by Jodi Summers

Imagine getting a credit from SoCal Edison instead of a bill. Net-zero homeowners rely on power from utilities at night but get credit for the energy they produce during the day that they don’t consume.  If you live in a smart home with solar power and get involved with California’s net meter programs, your energy credits for the power you create and do not use. Shine sun shine.

Net metering allows homeowners to get credit for the power they produce at a retail rate rather than a wholesale rate…nice incentive, yes? There is currently a cap on net metering programs, but experts say the cap won’t be hit any time soon.

“The energy that I don’t use Edison buys from me,” notes green home owner Steve Rosen. “It looks like I may not have an electric bill next year, because the electricity, all of it is going to keep on adding to that credit. I still have to pay delivery and handling charges, but that is just a couple of bucks a month.”

Environmentalists began pushing for California to mandate that new homes come with renewable energy systems in the early 2000s, as the technology became more scalable and available. Now there’s no other way.

In 2008, California energy regulators adopted a long-term plan that called for having all new residential buildings achieve zero net energy use by 2020 and having all commercial buildings achieve zero net energy use by 2030. And…it looks like we just might get there.

Sunny day? Let it shine…and let it make you money.


Join the conversation! 3 Comments

  1. We haven’t seen it making money in Silicon Valley yet but I think We will soon.

  2. The green roof on a LEED-Platinum University of California dormitory in San Diego is the first of its kind for the state’s university system and one of just a few commercial installations in the entire state.

    Home to more than 4,000 drought-tolerant succulents, flowering plants and low-spreading shrubs, the green roof reduces heating and cooling costs for the 158,000-square-foot, 500-bed building. It also serves as a wildlife habitat and a pedestrian walkway between several of the towers.

    The roof captures stormwater, which irrigates the gardens and is funneled into an on-site water reclamation facility – where all of the site’s water is collected and reused in the laundry, sinks and showers.

  3. It is said the journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step. In Santa Monica, the journey to zero also begins with a single step. Indeed, by 2030, Santa Monica aims to be a zero waste city. A lofty plan, no doubt, yet City Hall hopes to instill the seeds of change now so the first steps can be taken in executing an ambitious vision.

    If realized, the City hopes 95 percent of waste would be diverted away from landfill – and instead recycled or composted – by 2030. City Hall also hopes to reduce Santa Monica’s contribution of greenhouse gas by 50 percent by 2022 and, in the near future, increase by 20 percent the number of local jobs dedicated to recycling and waste prevention.

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