation allows an owner to allocate solar energy to various loads on existing or adjacent parcels… whether leased or owned, this significantly reduces costs of solar installation by economizing engineering, permitting, and installation costs.


Original Post From: 

WASHINGTON –- President Barack Obama will visit a Walmart in Mountain View, California, on Friday, where he will be tout the administration’s push for solar power and energy efficiency.

The president will announce a Department of Energy solar instructor training network, which will assist with training programs at community colleges. The program’s goal is getting 50,000 additional workers to enter the solar industry by 2020, according to the White House.

Obama also will announce a goal of $2 billion in new spending on energy efficiency improvements to federal buildings over the next three years. The amount is in addition to the $2 billion for energy efficiency the administration announced in 2011.

The announcements follow Tuesday’s release of a major federal assessment of climate change impacts in the U.S.

The administration also said Friday that installation of electricity-generating solar panels on the White House is finally complete. Environmental groups had campaigned for Obama to replace solar panels that President Jimmy Carter had installed in 1979 that were removed during the Reagan administration. The White House said in October 2010 that it would install new panels, and work began in August.

The solar panels, said White House spokesman Matt Lehrich, demonstrate Obama’s “commitment to lead by example to increase the use of clean energy in the U.S.”

The panels are on the portion of the White House where the Obamas reside, will provide 6.3 kilowatts of solar generation. Lehrich said workers have made retrofits to the residence to improve energy efficiency, and the full project “is estimated to pay for itself in energy savings over the next eight years.”

The White House released a video promoting the new solar panels:

Great news!  The Board of Supervisors voted to implement Sonoma Clean Power. This program will focus on providing a cleaner power mix for Sonoma County customers. The board’s decision means that this service will be made available to about 100,000 customers in the unincorporated areas of the county.

This is REALLY BIG NEWS and we are very excited about it at Gaia Energy Systems!

In the coming months, cities will consider joining Sonoma Clean Power and thereby give business and residential customers in their jurisdictions the choice. Depending on how many cities vote “yes,” the number of customers enrolled will increase.

CPC’s Ann Hancock along with many business and community allies spoke before the board about the importance of this program and the opportunity for our community it presents. It was standing room only!

The board also approved taking steps to arrange needed financing to get Sonoma Clean Power up and running. First Community Bank will provide the financing.

The proposed amount of renewable energy for the power mix is initially to be 33% compared with PG&E’s 19%. According to the current schedule, an electric service provider will be selected by the end of July, and Sonoma Clean Power will begin serving customers in January 2014.

Based on bids received earlier this month from 11 interested private electricity providers, rates are projected to be between 1.8% less to 1.1% more than PG&E on the residential side. For mid-sized commercial customers, rates are estimated to be 3.1% less to .5% more.

The decision yesterday is a huge milestone! We’re several steps closer to implementing the most powerful solution under local control for significantly reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.

Now the focus shifts to cities. We’ll need your help to let council members know that residents and businesses want a choice! Stay tuned!


Solar Sonoma County’s PV Design & Installation Course

John Lloyd, Instructor

Course Description:

While the world’s economy is slowly recovering and improving, we don’t have to tell you that the green collar economy is booming. This course will educate you in the design and installation of photovoltaic systems and will prepare you to take the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners Entry Level Exam.  Upon successfully passing the open book test, you will receive a professional certificate, which can qualify you for immediate employment. Set your new career in motion! (Veteran’s encouraged to apply.)

Cost: $350 (Scholarships available for income qualified persons: contact Jason)

Register: Please click here to register


Sonoma Mountain Village, iHub

Sonoma State University Conference Room

1300 Valley House Dr. Rohnert Park, CA 94928

(Through double glass doors, far side of lounge, look for Solar Sonoma County sign next to door.)



Bring your Own Lunch, light snacks and water will be provided.

2013 Sunday Class Sessions:

  • April 14, 21, 28

  • May 5, 12, 19, 26

  • June 2


Contact: Jason Dunham

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released $150 million in unused advanced energy manufacturing tax credits for clean energy and energy efficiency manufacturing projects across the U.S. Can your Sonoma County, Lake County, Mendocino County, or Marin County business benefit from this? Read more here…

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has unanimously approved a long-term procurement decision ordering Southern California Edison (SCE) to procure between 1,400 MW and 1,800 MW of energy resource capacity in the Los Angeles basin to meet long-term local capacity requirements by 2021. Read more…

When the California’s legislature reconvenes in early 2013, solar advocates may see a familiar item on the agenda. Earlier this month, State Sen. Lois Wolk, D-Davis, introduced S.B.43, which would establish a framework for community solar projects.

As solar professionals from California and beyond may remember, Wolk’s previous community solar bill, S.B.843, failed at the last minute in September – despite extensive lobbying efforts from the solar sector, local governments and supporting organizations.  Read more…