Learn about Solar Energy and Solar Panel Installation…

>> McCLINTOCK: Okay. Am I on? Can you guys hear me all right? >> Okay. >> McCLINTOCK: Okay. Thank you so much for having us, thatís–we
really appreciate it. All right then. The technology works, okay. First of all before I start, let me ask a
little about you all. How many of you know absolutely nothing about
solar energy? Or just–okay. How many of you know a little bit and are
interested potentially in solar energy for your home? Okay, a fair number. How many of you know a fair amount about it,
pretty extensive and want to ask, you know, want to quiz me pretty extensively? All right. Okay great.

Excellent. Okay so a–a pretty good range. That will help me in terms of how much I spend
time on different things. This is what weíre going to go over and feel
free to ask me questions. Thereíll be time both at the end and during
my presentation. This is–weíre going to cover kind of the
basics of solar energy. Weíre going to focus on Photovoltaics, basically
solar electricity for your home today.

Iíll touch on some of the other technologies,
the process for installing a system on your home and in that context, things to ask–questions
to ask and things to look for when youíre thinking about solar energy. Weíre going to go over some examples focusing
on the economics of solar. And then we're going to go over some interesting
solar energy myths or some things that people think about that may or may not be true. And then, of course, weíll have time for
questions and answers. There are two basic types of solar energy. Thereís a lot of talk in the market place
about solar technologies and itís really a fascinating area for research and development
today which was one of the reasons–what makes it so interesting. And just to give you a little bit of background
about myself, I actually learned about solar energy in high school when I was on the debate
team, which is kind of a embarrassing secret but in order for me to start a company though,
I did as Joe mentioned, I published two white papers, I did an extensive amount of research
and before I bought our fairly large solar energy system for our home, we have a 16 kW
system at my home and thatís because our house is kind of large and it was built before
anybody thought about the idea of energy conservation, or building a home with the idea of energy
efficiency as you can tell.

I interviewed over 25 solar installers and
dealers. And believe me, if I werenít thinking about
starting a company and getting into the business, I wouldíve–I definitely wouldnít have gone
through that process and none of you should ever have to do that. So, and thatís part of the reason why I founded
ReadySolar because nobody should have go through that. There are two basic types of solar energy,
basically thereís solar electric, and I break these into two categories, thereís photovoltaic,
crystalline silicon, which is most of the regular types of panels that you see today,
and those are the types of panels that are out on the top of car ports out in the parking
lot. Thereís amorphous silicon which is confusingly
called thin film, and itís the kind of flexible panel that often rolls–is rolled down on
metal rooftops and so forth. And then thereís the new kind of thin film
which is either different kind of element entirely from silicon or itís silicon mixed
with other kinds of elements.

And sometime–the benefit is that it can achieve
higher efficiency or doesnít use silicon because currently thereís a shortage of silicon
which is kind of ironic because of the abundance of silicon in the earthís crust. But any way, there are a variety of technologies
many started–some Iím sure youíve heard of that are working on some of these thin
film technologies which use a much smaller amount of substrate to create electricity. The problem with the–this kind of amorphous
silicon is–or the benefit of it is that it can be flexibly used, it requires a plastic
substrate so you donít–it can be much more inexpensively created however and it uses
less silicon.

However itís less efficient so you need about
twice as much of it in terms of area as you do a traditional crystalline silicon panel. So if you have a lot of area, it can be a
beneficial solution for you, but if you have a rooftop, typically a residential rooftop,
unless you have a huge house, itís not going to work for you. Concentrating solar is–it actually uses photovoltaic
cells at a much smaller quantity, and they actually use parabolic troughs to concentrate
the solar rays to generate the electricity.

Iím not going to talk about this at all today. Thereís also a lot of interesting start-ups
in this area. Solar thermal if youíre familiar heats pools,
also is used for domestic hot water heating, radiant heating at homes and so forth. Solar thermal today for pool heating and domestic
hot water can do wonders for your home. In the–in the '80s, there were a lot of unscrupulous
dealers who put up fairly poorly designed systems which then broke down and caused a
lot of roof leaks. And thatís when people–when you hear say,
"Oh, solar is really unreliable and bad," thatís probably what theyíre thinking of.

The dealers that you–that you work with today
for the most part do really well-engineered and designed systems and you pretty much donít
have to deal with that. And you can get very economical and great
payback on these systems. They're about 40% efficient which is actually
way better than pretty much any electrical system of any kind, solar or not that youíre
going to get. Iím not going to be dealing with that today.

Iím just going to be focusing on photovoltaic. Any questions so far? >> Iím actually interested in both because
we ended up with a pool and–Iím actually interested in both because we–in our new
house the–we're–we have a pool and we have a house. >> McCLINTOCK: Right. >> So I really want to figure out how to trade
off between the two. >> McCLINTOCK: Good question. Question is–Iím interested in both. I want to heat my pool, and I also want electricity. And thatís often a question that people have. They get interested in one, they put something
up on their roof and then their urge is in another. And that is actually a goal that a number
of solar companies have is how do we manage to meet both needs and down the road thatís
a product that we actually hope to offer as a combined solar-thermal electric product
that basically uses the same roof space to provide both benefits.

Itís a little bit more complicated than it
sounds. And basically with some good planning, you
can provide both. It basically–itís mostly space management. You might end up having to use some of your
yard and some of your roof or just figure out–solar-thermal is a little bit less sensitive
to exactly where itís placed on the roof as opposed to solar electric. And if you find a good provider or two good
providers, or somebody who does both, they can give you good installation thatíll meet
both your needs. And also pool–pool pumps actually use up
a ton of electricity. We have a pool which is one reason why we
have such a ridiculous solar array. And thatís something to think about. The–some of the biggest drivers of–of solar
electricity demand are pools, air-conditioning and teenagers. So just on the electricity side alone. Iím not going to spend a ton time–this is
your typical Venture-Capitalist kind of slide but, solar in the US is growing hugely. Part of it is because it's growing off a tiny,
tiny base but there is a lot of demand both because of peopleís growing environmental
concerns and the fact that cost of electricity is skyrocketing mostly because weíre pooling
in like the rest of the world, that the cost of energy is expensive.

But thereís been a ton of investment in solar
technology because of all these things and weíre seeing a lot of growth. How solar energy works? Basically, you have solar panels on a roof
or they can be mounted on the ground in your–in your yard, on a roof–on a ground mount rather,
the solar panels, the silicon actually when theyíre arranged properly in two different
layers they create a semi-conductor which produce direct current which is then converted
to alternating current by the inverter, which is typical mounted on the side of your house
somewhere, it doesnít have to be, but somewhere near your electric meter. Grid-tied systems which is what–which is
typically–thatís what you get rebates for and so forth. There are public policy reasons for that. Weíre trying to off-load the load on the
grid basically with distributed power. They allow you to use the utility grid as
a battery. Why not have batteries? Well batteries are a pain in the neck to maintain,
you have to replace them every seven years or so. You also have to balance your electric loads
inside your house very carefully if you have batteries.

Off-the-grid living sounds great but itís
actually a kind of s pain to engineer and live on. If you use the grid as your battery, that
means that whenever itís cloudy, raining or nighttime, you can just pull power off
of the grid, and itís not a hassle at all. So and the other benefit about it is economical. Net metering meaning–means youíre able to
sell any excess power you produce back to the utility. I have this qualifier up to a point in California,
you can sell any excess power you produce up to the point that you zero out your bill. This is something that was put into–protect
the utilities from lots of people putting in so much solar that they were being basically
becoming individual utilities. Now of course, all of us donít have the money
to do that so I think itís kind of an unrealistic concern on the part of utilities. So what happens then is if you buy and effect
too much solar energy, or too much, you know, too many solar panels, youíre basically making
a donation back to PG&E or whoever your utility is, like they need it, right? So thatí basically how solar works.

Any basic questions on this? >> [INDISTINCT]
>> McCLINTOCK: Itís a rule in California and some other states, but it is a state by
state rule. I eventually expect this–this might go away
and you know, itís purely a political consideration basically. And itís you know, a question of lobbyists,
you know. And there are–there are a lot of rules like
this which have gone back and forth in favor of consumers versus the utility. This is–I donít need to spend a whole lot
of time on this.

Just statistic electricity rates in California
on average have increased about 6% per year over the last 25 years or so. On nationwide, it's an average of about 3%
per year. In the Midwest for example where there are
other places were there's a lot of nuclear power in the grid, that tends to bring the
average down. But places like the West Coast and the East
Coast were you have much higher average rate of uti–of electricity, the increases tend
to have been a lot higher, which means that Solar Energy ironically, is a much better
deal for us on each Coast. Let me ask another question of you all, how
many of you are interested in Solar Energy for basically environmental reasons? Okay great, how many? Okay well, okay I'll get to that. How many of you are interested in Solar for
purely or for mostly economic reason? Just how much money you can save.

Okay and how many of you are interested in
Solar for both? Okay, pretty good, and of course a lot of
us it's both, right? Or, you know, some mix of the two. Obviously for you as an individual, it does
lock in lower electricity rates over the next you know, 30–ne–30, actually even 40 years
potentially. And has a very low maintenance cost. You basically have to hose off your panels,
you might have to replace your inverter after about 10 or 15 years.

For the individual in the community obviously,
it's a renewable resource, it's clean, it doesnít produce smog or noise. It does strengthen our electrical grid when
you have distributed power, meaning power produced at your location. That means it doesnít produce the need to
increase our dis–our electrical grid or capacity on the grid and so forth, distribution cost. And in fact in one of the papers that I wrote,
one of the biggest social benefits in terms of cost benefits to the tax payers, was the
nee–the lack of need to increase co–grid or upgrade the grid basically. The ability to delay those cost was billions
and billions of dollars, it's like six billion dollars. Which obviously as tax payers, is a pretty
huge benefit or you know, as rate payers. >> What about the impact that it has on the
actual equipment? Has that figure into this using the benefits
sort? >> McCLINTOCK: Yes, there have been studies
on that about the, you know the environmental benefit or the energy impact on all of that,
and especially when you compare to other energy methods, you know, Coal fired plants, that
sort of thing.

Solar pa–I donít remember, I donít recall
the exact statistics but the energy payback is–is very positive. You pay back on solar panels really quickly,
and tri–the energy put in to produce them versus the energy that they put out. So good question though. And obviously it increases our energy independence
no matter where you are on this whole you know, Iraq question, the more energy we produce
within our country obviously the less reason we have to do stuff overseas. Quick thing on market research and trends,
you know our–the research that we've done for both installers and builders as well as
home owners is that, we're kind in the Model-T stage of solar in terms of–or it's like in–probably
better analogy is it's like the PC industry in the '80s were you know, you kind of have
to call together parts to get a working system.

And more and more people are saying "Hey I
want it to be like an aplliance. I want it to be like the refrigerator or a
hot tub that I can plug in, I want a standard thing, I want it to look nice on my house,
and I donít want it to be you know, some sort of mystery kit that I hope somebody can
put together competently on my house." And that's where you know, where all sorts
of systems, home systems, electronic and so forth have gone, and solar energy systems
are going in the exact same direction.

That's all the market research that weíve
proprietarily researched and when we've seen it corroborated in another third party research
as well. So, steps for installing solar today, it's
still–it's still a multi step process but were working and other companies are working
to shrink those down and make them more user friendly. First, determine if you're a good candidate
for solar. Some of these are–you really need to have
a residential electric bill and that's just electric, non-electric and gas combined of
$75 a month or more. The higher that is, obviously the bigger,
the better candidate you are for solar. It should be an unshaded–you should have
an unshaded roof area or area in your yard if you're considering a ground mount for at
least four hours a day. The less shade you have the better. How do you determine that? Well, you can just observe your yard if you
have time.

It helps to look at it over the whole year;
well that takes a long time. One of the ways you can do it is you can have
somebody come out with one of these devices, this is a solar path finder if any of you
are interested at lunch time, I can show you how one of these things works–work. It–It's incredibly simple but it shows you
the shading over the entire year. So you donít have to, you know do a solar
study over a whole year you can just pretty much determine it in about a minute. Which is great because itís–looks can be
deceiving. What looks like as unshaded now could be completely
shaded during the middle of a summer, when you actually would have most of your solar
production, and that's very important to know. With–basically as long as you have a minimum
of four hours a day, you know, you can do it with solar. You want to have a roof that's facing–facing
south or south west. Next best is west, or west or south east.

A slanted roof is better than a flat roof
although there are commercial roof tops that have flat roof all the time, a lot of these
things–if you donít have these ideal situations you'll just get a lower rebate, which means
your payback time will be longer but it doesnít mean that, you know, you're just completely
out of the ballpark for solar. Completely out of the ballpark for solar would
mean you know, trees completely on top of your house. And–and really it comes down to your own
personal considerations if you are completely committed to having solar, you know, you may
get a lower rebate or you may need a smaller system just because your house conditions
arenít great, but you could still make it work.

And I think–and I would ask a lot of tough
questions to an installer who was saying that you know, you can install a huge system if
it just doesn't look like it's gonna make sense. Also if you have partial shade in some area,
it's worth it to go with the smaller array that avoids the shade than go for a bigger
array, because the shade will actually detract from the overall performance of your–of the
parts of the array that are even in the sunlight.

Then consider your budget, that's probably
the two things that are really the biggest considerations of how much solar you should
buy, really are your own budget and the amount of roof space you have. A lot of companies, the first step they'll
ask you to do is say "Get out 12 months of your bu–of your electric bill and we'll calculate
all this stuff." Well, before you even do that, think about
how much money do I want to spend? And how big is my roof or my yard space if
you wanna put it on the ground? Because even if your electric bill's a thousand
dollars a month, if you only have tiny a roof, or if you're only willing to spend $10,000,
that's the end of the discussion right there.

And then you need to–then you've–after that,
after you have answered those two questions, then you do need to think about how much electric–how
much electricity do I use and then what is your rate structure. And do you have the infamous Pantyhose chart? We've–we call this our, our–our Pantyhose
chart or our fredulom underwear chart, because when I was doing my research on solar, the
first–the question I would asked, the question everybody asked is well, how much solar do
I need? And nobody would answer this question. And we have long discussed how, you know,
when you buy underwear, right or you know just like whatever, a target or whatever. You know there's-there's just this chart that
have you know, like my height is this and my weight is this right, and then you look
in the middle and there's like you know, your size A,B,C,D right? It should be just like that, and it's not
quite that simple but we've developed a pretty–well okay, it doesnít look simple at all I know,
but it's a–we're working on it.

But it's a lot simpler in that once you go
through these steps, you can figure out okay, well, I figure out how much electricity I
want to eliminate then I can determine okay this is how many kilowatts roughly I need. And based on that, then you can–and it has
to do with what your rate structure is from your local utility. Let me ask another question here, how many
people are PG&E customers? How many are parallel to Palo Alto Utility
costumers? Okay how many somebody else like, Santa Clara? Okay, all right, so mostly–Palo Alto is a
flat rate utility, PG&E as we all know has the tiered utility rates. With PG&E your really–what you want to do
is cut off those top tiers, the more expensive–the more you use, the more expensive it gets. With Palo Alto since it's flat, it really
you know, it doesnít–you can–it's pretty much determined by your budget and how much
you want to eliminate with solar.

But the idea here is what we've done is we
decided ways–we've identified okay, if you wanna eliminate this many kilowatt hours per
month of usage, this is how many kilowatts of solar you want, and we can–this is available
to look at and we got some handouts here for later. Basically, once you've decided that, and that's
really up to you and you'll find a lot of installers who want to push a lot of solar
on you but it's really not–that's nec–not necessarily in your interest because as I
said before, if you buy too much solar, youíre end–you're making a donation to the utility
which while it's contributing more solar to the environment reducing CO2 and so forth,
which is a good thing.

If you're going to make a charitable donation
you might want to make that to a different organization, environmentally. I mean that's–and that's totally up to you. Some people do decide to do that. Choose your solar vendor and arrange for financing
if you want, and we'll talk about that–Elizabeth will talk about that in a moment. And then you go through–you have people come
out and make site visits and get contracts and so forth.

Then you have your installation, which typically
doesnít take very long, maybe like a week. Maybe two if it's a huge system. Then you are into solar energy production. And an important note, you do not need to
cover your whole bill to make a positive benefit for you economically at all. In fact if you're a PG&E costumer just knocking
off that top tier of usage could be a very small percentage of your actual kilowatt hours
that could make a big impact on your bill. And obviously if everybody does a little bit
from an environmental stand point, it's like recycling, if everybody recycles a little,
it has a big impact. And then submitting the paper work to get
the rebate, your installer should help you a lot with that. And it's you know, itís like taxes it's a
pain in the neck, but every body has to do that kind of thing. But your installer could help with that. I've talked about a lot of this already, size
of the system, I think I've covered this if you want to basically eliminate your top tiers
if you're in a tiered pricing situation.

Cost of a system typically for residential
systems range from about 10 kilowatts to 50 kilowatts–$10,000 to $50,000 or up, depending
on the size of your home. Aesthetics, okay, let's see if I can do this. No. Damn. Oh, right, right, right. Sorry, okay. >> FLAMMINI: There you go. >> McCLINTOCK: I'm kind of a PowerPoint troglodyte
here. >> FLAMMINI: Yeah. >> McCLINTOCK: Elizabeth is training me how
to do these things. Okay, this is one of the few plugs I'll make
for ReadySolar but a lot of people totally buy into the idea of solar economically, solar
environmentally but you know, either they, their spouse, their, you know, neighbors,
or whatever just completely hate the looks. And this is what a traditional Solar's system
looks like and you know, it's a kind of–it's an economically rational issue because you
know, that if your home is your largest asset, which for some people it is, you donít want
to detract from its curve appeal. So, you know, you might want something that's
more aesthetically appealing.

You can do something like–these are ReadySolar
systems, or you can do solar integrated tiles which–which are flat–they're built into
the roof. That makes more sense if you're replacing
your whole roof or you're looking at new construction, which you know, obviously it's–it's built
flat into the roof, so you have a much more attractive, you know, look of the system. Which is a big issue for people. So, something to consider. The other things are what kind of incentives
do you have? Do you get rebates? Right now, there's a $2000 federal tax credit. Maybe in this administration, probably not
in this administration, but hopefully in another administration, there–they will extend that
federal tax credit to be up to 30% of the value of the system. And also does your utility offer net metering? Palo Alto and PG&E do.

Then also, return on investment, those are
your own criteria. You know, how important is that to you, at
what time scale do you want to earn your money back, and so forth. How else can you–you invest your money, you
know, are you considering that at all? And then one, environmental goals. Some people care a lot about that, and want
to do solar no matter what, some people donít care at all. Yeah, I swear I don't have an unauthorized
copy of Vista, but okay. Okay, I think I've covered this as well. But basically, what solar enables you to do,
is if this is your tier–typical tiered electric bill, with PG&E, or another similar utility,
you have a high marginal electric bill before solar, then once you step when–once you put
in your PV, basically that–what that does, is that lops off the top tiers, you–if you're
not covering your whole bill, because covering your whole bill, you're actually going to
be paying for electricity that costs less, because the investor on utilities are required
to offer that electricity at actually below market rates. But what it does is, it whacks off the–that
electricity which is really high and expensive, and that's where they're going to be increasing
their mar–their rates over the next several years.

So your electric bill, even though you know,
your usage, your actual kilowatt-hours might not be that high in that area, it's–the dollar
value's very high. So that's just a graphic representation of
what I was talking about before. So now, we're going to go through some examples,
and I will hand it over to Elizabeth, who is going to talk… >> FLAMMINI: How does this thing work? >> McCLINTOCK: This is forward. And that's back. >> FLAMMINI: Okay. >> McCLINTOCK: So that will just go through
the build. >> FLAMMINI: Okay, great. >> McCLINTOCK: All right. >> FLAMMINI: So I'm going to go through some
examples to give you an idea of what the economics are associated with installing a solar energy
system.

So our first example, homeowner number one,
is a PG&E customer. And as Meredith mentioned, PG&E has a upward-tiered
rate structure, there are five tiers. So the objective for this homeowner is to
eliminate their top tiers which are four and five from their – their usage. They have an average monthly bill presently
at about $120.40, which equates to a monthly usage of 567 kilowatt hours. They have opted not to use financing to pay
for their solar energy system. They're just going to pay for the system upfront
and they're going to install a system that will provide 2,500 kilowatts of capacity. The cost associated with this size system
including sales tax installation, taking into consideration the PG&E rebate and the federal
tax credit is about $15,000 a little bit more. This size–woah, this size system will provide
solar energy production of about 300 kilowatt hours, and that's energy that the homeowner
is not having to purchase from PG&E. And as a result of that, they can expect an
estimated monthly PG&E savings of about $86.53, so that's significant, and this number is
not taking into consideration the projected increase in retail electricity rates going
forward.

So, this number would actually increase with
time. >> It's not [INDISTINCT]. >> FLAMMINI: Sorry, you're correct. It's – it's two point five, I stand corrected. So you're going to see that again. >> [INDISTINCT]
>> FLAMMINI: I'm sorry, what it–what? >> If like, if this is greater than 2.5 kilowatt
hour… >> FLAMMINI: Uh-hmm. >> Then, it doesnít actually [INDISTINCT]
>> McCLINTOCK: Oh, if–if I can actually interject, is this–this is hour–you were using hour? >> FLAMMINI: Right.

>> McCLINTOCK: Twenty-five hundred? >> FLAMMINI: Right. >> [INDISTINCT]
>> McCLINTOCK: Oh, the question was, when it's rated at–actually I've got my things
so I'm okay. Question was, when it's rated at 2.5 kilowatts,
it doesnít actually produce that much. And this is an added area of significant confusion
with solar, because there are DC watts and AC watts; DC watts being the direct current,
AC being the alternating current that we're all familiar with. The reason why you'll often see things rated
in DC watts is because they're smaller unit, or so, if you divide things by that, the price
looks lower.

And AC watts obviously are more what we can
relate to in terms of our electricity bills. In this case, we–when you are calculating
the kilowatt hours, did you–you use AC watts, right? So, the short answer to your question is yes. You always need to ask that question. Is this AC or DC? And typically in order to get your rebate,
you have the–the installer needs to convert everything to AC and there's actually the
California Energy Commission which regulates all this. They actually created a separate rating system
because panel manufacturers–solar manufactures were–when they would say, "okay, this is
a–say for example, a 200 Watt panel," that was–it would produce 200 watts if you were
at zero degrees C with basically with lighting conditions producing 1000 watts per meter
squared, you know, basically perfect conditions, which would never happen in your yard, you
know. And so what ha–what the California Energy
Commission did is they actually set up separate testing conditions in which they now subject
all the solar panels to, which are sold in California. So anything that you buy has to be–in order
for you to qualify for a rebate, has to be listed on the CEC website and they have for
example, if it says, for example, the panels that–that we sell are–they're listed as
180 Watt panels DC, but when their–their actual AC watt rating is 159, and that's,
you know, based on real world temperatures and you know, etcetera, etcetera, and real
world lighting conditions.

And so what we've done is when we look at
what output they're likely to produce, we use the CEC numbers. And then they also have to account for what
inverter you are using because the inverters also have a little bit of efficiency loss,
their temp–you know, anywhere from 90 to 96% efficient, typically. So you have to multiply your–that lower panel
rating times you know, whatever the percentage of the inverter is, and that gives you your
watts. And then that's what you get your–that's
what your rebate is based on, plus a whole bunch of other factors, you know, is your
roof South-facing, and all those other stuff. So anyway, when Elizabeth was calculating
the rebate in the net cost, that's all included in there.

Does that–does that kind of answer your questions,
or does that leave you more confused? >> [INDISTINCT] AC or DC? >> McCLINTOCK: I'm sorry? >> Is that 2.5 AC or DC? >> McCLINTOCK: That's DC. >> [INDISTINCT]
>> McCLINTOCK: That's DC and it's about, I bel — and it's about 2.–you have to pull
out our price list and look. It's about–it's about 2.2 kilowatts DC. >> [INDISTINCT] in a month, then we can never
oppose to that. >> All right. >> Then you give like, 416 watt hours if you
do the math? >> McCLINTOCK: I'm sorry, what? >> This is, [INDISTINCT] peak hour, number
of peak hours that we have is like 5.4 or something…

>> McCLINTOCK: Right. >> So that's when you arrive at [INDISTINCT]
>> So this comes to, like, [INDISTINCT] >> McCLINTOCK: Typically, the – yeah, the
calculation would be: take that number of kilowatts times 5.0-5.5 or 5.4, whatever typically–in
this area it's typically about in between 5.0 and 5.5, and then times 365 days because
5.5 is an average for the year. You should get many more in the summer, much
less in the winter. >> FLAMMINI: Should I go on to the next example? >> McCLINTOCK: So, does that–so were you
questioning the 300? >> Yeah, [INDISTINCT] makes sense now. >> [INDISTINCT]
>> Yeah., yeah. >> McCLINTOCK: Okay. Did you have a question? >> [INDISTINCT]
>> McCLINTOCK: Okay. >> FLAMMINI: Okay. So I'm going to move on to the next example. Homeowner number two is a City of Palo Alto
Utilities costumer and as Meredith mentioned, flat rate structure–my understanding is that
presently, the rate is about $.07 per kilowatt hour and I know we have some Palo Alto residents
here so, let me know if–if it's something otherwise–the objective here–of this home
owner is to add solar add some solar and stay within their $15,000 budget.

Presently their average monthly bill is pretty
low, itís $39.69 and thatís because of the flat rate structure and their only paying
$.07 per kilowatt hour for their energy from the utility. Theyíve also opted to not use financing to
pay for their system. Solar capacity that they planed to install
in this case is 1.25 kilowatts of capacity. So, again I apologize for the error there,
the cost is associated with this size system including sales tax installation taking the
rebate that the Palo Alto Utilities provides as well as the federal tax credit into consideration
is about $7,000. And this size system will provide monthly
solar energy production of about 150 kilowatt hours. So taking into consideration that thatís
energy that this homeowner actually will avoid paying the utility for this homer–homeowner
will enjoy a monthly savings of about $10.50, so you can see there's a really significant
different between a–an upward tiered rate structure and a flat rate structure, so, you
know, basically same amount of–of energy usage to begin with.

The Palo Alto resident has opted to install
little less capacity. But even if the Palo Alto resident installed
as much capacity as the first homeowner, their monthly savings would only be about $20, so
you can really see the difference between the different types of rate structures. And then finally, homeowner number three,
another PG&E costumer, their objective also is to eliminate those top tiers. And just to give you an idea, tier five, the
cost per kilowatt hour is actually $.37 as compared to 11–11.5 cents at the baseline. And they also want to use financing to pay
for their system. Presently their average monthly bill is almost
$200 which equates to a monthly usage of about 781 kilowatt hours. As I mentioned, they are planning to use financing
to pay for the system, they plan to install 3.5 kilowatts of solar capacity, and the cost
associated with this sized system including sales tax and the installation. And they're actually going to finance the
entire cost of the system upfront, so the federal tax credit and rebate are not taken
into consideration here in terms of the total cost.

$27,918 which will–that sized system will
result in monthly solar energy production of about four hundred and fifty kilo watt
hours. And by not purchasing that amount of electricity
from PG&E, this home owner will enjoy monthly savings of about $150. So thatís pretty significant. And based on a couple of assumptions relative
to financing, their monthly payment based on using the financing would be $140. So you can see that they're actually putting
the money that they otherwise would have been giving to PG&E to take care of those higher
tiered usages towards investing in a solar system and–a solar energy system and really
an asset. And once they pay for that, they will actually
start to enjoy, you know something more than $150 per month in savings specially as electricity
rates continue to increase. >> McCLINTOCK: And another thing Iíd add
to that is, this is–these financing vehicles are all home equity loans so, the interest
thatís paid on these is all tax deductible, assuming you haven't already maxed out your
home equity–your home equity loan figure.

Or you were able to take–I think it's up
to–I canít remember, I can't let–recall what the upward limit is but you can deduct
the interest on home equity loans, so you can also then get additional tax saving off
of this, so your actual cash flow–you're actually much–you're actually more cash flow
positive than this appears here. >>Have you seen weather or not the systems
are increasing the value of maybe up to [INDISTINCT] or if they're [INDISTINCT]
>> McCLINTOCK: The–In California rate now and actually–I know in California for sure
that the solar energy systems are taxed of property value exempt, so they're not supposed
to impact the value of your property.

I mean–I mean are you asking… >> [INDISTINCT]
>> McCLINTOCK: If you sell your house. Right, there have been studies which have
said that–basically, the argument is that if you reduce the operating cost of your home
by for example putting on, you know, renewable energy that sort of thing, that you would
recoup that twenty to one, now thatís sounds great but however if itís, you know completely
ugly on the front of your house, letís face it, that's just not realistic. I think itís a very subjective thing. I think as more and more people are viewing
solar as a positive thing, if itís aesthetically appealing then I think it'll be a positive. You know if itís ugly, it's just not going
to fly, as electric rates increase, it's going to become more and more important with people,
some empirical examples are–for example in the Sacramento area where the utility up there
has been very proactive and encouraging home developer of developments to put in solar,
developments like literally, you know, across the highway from one another, developments
with solar have sold out much more quickly and its like at higher prices than developments
without solar.

So things like that. And we're seeing that in–in this housing
slump for example, homes with solar tend to sell, you know multiple days quicker than
homes without solar. Not necessarily at a price premium but, you
know we're in a rough housing situation, se–but selling days quicker thatís, you know, time
is money. So, I think as we see more data points, weeks
are so–literally so a few houses today with solar but all those differences in terms of
comparables and stuff, it's very hard to get some good comparables of homes. I donít think thereís good data, and I think
of somebody comes to you–I've seen a lot quotes and say it's going to increase your
home value by $4,500 or you know above the cost of the system, frankly, I just donít
believe that. Thatís also likes the person who comes to
you and says you can deduct the entire value of the solar system because you know as a
business–because you have a home office in the back room, you know, I donít buy it,
I think its–over time, I think if you do it, you know, nicely installed system and
so forth, I think it will benefit you.

But you do have to take all those things into
consideration. >> In homeowner three they got well, $8,500
of perks and rebates, what about one and two? >> FLAMMINI: Those were actually taken into
consideration in the overall cost >> Thank you. >> McCLINTOCK: The question was, home owner
three got eighty five hundred dollars of credits and rebates but what about home owner one
and two? >>FLAMMINI: It opted to come up with–with
these two numbers, but because number three is financing, they have to finance the entire
upfront cost because they're not going to receive the rebate and the federal tax credit
until sometime later. >> McCLINTOCK: And sometimes, depending on
how your installer works, sometimes the installer will carry the rebate, so you might not have
to finance the rebate part Okay. >> [INDISTINCT] you said that PG&E rate is
$.81 [INDISTINCT] >> This one? >> You–no, the rates of increase of the next
few years.

[INDISTINCT]
>> McCLINTOCK: They havenít published, the question is do we know the rate of increase
of PG&E's rates over the next several years? They havenít published was those rate increases
are going to be, theyíve gotten a package increase over the next couple of years of–I
think itís $600 Million but they havenít publish exactly what rate tiers those are
going to be. The warning has been that itís going to hit
large residential costumers the heaviest because commercials costumer are complaining heavily
that they're all going to move out of state, and that they've already been hit heavily,
they are legislatively prohibited from impacting the smaller rates, also what theyíve done
in some cases is the baseline rate, the cheap rate stays the same but the number of kilowatt
hours that you can use in that rate before you get bumped up to the higher rate shrinks.

So itís still eleven and a half cents but
you only can use, you know 100 kilowatt hours before you get bumped up, so there are lots
of different ways the prices can change. If youíre ever curious or you have insomnia,
you can go to the PG&E website and if you search under tariff, electric tariff you can
actually find the rates schedule and see exactly–read all–read all about it, and see how electricity
is priced. It's kind of like airline flight schedules. But it's–it's pretty arcane, but it's also
as you can see, pretty complicated and there's lots of different ways to, you know, extract
money from selling electricity. So anyway, electricity is projected to increase
and they typically publicize these things they're–they're regulatory required to publish
the rate increases several months in advance and then there's a public comment period and
so forth, but usually once thatís done, itís pretty much a done deal. Okay, some solar energy myths. Solar is not cost-effective well it is if
you size your system correctly.

I think we covered that, it depends on you
know, which utility you're–you're at and what your objectives are. It can–it definitely can save you money and
be–especially if you look at, we didn't cover this in detail but we've got actually a great
article by a gentleman named Andy Black, who's a solar financial analyst, who's done tons
of analysis of how whether or not solar saves you money and if you look at the rate of increase
of electricity over time, and the idea of investing in a solar system around now, you
can really see the benefits of fixing your electric cost, anyway we've got that article. It's up on our website, and we've also got
copies here today.

One issue that that I think is important to
address is the idea that you need to get the most efficient panels. Some people will try to sell you this and
there's also you know, kind of this idea that you know, you need to get the panels with
the highest efficiency whether they're, you know, 14% or you know some manufactures advertise
20%, thatís in a lab not in reality. And really the market is pretty efficient,
the higher the efficiency of the panel, the more expensive it's going to be.

So you're paying for that, and in many occasions
you're paying more for that, it's like a fancy car. And unless you had a tiny, tiny roof, you
really–if you have, you know, if you had the space, it's better to buy a lower efficiency
panel because you're just sucking in sunlight. And there's no benefit to having more efficient
panels, you're not getting anymore energy out of it, you're just puling the same amount
of electrons and if you have one more panel, that will just bring in the same amount of
electrons and if you have one very efficient panel instead of two medium efficient panels,
it's much more you know, it's much smarter economically to have two medium efficient
panels that cost a lot less than one really high efficiency panel. So don't let anybody sell you high efficiency
panels unless you really, really need them because you only have 10 square feet of roof
space.

Something I've seen advertised a lot is you
know, so and so has a $5 electric bill thanks to such and such. Well yeah, every time you get a solar energy
system, you get–for the first 11 months of the year you get a $5 electric bill but thatís
because of how net metering works, you get a net meter you get a $5 electric bill in
your regular say PG&E envelope but then you also get this really arcane statement–comes
in an envelope that looks like this. And actually I have to give PG&E credit, they've
improved–last year when we first got our system going, we–this thing was like 10 pages
long and it was like–had like you know, every meter tick on it.

I mean now it's only like 3 pages long but
it's–it's called a true-up statement and it talks about–it shows like how many–what
the meter did and the difference between what–how much went out versus how came in and you know
you might be tempted to say and throw it away. However, at the end of the year, in December
you will get a–a comparison bill which will then tell you how much you owe the company
if you don't have–if your solar wasn't enough to cover your entire bill. And if you say only have a couple of kilowatts
and you have–and your usage said before–you got solar would say you know, $300 a month
or something, you could end up owing a few thousand dollars to PG&E. So don't be surprised. Even though you had a $5 electric bill all
during the year and that's just the way it works. In PG&E–if you call PG&E and say what's this,
all they'll just say, well you just need to put money aside during the year.

Thatís the way it works. That doesnít–there's nothing wrong with
your solar, your solar's been working fine, that's just how PG&E works. And most of utilities as well, so don't be
surprised. It's best to wait for the new technologies. This is another you know, with all the press
about thin film and all the startups around here and everything, there are a lot of people
who you know, think just like you know, new computers coming out every six months and
stuff like that, why not wait for the new ones? Well the reality is a lot of this are five
to ten years away and in fact a lot of the thin film companies who you know even were
saying we're a month away from production.

First of all, a lot of these are in the commercial
markets and not residential markets and secondly a lot of the ones who thought they're a month
away from production that was a year a go and they're still not in production. Because a lot of this stuff is really pretty
different from what's being done now. And so if you are looking at getting a return
on your own investment, it's probably wise to go ahead and do something now you know,
unless you're just interested in setting the technology and you know, you didn't buy a
microwave until 1990. It's–it–they really aren't farther out than
it sounds. Covered this. You don't need to cover your whole electric
bill to make it worthwhile. Even a couple of you know, one or two kilowatts,
if it fits your needs thatís what you should do. Also have covered this, you donít need perfect
conditions. You know, your roof doesn't need to be in
full sun all day, perfectly south-facing etc, you might get a lower rebate, but again thatís
you know, that'll just effect some of your economic payback.

If you really wanna go solar, you know you
can. And then you know PV is hopelessly ugly, chances
are you wouldn't be in this audience if you thought that so, you know, thatís also–you
can also–there are different options out there to make PV look better. So any other questions, beliefs or what ever
that I should cover? >> [INDISTINCT]
>> McCLINTOCK: I'm sorry? >> [INDISTINCT] great
>> McCLINTOCK: Oh, how do–how do cells degrade over time? The efficiency, over the 30 to 40 year life
of the of the–of the cells, they are warranted–they're guaranteed by almost all manufacturers to
retain 80% of their efficiency. Which sounds–you know. that sounds like a pretty big drop but thatís
over 30 or 40 years. So there–there it's a pretty slow degradation
curve. And actually interestingly enough, there are
some studies that some of the national energy labs are doing which indicate that that curve
actually happens like right when they come out the box. And it–so it drops like 15% and then it's
like–so but we–but interestingly enough, that research hasn't been quantified yet.

So you know if thatís true, thatís kind
of bad news when they come out the box, but then that means it's pretty steady. You know–you know, it's almost like a physical
phenomenon that just happens and then they're just there. Which might mean that that is taken into account
by the testing thatís done by the energy commission folks. And maybe that's the reason for the drop between
the lab, between the you know, what the manufactures claim or what we actually get Uh-huh? >> So there are different version to those
panels the old ones are not as good as the new ones, and as you said some company say
we'll have better ones tomorrow and the tomorrow keeps moving
>> McCLINTOCK: Right >> But also I understand that it depends on
how much you're willing to pay for the panels so for residential do you have actually better
panels that cost more if you have a small roof? And then–and this–the question again that
kind of happen–so there's the ones who are promising better tomorrows, are we talking
a couple of percent or are we talking 10 more percent or something significant
>> McCLINTOCK: Very good question.

The question is, are there better panels if
you have a small roof you know, and do they cost more and then, when the ones were–manufacturers
were promising something better is it two percent or is it ten percent? And the answer to the first question, there
are panels that are higher efficiency if you do have a space constrained situation. And a couple of brands that I'll mention are
Sanyo panels, I think those are the highest efficiency panels on the market.

The reason for that is they actually have
layer of amorphous cellophane as well as crystalline silicon. Both types of silicon in the same panel and
you pay more for that. As well as Sun Power panels. Both those panels are also pretty nice looking. So you get an aesthetic benefit as well. You do pay more of you know, a premium for
that but you're also getting a premium in production. So if you have a limited space, it's probably
worth it to go for those types of panels. The companies that are saying we're going
to have something better you know, soon, those tend to be companies that aren't in production
yet.

You know, it's kind of the old you know, if
you say you know, we're going to have a great version that's coming out, you know you don't
want to kill your existing product line having people wait for the new product line. The companies are saying we're going to have
this great product that's coming out and it's going to be you know, revolutionary, etc,
etc. Those are the–the thin filmed companies that
are planning production–those tend to be–again in the commercial markets, not residential,
so they're not going to be available for us you know, for another decade really. And the companies–the companies that are
selling into residential markets now are making slow but steady manufacturing improvements. And those are really you know, learning curve
kinds of things, they're not leaps forward in terms of new you know, major leaps forward
in terms of technology. It's just we're getting smarter and better
and more efficient on the factory floor sorts of things. And you know you get the same benefits of
you know as we introduce a new model that might be a little bit better.

That means the old models are cheaper. For example, the array that I bought, I got
Sharp 160s which are actually derated 167s but I got a much better price on them. And it was a ground out in my yard so, I didn't
need, you know, I didnít have a space issue. So it was much more worthwhile for me to get
160s that were a little less sufficient. I had space so, I put them in and I got a
better price so it just made a lot more sense.

Uh-huh? >> [INDISTINCT] you know they, they will attracts
systems [INDISTINCT] they got lots of planning as not missing rates so, they be [INDISTINCT]
in Texas helps [INDISTINCT] in our time so, I was wondering just how resilient are these
panels [INDISTINCT] and other not full of having remind them that Texas and the [INDISTINCT]
>> McCLINTOCK: Great question, how resistant are solar panels to hailstorm? Because thatís the very good question that
people ask a lot. Solar panels sold in the United States have
to conform to its UL1703 which is an impact test so, they have to conform to, I think
it's a half inch ball bearing dropped from five feet or so, I donít know the exact parameters
to the test. But they do have to conform to that which
is basically just designed to simulate fairly substantial hail. And there are–when you think about it the
largest solar market in the world is Germany right now. And Germany's latitude is about the same as
the Northern US and parts of Southern Alaska which gets petty severe weather. So, they, you know, and they sell tons and
tons of solar panels there.

So, they–they are–and also Japan
>> [INDISTINCT] of people living in there panel doesnít [INDISTINCT]? >> McCLINTOCK Right, no, no, that's–they're
all warranted and they all have to pass that UL test. And thatís an internet–that also conforms
to another international standard as well, so, yeah, hail and some–they definitely covered
hail. Because you know they'd be on roof tops so–uh-huh. >> Question about [INDISTINCT] why are you
saying itís a bit [INDISTINCT] burden when you goods brief power and they also attain
tool demo software >> McCLINTOCK: Yes
>> Which in California with you know, we're at the mercy of the power campaigns, you decide
with the rolling blackout and it seems to be… >> McCLINTOCK: Alright
>> …completely idiotic technology and leave it–electrically speaking, there's no reason
for that, there's got to be some you know, cheap effective grid sensing technology that
can automatically pull you're PBEs off the grid and a lot in the hails, power malfunction.

>> McCLINTOCK: Right, right what–that's a
great question, the question is why does–why do the inverters take your solar panels down
when your power goes out, you know. >> I understand the safety issue but it seems
hard–it seems me that there's existing technology that should allow you to have it kick in when
you need it. >> McCLINTOCK: I completely agree with you,
yes the reason why that is a requirement for inverter manufacturers is to prevent so called
islanding where if you have a solar array still functioning when the power goes out,
if some poor lineman is out trying to fix the problem he doesn't get fried with electricity
being fed back to the grid from your solar array, totally get that.

However there are tons of people who have
generators which automatically come on when the power goes out why doesn't that you know,
it's because–anyway, there are two answers, one you can get a battery back-up system which,
you know, they are expensive, but there are good ones on the market if that is you know
a big issue for you to deal with that. Although you do have the size what hooked
up to the battery back-up and all that to your point, however I think that's a great–it's
on my list of product innovations you know, down the road. Because it is stupid, because a lot of people,
one of their big issues in solar is I want to have not deal with this.

Especially in California and I think there's
got to be a way to deal with the safety issue you know to isolate the box you know, to keep
the power from going back out to the grid and allow people to continue their power so,
I think–and you're right, technologies exist because people do have generators so, its
on our list. I think it's–like I said I think its stupid,
its on our list >> [INDISTINCT]
>> McCLINTOCK: It might be a legal issue, I donít know I'm sorry
>> I just have a question regarding–why you advocate solar wind power? I mean wind power, as far as I mean, I know
a lot about both subjects but ,it has much quicker energy payback as well as economic
payback and this area does have a good location for… >> McCLINTOCK: It has a greater payback depending
on where you are, if you're in the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon, I think you're totally
right, if you were in you know, Mountain View it might not.

So, it–wind is much more location specific
or let me just say there are places where there are–I think it depends on where you
are and I think there's a broader Solar Resource in this country and you know for me I just,
I happen to pick solar is the horse I wanted to ride. I'm not against wind at all, but I think ,you
know, and I think there's also a role for many different alternative technologies in
our economy so, I'm not, like I said I'm not against it. I think you do need to–in order for wind
to be successful, you do need to make sure you got a good wind resource. >> But I think thatís also like–one of the
kind of myths, I guess, in terms of wind power that it cannot be used in a lot of areas.

It's actually not true, it can be and I guess
a lot of people–I guess Solar is a big [INDISTINCT] kind of thing now that people want to include
but >> McCLINTOCK: Right, what's… >> I'm wondering why specifically you chose
>> McCLINTOCK: Right. For one of the reformed starters perspective
we wanted to focus. That's–for example why, you know, why we
didnít focus on solar thermal, you know, even though they seem very similar. It's actually you know, itís a different
technology from an implementation standpoint and so forth. It's–it's different enough that we decided
to just focus on residential photovoltaic so, you know someday as we grow, we might
very well include residential wind.

And just for now, were just sticking to our
knitting here. But it's not due to a–any kind of philosophical
opposition to it. And I know there are a number of companies
that are focusing on very small residential turbines that require very low and can function
with intermittent wind speed kind of situations which is great. Because a lot of people do prefer that profile
to solar and it's up–you know which is great. Other questions? >> Well, an answer to your question about
why–why does it go off when PG&E shuts down, you have to have a lot more hardware. You have to have a transfers switch , and
typically you know except at very rare times of the day, you cant power your whole house. So then you have to be able to shed load within
your house automatically otherwise the system, you know, the inverter would trip, so there's
a lot–itís a lot of wiring and I think that… >> McCLINTOCK: It.s expensive.

>> Yeah, I did–you're going to pay probably
much more for that than the inverter. >> McCLINTOCK? Any other questions? Okay
>> Yes I've been looking at your company's website, so it seems like you sell pre-made
solar arrays. So what's the cost approximately of one of
your [INDISTINCT] >> McCLINTOCK: I'm sorry what's the customer? >> What's the cost of one of your [INDISTINCT]
>> McCLINTOCK: they range from about $9,700 plus instillation which is about a thousand
dollars on top of that, up to, maybe you can spend like, $70,000 for a 10 kilowatt you
know, big, humungous instillation so…

Well thank you so much. Appreciate your attention and hope I've answered
some questions and itís a really a pleasure to be here. Thank you..

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