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[personal profile] professionalhenchman
So, the last two weeks have involved the actual installation of the
solar panels we signed the lease on back in August.  It takes a while to
draft the design plans and get the permits - I'm just glad that's
someone else's job.  The installation had a bit of a glitch - we came
home Monday to find that the power was off to the fridge.  Further
exploration showed that one of the two circuits in the kitchen had no
power, while the other one read 240 Volts rather than the usual 120. 
Not good.  The breadmaker, answering machine, and land-line phone did
not like this at all, and stopped working in protest.  So did the wall
wart for the baby monitor, but I had a spare in my bin o' parts.  It
turned out to have been a simple mistake in wiring when they moved some
circuits to a sub-panel to connect the solar array, including these
circuits.  
  So, I called our project manager with Sungevity, who
apologized profusely, and promised to get in touch with the installer
and find out what they could do.  I quickly got a call from Jason, the
crew chief with Skylink Solar (and judging by the website, probably the
company owner) - he offered to leave his family dinner to come fix it if
necessary that night, but since his suggestion of running an extension
cord to the fridge solved the immediate problem, I assured him that the
next day would be fine.  Sure enough, they fixed the circuits Tuesday,
with the exception of the outside circuit (it turned out that the GFI
went splat with the extra voltage) - they fixed that the next day,
before the inspector turned up to sign off.
  I would actually
recommend these guys and use them again if something came up - yes, a
mistake was made, but that happens.  It always sucks when your mistake
makes it to the customer (I've been there), but I try and judge people
by how they handle their mistakes afterwards.  Jason apologized and
fixed things as soon as possible, and he's going to reimburse us for the
busted appliances once we send him receipts for the replacements.  He acquitted himself well, and Balance was satisfied.
 
Today, I got an email from our project manager letting us know that the
system had passed inspection, and that we were on the list for
PG&E's people to come change out our meter - this apparently can
take up to 30 business days.  The next part of the email amused me
greatly:
  <section on login and password for online monitoring of
our power generation cut> "However, I do have to tell you that,
because PG&E cannot be sure that they're accurately tracking your
solar production and billing you correctly until they change out your
meter, they request that you leave your system off. It is up to you, but
I do recommend that if you leave it on you at least check your
consumption on your meter face or online at PG&E's website to see
that your usage is being properly reflected. Your lease term will not
begin until the cycle after PG&E comes out to change out your meter.
When the meter person comes out, he or she will not mind if the system
is on - however, since it is their policy, I have to recommend that you
follow it. You can easily turn your system off and on by turning the
large knob on the bottom front of your inverter until it clicks -
clockwise turns it on."
  So I went out and threw the switch.  We'll find out tomorrow if it passes the smoke test when the sun comes up.
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professionalhenchman

February 2015

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