The Coast News Group
Solar panels are coming to town
ColumnsSoul on Fire

Solar panels are coming to town

In case you missed it, global warming is a thing.

In 2006, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore published a book, “An Inconvenient Truth,” about the planetary emergency of global warming and what we can do about it, followed by a documentary outlining the consequences of not making immediate changes to our behavior around this issue.

Cut to 2018, when Greta Thunberg, a 15-year-old girl from Stockholm, significantly impacted the world’s consciousness around the same subject by addressing the United Nations Climate Change Conference.

Locally, any surfer can attest that the oceans stay warm far into the fall and winter months now. The kelp patties are diminishing. The amount of toxicity pumped into the atmosphere through fossil fuels remains a problem, and pollution levels and human exposure are still a concern. Watching the extreme storms across the country makes it hard to deny it’s time for another wake-up call.

All of our lifestyle choices and habits make an impact on the environment. This column explores the important things we can implement immediately to create a more sustainable society.

Let’s talk about energy and your electric bill. It’s like death, taxes, and SDGE in San Diego. SDGE is the most expensive utility in the nation. Until recently, there was no financial reason for this highly profitable monopoly that controls our power to change.

However, increasing demands on the grid system, compromised infrastructure, and dwindling water levels at Hoover Dam have caused this “public utility company” to rethink some of its policies as climate-driven wildfires, drought, heat waves, and storms trigger blackouts.

Recent alliances with solar and turbine farms to offset the higher demand while adding renewable energy to the grid add another line item to the already skyrocketing bill.

The fees are passed to consumers for delivery, generation, and capital improvement bonds and continue rising with no end in sight.

What’s the solution?

Renewable energy through solar panels can help air quality and reduce water use and environmental pollution. Empowering the consumer by returning the power to the people by creating and storing their own energy is the wave of the future.

Every home will have solar on it soon. New construction has solar as a standard feature, and new subdivisions are being built that are connected to form a microgrid. This self-contained power system can operate independently of California’s grid if it fails and will soon be the norm in a neighborhood near you.

When installing solar panels and storage with a battery for backup, you own your energy with a mini power plant on your roof. Harnessing the sun’s energy and converting it into electricity to run your home and power your car if you’ve gone E.V. empowers homeowners and puts money back in their pockets. Anything you don’t use goes back onto the grid. Solar owners are given credit under the current policy penny for penny with a small monthly interconnection fee.

As of Dec. 15, 75% of those savings are in jeopardy with the newly passed NEM 3.0. Time is running out to be grandfathered in under the NEM 2.0 policy, as governing agencies have decided the fate of solar in California this month.

However, any customer signed, with a filed interconnection agreement before April 15th, 2023, has three years to get installed and qualifies for NEM 2.0 for twenty years.

Even with the changes to the policy, owning your solar system frees you from the stronghold of an expensive, outdated, and archaic industry that is unreliable and unpredictable and is doing your part to help clean up the environment by going carbon neutral. By this time, we should be beyond whether getting solar is a wise investment, and the decision has become more of an I.Q. test than anything else.

The real flex is finding a company that puts the customer and their needs first and implements sustainability practices within and throughout the community. Staying transparent while at the cutting edge of this ever-changing technology and acting in ways that benefit society (not just socially but for environmental good) is a local company, Powur.

“No matter what side you take on the global warming debate, it is clear that we have kicked the can down the road for far too long,” said Jim Bunch, past president and co-founder of Carlsbad-based Powur Energy.

The company, and many others across the region, are setting out to help homeowners economically implement clean, renewable energy in every area of the home.

You can own and harness the sun’s power, save hundreds of dollars monthly, and improve the planet by going solar now, becoming an independent producer of electricity rather than a consumer, dependent on imported energy over hundred-year-old grid systems.

Susan Sullivan is a sales rep at Powur in Carlsbad. Contact her: