Southern California Edison (SCE) and the Southern California Gas Company (the Gas Company) have announced a joint effort to help their customers reduce--and in some cases, to pay--their monthly energy bills. Recognizing that in the on-going economic crisis, many households are falling behind on their bills or are looking for ways to cut down on spending, the two utilities want to emphasize that there are programs to help.
It’s something clean tech observers and many in the utility industry have long expected, articulated in the form of a report from researchers at engineering and consulting company Black & Vetch: California utilities won’t be able to meet their 2010 renewable energy standard (RPS), which decrees that they must obtain 20 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources like solar, wind or geothermal. The news comes from Earth2Tech, which reports that even if utilities have set the necessary projects in place, they won’t be online in time—not even by the end of 2010.
Like any other material item that comes with a price tag, solar panels can (and do) get stolen. With reports of solar panel theft coming out of countries as far away as South Africa, Australia or Britain, it’s not a phenomenon particular to California, which has seen solar panels filched from buildings ranging from public schools to wineries and seems to be the main source of solar crime in the U.S. While solar theft is still new enough that statistics for it aren’t readily available, it has become enough of a concern to owners and law enforcement officials that several companies have developed various security measures to keep them locked down on the roof where they belong.