Month one for Sungevity has been full. Our terrific team has achieved a lot – hundreds of interactive quotes sent out to customers to understand their solar options and half a dozen installs. When we look back on this time, the greatest achievement may well have been the first sale of a solar electric system to a customer entirely over the Internet! Special note: We were a bit surprised when the first customer to buy a system entirely online and without ever talking to us was 85 years old. And there we’d thought we’d be selling to the technorati…turns out the technorati can be fabulous octogenarians.

As busy as we have been, the next month will likely be even busier. We expect more and more people to come to Sungevity.com to receive their free iQuote. If you are reading this, please pass the web site on to a friend who may not yet have heard of the opportunity to get their sunshine online, especially in California. We will be serving Marin to Livermore to San Jose as of mid June.

Our current initiative is to celebrate July 4th as Energy Independence Day by installing solar! We’ll be out and about in San Ramon on the 4th, helping to get the word out about solar.

Here at Sungevity, we always like to keep the larger picture in mind. We need more than just individuals going solar–we need to get our politicians to support the solar industry as a solution to climate change. Looking at the landscape in the real world, the next month is going to be a big one for solar. The US Senate is considering a bill brought forward by the House that would extend the Federal tax credit on solar. This is a critical incentive to support the industry if it does not pass we fear that much of the new investment in the space will stop and many of the forecast green jobs will not be created.

Last Wednesday, the House of Representatives approved H.R. 6049, the Renewable Energy and Job Creation Act of 2008 by a vote of 263-160. The bill provides a six-year extension for both the commercial and residential Industry Tax Credit. The bill also raises the residential Industry Tax Credit from $2,000 to $4,000, something that will help continue to make solar affordable for even more homeowners.

The Senate will take this bill up after the Memorial Day recess (they are out of session until June 2). The White House has already issued a Statement on Administration Policy suggesting a veto on H.R. 6049. The Senate will likely make several significant modifications in order to pass the bill and ensure White House acceptance.

Not a lot has happened in the last decade on this front, and Americans are the worse for it. We’re feeling the pain at the gas pump and in our energy bills and we turn on our air conditions to combat the summer heat. The rest of the world has started to cap carbon emissions and promote clean energy. Germany (a country with the solar potential of cloudy Maine) is host to more than 50% of the world’s solar installations. At this time, the most important thing we can do is let our representatives know that we care and that we are watching their progress. We’ll keep you posted on this issue. Let’s provide solar energy to power that light at the end of this tunnel. Shine on!

Resources:

SEIA http://www.seia.org/

VoteSolar www.votesolar.org

Green for All http://www.greenforall.org/resources

Posted by Danny Kennedy

Danny Kennedy co-founded Sungevity and now serves as strategic advisor. He is an internationally recognized opinion leader on climate and energy issues. He is the author of Rooftop Revolution: How Solar Power Can Save Our Economy - and Planet - from Dirty Energy (2012), a book that has been described as the clean energy manifesto for the next greatest generation.