Sunrun is the biggest residential rooftop solar installer in the US, and recently they've added batteries and EV chargers to their offerings. I talk with CEO Mary Powell about why household electrification is still so difficult & time-consuming, and how the process could be improved.
My wife and I live in Roanoke, Virginia and have rooftop solar with 26 panels. The majority were installed in April of 2019, with four more installed two years later. We are grid-tied, net-metered and served by Appalachian Power. We got off the gas replacing the furnace and water heater with a heat pump and electric water heater. We're 100% electric. Our monthly home energy bill is $8.92 per month year-round. Bob Egbert
Nice. I like the comment that regulators, etc. need to not be so "backward looking."
Clearly we need to emulate some of the Aussie items you got into Saul Griffith to accelerate residential solar. But they also have 50% higher electric rates, and I'll bet the cost of shipping container of solar panels is 30-40% less there. (No tariffs and UFLPA issues.) And I think solar irradiance in most of Australia is better than solar irradiance in many residential solar friendly states in the USA.
City governments probably should have no role in regulating rooftop solar at all. Or buildings in general. Building and electrical codes should be much more standardized -- we really should have a national code of standards that can then be _somewhat_ customized at the state level, but not the insane patchwork we have in the US today where Palo Alto can throw a wrench in the works of solar deployment for the entire Bay Area mega-region. ( https://www.paloaltoonline.com/news/2021/05/21/palo-alto-takes-heat-over-solar-permitting )
There is a serious problem in the Bay Area where Palo Alto will adopt some ludicrous standard, and then other cities will follow suit because they assume P.A. must know what they're doing, and that standard is "for safety". I had to re-design my PowerWall install on the fly, to mount on an outside wall, because Palo Alto decided that installing batteries inside the garage was a fire hazard. (But parking a car full of gasoline isn't? Or, for that matter, an EV with a much bigger battery! Come on.) I had already done the work to prep a concrete podium and set up an ethernet drop in the garage. What most irritated me was that in that case, it was actually _Tesla_ internalizing P.A.'s stupidity, not even my own city -- the install team basically said a bunch of cities locally had adopted this and so then the regional install team adopted it as policy. I called up my own city's senior inspector and he said he was fine with doing it my way, but they refused.
I loved hearing Ms Powell's enthusiasm. Thanks for a great "feel good" episode!
We need a compelling offering for landlords. Hard problem, but solvable.
thank you Dave for this interview and all your work! you rock!