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A decision by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will increased the number of rooftop solar installations that will qualify for net energy metering (NEM) by clarifying the way the program is capped.

NEM allows customers to receive a bill credit for excess energy produced by their home solar system. However, the number of solar systems allowed to receive NEM credits is not unlimited. Without NEM, the market potential for rooftop solar would be severely restricted.

California law states that electric utilities are only obligated to offer NEM to customers until the amount of installed solar capacity equals five percent of the utility’s “aggregated customer peak demand.”

Prior to the current CPUC decision, electric utilities interpreted “aggregate customer peak demand” to mean the coincident system peak demand, or the highest demand from all customers at any one time. Under the new interpretation, it is estimated that this cap could be reached in Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s territory as soon as 2013, at which time the utilities would not accept new NEM customers.

Read complete article here.

US Subsidies for Solar Industries

Solar power needs continued support from we the people, corporations and, yes, the government.  The solar industry is still very much in its infancy and has a long way to go to before fulfilling its potential.  We shouldn’t wait for energy prices to come up so high that they drive the solar market.  Being proactive now, rather than being forced to react, will invariably be easier on society.  Solar electricity, a clean energy source, should at least be given the same chance and support as our now dominant dirtier energy sources such as gas, oil and coal.

Read full article here.  Stay informed and support renewable energies at every level.

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Thursday, May 10th — mark your calendar and plan to attend the largest business expo in Sonoma County. Sample food, beer and wine from local vendors, network with area business professionals, and make the connection with the companies that provide solutions to our community.

Showcase Sonoma County is FREE to attend

Date: May 10, 2012 Time: 4:00 pm – 7:00 pm Location: Wells Fargo Center for the Arts 50 Mark West Springs Road, Santa Rosa

Visit The Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce for a full list of vendors and sponsors.



On May 4th, between 9:00am and 3:00pm, Gaia Energy Systems will be hosting a solar energy display at the Mendocino College Sustainability Fair .  The community is encouraged to come learn about photovoltaic systems, for both residential and commercial solar installations.  Information on topics such as global warming, energy efficiency, hybrid and electric car technology, water conservation and ecosystem restoration will also be availale.  Gaia President, Kate Collins, is a regular guest speaker at courses offered through the Mendocino College Sustainable Technology-Renewable Energy Certificate Program.  We are proud to have donated a variety of solar array parts and materials to give students in this field an opportunity for hands-on training.


Gaia Energy Systems is proud to be a distributor for the SunPower Residential Lease. The SunPower lease is a tool which now allow homeowners to install the world’s most efficient solar modules in a cost effective manner.  Contact us today to find out about this fabulous financing opportunity.

Visit SunPower to learn more about the program.


The rule in the industry for many years has been no multiple roofs, but with new technologies we are seeing more east-west installations within acceptable output parameters.  Download the white paper below for Fronius Inverter Manufacturers take on this.

Click here to download


Kate Collins


While most plants only function at around 5% energy conversion efficiency (compared to 15%-20% of most current silicon based PV modules) much of the” inefficiency” is a result of not having chlorophyll molecules packed into every part of the leaf. If only we could harvest chlorophyll molecules and cram them all together. Imagine painting a Nissan Leaf with ChloroGoo paint and creating a truly self-sufficient vehicle.

Of course other researchers are getting amazing results with non-organics as well, many of the solar cells used to power satellites are in the 40% efficiency window and labs are breaking new records on a monthly basis with materials that promise to be cost effective for us mere mortals. PV panels using multi-junction and GaAs (gallium arsenide) technologies, to name a few, are making monumental strides in hyper efficient solar electric power generation.

Read the full article here.

The future is bright indeed!

Gabriel Sherman
California Certified General Electrician
Lead Installer