At one time, home solar power installations may have been few and far between, but now they are popping up all over Northern California, and even creating a strain on the Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) utility.
Homeowners are currently reporting a delay of three to four weeks just to get their new solar installations connected to the main utility company’s power meters. Usually, this routine service takes no more than 10 days—and that’s on the slower end.
Quite simply, the utility wasn’t prepared for the influx of homeowner interest in sustainable energy, and they haven’t had the manpower to keep up with rising demand. PG&E spokesman Denny Boyles says they are now working to get things running more smoothly.
So what was the reason behind the boom in the first place? One theory is that the Sonoma County Energy Independence Program that helped property owners finance solar energy systems through a property tax assessment (known as the PACE program) was all the incentive homeowners needed to move forward with their green energy projects. In fact, even after the government pushed for stricter regulations and all but killed PACE programs across the country, 790 projects were financed.
Whatever the reason, it seems like this is one trend that won’t be slowing anytime soon. And that means that changes need to be made—and fast.
Photo Creidt: Oregon DOT via Flickr CC