State of Solar in New Mexico 2018

You probably already know that New Mexico gets an overall grade of B and is considered a solar friendly state. This grade is based on NM solar incentives and utility policy. But you may not know that much of this state’s friendly solar policy is due to the work of REIA-NM. A couple of examples include property tax exemption, sales tax exemption, RPS, solar carve-out, net metering and interconnection agreements. Your business directly benefits from these policies. Much of our work seems invisible, mostly because of the issues solar companies do not need to face, like the elimination of net metering and the implementation of solar tariffs. 

While New Mexico ranks close to last in the nation on other issues, Renewable Energy Policy puts us near the top, currently ranked 14.  The state’s position dropped a few spots with the expiration of the state solar tax credit, but through the hard work of REIA-NM, we will support efforts to renew that tax in 2019 to help reduce costs for customers who want to invest in distributed solar.  

Please contact us to see how you can help keep New Mexico a great state to have a solar business.

What you need to know about the complaint against Vivint Solar

It’s important to know exactly what Attorney General Hector Balderas identified in the complaint against Vivint Solar, so you can build a better sales team.

REIA-NM recommends all solar companies use the Distributed Generation Disclosure Form mandated through New Mexico law.  The recent case against Vivint Solar should provide you with enough reason to take this extra step to inform your customers.

It’s important to consider the counts brought against Vivint Solar and review your current sales tactics accordingly.  Sometimes company owners may not be clear about what sales people tell customers to get a sale.  Make sure your sales people are trained and reflect your brand appropriately. Check out this summary of allegations against Vivint Solar.  If you have any questions, please contact the NM Attorney General’s Office.

Count One:

Representing goods or services as having characteristics, uses, or benefits that they do not have.  This includes overestimating savings over time, promising unrealistic performance, or asserting your components’ vast superiority over other widely available components.

Count Two:

Disparaging the goods, services, or business of another by false or misleading representations.  AKA, be careful how you talk about competition.

Count Three:

Mislead customers about the price of goods or services, the prices of competitors, or its own price.  This includes overestimating utility increases over time.  Make sure your information is accurate, your math is solid, and all claims are backed by reliable sources.

Count Four:

Using exaggeration, innuendo, or ambiguity about material facts.  Unfortunately, this includes telling customers that their solar will add value to their homes.  Appraisers in New Mexico are still uncertain about the value that solar adds to property.  Again, only use reliable sources to back up claims.

Count Five:

Presenting false representations that transactions involves rights, remedies, or obligations that it does not have.  Don’t tell customers a solar system is an investment if they do not own it. Understand realestate terms like “fixture fittings” when it comes to real estate sales.

Count Six:

The biggest lesson here: don’t engage in unconscionable trade practices.  That means do not create marketing materials that claim solar is “free” or “never pay a utility bill again.”

Count Seven:

Don’t door-knock without a permit!   Doing so without a permit is considered an unfair or deceptive trade practice as defined by the Unfair Trade Practices Act (UPA).

Count Eight:

Executing contracts electronically without providing a fully completed copy to customer is considered unfair or deceptive.

Count Nine:

If you do not adequately inform customers of their right to cancel, and provide them with two copies of your policy, you violate the UPA.

Count Ten:

You can not get consent or agreement from customers to only receive electronic information from your company regarding communication, agreements, documents, notices, records, disclosures, or other information.

Count Eleven:

If the court finds willful use of methods or practices that violate the UPA, the plaintiff may ask for damages as relief.  In this case, $5,000 per offence.

Count Twelve:

False Advertising can be considered word design and statements that reflect any of the previous counts.

Count Thirteen:

All these counts can be considered fraud.  An interesting example from the suit is, “instead of buying your power from coal, you’re getting it all off your roof.”  Be careful how you explain DG to your customers.  If your sales people do not understand the interconnection process, its up to you to train them properly.

Count Fourteen:

Racketeering:  In this case, getting paid after misrepresenting utility rates, true nature of annual escalators, the actual price of the system, etc., qualifies for prison time.

Count Fifteen:

Because of the violations of the UPA, the plaintiff asks that the court declare all contracts null and void.

Count Sixteen:

Due to the alleged abuse, the plaintiff asks that the arbitration agreement (which says that each individual complaint be negotiated independently with / through Vivint only) be voided and unenforceable.

To read the entire complaint, please click here.

If you’re interested in a best practices sales training course, please contact us at executivedirector.reia@gmail.com

 

 

 

Suniva’s Solar Trade Case

suniva solar trade case

The US Government will move forward with Suniva’s Solar Trade Case. Suniva has requested a four-year tariff schedule on solar panels imported from anywhere in the world. If approved, the tariff would double the price of solar panels imported into the US. Although Suniva manufactures its solar panels in the US, they sold a majority stake and control of the business to a Chinese Company in 2016.

SEIA (Solar Energy Industry Association) has launched a campaign to stop the proposed tariff on the grounds that Suniva is not a representative of the domestic industry as it has been defined. REIA intends to everything in its power stop this blatant attempt to slow down the solar industry. The hearing is scheduled for August 15th at the International Trade Commission headquarters in Washington, D.C.

NCREB Funded Solar Energy Projects

Albuquerque RFP

The City of Albuquerque Purchasing Division is seeking sealed electronic bids for the
following goods and/or services by the designated times and dates:

RFB#: P2017000030
Description: New Clean Renewable Energy Bond (NCREB) funded Solar Energy Projects
Due by Date and Time: Wednesday, July 5, 2017 @ 4:00 PM

BID FORMS AND INFORMATION CAN BE ACCESSED AT
http://www.cabq.gov/vendor/solicitations.html

For additional information or questions, contact the City Purchasing Office at (505) 768-3320. For TTY call (505)768-2983.

Thank you,

Jenny Ramirez
Assistant Procurement Officer
City of Albuquerque
One Civic Plaza Dr. NW | 7th Floor, Room 7012
Telephone: 505-768-3330
http://www.cabq.gov/dfa/purchasing/purchasing/

US Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions

Carbon Dioxide Emissions

The following analysis from the US Energy Information Administration shows U.S. Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions from 1990 to 2014.  Figure 11 shows that the DECLINING CARBON INTENSITY OF THE ENERGY MIX SINCE 2008 HAS CONTRIBUTED TO A GENERAL DECOUPLING OF CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS FROM ECONOMIC GROWTH.  As we continue to increase our nation’s capacity to generate electricity from the sun, we can continue to grow the US economy without increasing our carbon emissions.  That’s good news for all of us.

https://www.eia.gov/environment/emissions/carbon/

PV Module Reliability Workshop at NREL

PV Module Reliability

CFV Solar Test Lab employees attended the annual PV Module Reliability Workshop sponsored by the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) in Colorado this week.   Many of the top manufacturers, developers, and scientists from around the globe were in attendance to discuss issues related to PV module and system reliability.   The CFV poster presentation “Module Deflection Profiles for MLT” authored by Larry Pratt, Nick Riedel, Greg Peacock and Michael Yamasaki won first prize in its category “General Standards”.  The poster summarized an internal CFV study done to show that the force applied by its mechanical load stand that uses discrete hydraulic pistons is roughly equivalent to other methods (like sand bags or air bags) that use a continuous applied force across the module surface.  The results of the study resulted in the rewriting of a portion of the new IEC standard for Mechanical Load Testing.

NM solar tax credit bills do not pass.

bills do not pass

Two bills, which would have been a great help to the renewable industry in New Mexico die in session. The legislation, in form of two bills do not pass, but lawmakers and lobbyists promise to re introduce them both next year and hold out hope for a special session.

“Everybody got hurt on this one,” said Ben Shelton, political and legislative director of Conservation Voters of New Mexico, “The political will was absolutely there. It was just a matter of the fiscal reality that the state was in.”

For more detailed information on the the two bills, check out- The Santa Fe New Mexican article on the subject.

 

1 2