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Rep. Jerry McNerney introduces solar energy grant bill in Congress

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Posted: Wednesday, March 20, 2013 12:00 am

Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Stockton, introduced a solar energy bill to provide funding for state and local governments to install solar energy systems on rooftops and above parking structures.

If approved by Congress, the bill would allow state and local governments to award competitive grants for installing solar equipment.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • Joanne Bobin posted at 10:19 am on Thu, Mar 21, 2013.

    Joanne Bobin Posts: 4488

    Mr. Chaney wrote: "if you are an LEUD residential customer, you will pay as much as twenty three cents per kwh if you hit the third tier."

    We hit the 4th tier in both December and January to the tune of .318/kwh ($43 for December and, due to the milder weather, $4 in January). These rates are outrageous and if I could afford solar I would definitely give it a try.

    Thank you to the commenters who provided illuminating information as opposed to one whose only knowledge of solar is the word "Solyndra," as if that was the standard for the industry.

    Anyone interested in solar can make inquiries with GreenHome Solutions - a Grupe company. They have secured a deal with the Bank of Stockton to provide low interest loans (I'm thinking somewhere around 2.5% for 15 years) to install solar in residential homes.


  • Doug Chaney posted at 10:09 am on Thu, Mar 21, 2013.

    advocate Posts: 502

    Kevin, I agree. Why isn't the city of Lodi being more aggressive with its solar programs, especially the many city owned buildings in this area? Are they afraid they are going to lose those twenty two cent plus kwh charge, one of the highest residential rates in the nation, if not the highest, and the millions they transfer from LEUD to the general fund to pay their free spending bills, surplus general fund and LEUD general fund, some of which are much higher than the standard recommendations? Why don't they require the industrial/commercial businesses that get very cheap power rates, some even at below delivery cost, and some of which even sell their cheap power back to LEUD for the twenty two cents or more oer kwh, to pursue solar power in order to get these government welfare checks? LEUD got a large grant but spread it over ten years and the annual disbursement is so paltry that only the city got to choose which well connected businesses and residential would qualify. This year it seems to be done by an outside solar contractor who will determine who will be chosen for these solar grants. I often wonder who the "lucky" residential customers were who qualified for these solar rebates that were chosen by the elite? And the commercial/industrial as well. And how many still own the home or business that received these solar rebates?

  • Doug Chaney posted at 9:55 am on Thu, Mar 21, 2013.

    advocate Posts: 502

    Ms. Parigoris, your credibility slips when you refer to "Faux News"? The real Fox news lost its balancing act years ago and now is referred to by the majority of Americans as the real faux news, with their slanted, biased and bigoted "entertainers" that pretend to be political pundits, at best.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 8:52 am on Thu, Mar 21, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2110

    I think some people need to be reminded what a "subsidy" is: "a direct pecuniary aid furnished by a government to a private industrial undertaking, a charity organization, or the like."

    The goverment PURCHAsing a product is NOT providing a subsidy. OVERPAYING for said product is, but not buying a product that is to be used.

    I see putting solar panels on government buildings as a GOOD idea. In a few years, after the initial cost is recovered by savings in energy billings it will serve as a POSITIVE savings for the government... Providing they install enough panels to make it worth it and not a token panel to say they did it.

  • Mark Metzler posted at 5:42 pm on Wed, Mar 20, 2013.

    Mark Metzler Posts: 6

    People who grumble about Solyndra, ignore the fact that solar firms going ‘belly-up” is a sign that they have “worked themselves out of a job”

    The Chinese were smarter investors than us, and spent $42 billion on solar subsidies. Some of their companies went “belly up”, too, but they have succeeded in pushing the cost of solar panels so low that they now own our energy future!

    What is bad news for suppliers (over-supply) is good news for those of us who want to install solar panels.

    The German’s invested $130 billion in solar subsidies, and in 2012, they succeeded in producing 50% of their energy, on a Saturday, from solar. Germany is a major industrial power, with less sunlight than us. If they can do it, so can we!!

  • Mark Metzler posted at 5:28 pm on Wed, Mar 20, 2013.

    Mark Metzler Posts: 6

    Between 2002 and 2008 the US subsidized fossil fuels by $72 billion
    And all forms of renewable fuels by on $29 billion.
    Nuclear energy receives subsidies of $7.1 billion / year.

    People who don’t keep up with developments, may not realize that. In recent years, solar energy has reached the point of grid-parity, and research being done all over the world, guarantees that solar will continue to be the most cost effective form of energy available.

  • Kim Parigoris posted at 1:21 pm on Wed, Mar 20, 2013.

    Kim Parigoris Posts: 470

    The government is US, OUR money...

  • Kim Parigoris posted at 1:18 pm on Wed, Mar 20, 2013.

    Kim Parigoris Posts: 470

    We can't even keep a solar company solvent long enough to do anything! Now try to pretend that this isn't from "Faux News" it is factual, unlike MSNBC whose news is 15% facts and 85% opinion. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/03/20/taxpayer-backed-solar-firm-faces-layoffs-shakeup-amid-calls-for-more-government/

  • Doug Chaney posted at 8:51 am on Wed, Mar 20, 2013.

    advocate Posts: 502

    Ms. Parigoris, if you are an LEUD residential customer, you will pay as much as twenty three cents per kwh if you hit the third tier. Solar doesn't leave a bad footprint in our environment and quest for clean air as do coal, oil and natural gas, which all pollute, especially the greenhouse gases that are destroying our atmosphere. Mr. Paglia is correct in stating that there should be no subsidies at all and let the marketplace determine the profits and not billion dollar subsidies to oil, coal and natural gas. The natural gas industry is destroying the environment with their "fracking" methods all in the name of greed and profit without any regard to human life and the groundwater and ecosystem it is slowly destroying.

  • Kevin Paglia posted at 8:33 am on Wed, Mar 20, 2013.

    Kevin Paglia Posts: 2110

    I don't see this as a real subsidy. There is a need to provide power to the structures, Solar is a valid source for that power. Would it be a subsidy if the government were to pay for an electric company to power their building?

    Would like to see the yearly followups on the cost to savings paybacks over time.

  • Frederick Goethel posted at 6:33 am on Wed, Mar 20, 2013.

    Frederick Goethel Posts: 51

    I agree with you that no one source of energy should get subsidized, yet we do subsidize oil through massive tax credits to the oil companies. Those should be eliminated so that various forms of energy can compete on an equal footing, however to many in Congress owe their jobs to money donated to campaigns from big oil.

    The cost of solar, while still high, is coming down quickly. There is a world glut of solar panels, which is forcing companies to cut costs. It should become much more affordable, allowing more people to take advantage of the technology.

  • Brett Thompson posted at 6:30 am on Wed, Mar 20, 2013.

    Brett Thompson Posts: 55

    I think you may be forgetting the billions in oil subsidies that we pay to the oil companies. The real cost is higher than you state when those numbers are added in, plus solar will become less expensive when it's more prevalent and you can't put a price on the environmental benefits.

  • Kim Parigoris posted at 6:10 am on Wed, Mar 20, 2013.

    Kim Parigoris Posts: 470

    So it is OK to fund and subsidize solar, but not oil? How about NO subsidies and let free enterprise dictate the market? Solar is one of the most expensive alternative energies available. Yes, the municipalities will save money, but the taxpayer will pay for it at the top. Just another shell game with our money. GRANT MONEY IS TAXPAYER DOLLARS.The cost of solar (at about .22 per kwh) is twice as high as its closest competitor (natural gas) at about 11 per kwh.



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