Contractor Newsletter - May 2020

Sonoma County…We are here for you

Homeowners and Business owners have worked from their homes during these past months, they’ve discovered repairs-improvements-upgrades that need to be completed. What some haven’t discovered is who can do the work and where to find the funds to pay for it. We found ourselves wanting to re-introduce our financing program to our participating contractors and raters with a song that gets stuck in your head.

Please allow me to introduce myself…
I’m a program with an odd-odd name

I’ve been around for a long-long time
Surviving one recession is going to be the same

Easy money to fund your work, Marketing collateral too
What we can do for you – Is going to change this game

Pleased to meet you
Hope you know our Name…

Sonoma County EIP
Is here to help us regain….

Yep - the Rolling Stones, we’re never too old or young to revisit the past. There’s a lot to learn from those who helped us survive troubling times in the past, and to hear from those who are here to see us through those we face today. Let us know what we can do to help you.

Don’t miss an opportunity to be found

We’ve bumped up our marketing efforts and have been receiving lots of inquiries from your potential clients. As a government agency, we are unable to refer any specific contractor but what we can do is refer them to our list of participating contractors on the website, https://sonomacountyenergy.force.com/financing/s/find-a-contractor

Potential clients can filter by services offered or sort by locally operated companies. They even have the option to email you directly.

Make sure that you aren’t missing out on leads. Check out the search and confirm your information is listed correctly. To make changes, contact your account manager or email SCEIP@sonoma-county.org

SCEIP Contract Updates: Renewable Energy Credits, Partial Prepayment Options, and Reduced Prepayment Penalties

We have recently made three changes to our SCEIP contracts documents that are of specific interest to participating contractors. These include changes related to renewable energy credits, partial prepayment options, and eliminated prepayment penalty language from the contracts.

First off, solar contractors who have been helping their customers to utilize SCEIP financing for some time are likely aware of the fact that we’ve had a clause in our customer agreement stating that, once in contract, the County of Sonoma owned the rights to that customer’s Renewable Energy Credits (REC’s) in perpetuity. This was a holdover from the original draft of our customer agreement, drawn up in 2009. At that time the state of RECs was up in the air and there was some potential for the County to claim reduction in GHGs (the Energy and Sustainability Division’s prime directive) through the ownership of those REC’s. After seeing this clause give a number of customers pause, it was determined that it should be pulled from our agreement.

Second, SCEIP financing participants now have an additional partial prepayment option available. Since the program’s inception in 2009, customers have had the ability to prepay the entire assessment without penalty. More recently, participants are now allowed to make a one-time payment to reduce the principal balance and reduce their annual payment over the same term. The one-time prepayment must be a minimum of $5,000 and there are no service fees associated with making the additional payment. We have found that this is an extremely attractive option for many solar customers take advantage of the federal income tax credit following installation of their PV system.

Finally, another change to the contract language regarding potential prepayment penalties was also recently made. When the original contracts were developed in 2009, there was considerable forethought given to the chance that the investment bonds held by the County to fund the program could need to be sold to another long-term holder who would charge a prepayment penalty. Given that this option has not been needed--and is not expected to ever be used--a decision was made to remove the potential prepayment penalty from the contract documents. Much like the REC’s discussed above, this language caused unneeded concern for some customers and we are excited to be able to make the change.

These are just three of the program improvements that we’ve made recently. If you’d like a full update on where the program has come from and where it is now, give our office a call and we’d be happy to schedule a personalized training with you and/or your staff.

Resources for Contractors…Rebates available for energy improvements – Sign up as a participating contractor today

The County of Sonoma is pleased to inform you that licensed contractors are eligible to participate in the Bay Area Regional Energy Network (BayREN) Home+ program and offer up to $5,000 in rebates for energy efficiency upgrades. This program is administered by a local government collaboration and is funded by the California Public Utilities Commission using Public Purpose funds.

In addition to offering rebates, the Home+ Program offers:

  • Marketing opportunities coordinated by local city and county governments
  • No cost, on-demand energy efficiency training courses
  • Opportunity to be featured in regional marketing

To enroll as a Home+ Participating Contractor, visit https://bayrenresidential.org/for-contractors or contact Contractor Services at 866-878-6008 ext 3, support@bayren.org

BayREN is also hosting two free informational webinars for contractors on June 15th at 1 pm and June 19th at 3 pm. If you are interested in attending, please register at this URL: https://bayrenintro.eventbrite.com or email support@bayren.org.

Upcoming training opportunities

Keep up-to-date on what the inspectors are looking for…The BayREN Codes & Standards Program offers online short course trainings that engage building department staff and the building professionals they serve to increase understanding of developments in the Energy Code and promote best practice for compliance and enforcement. 

No Cost Online and Live Trainings:

Additional trainings for business sustainability and growth opportunities

  • Free Recovery and Resilience Webinar series starting May 20th
    The California Green Business Network is hosting a Business Recovery and Resilience Webinar Series aimed to help businesses adapt and Recover, Build Resilience, and Incorporate Sustainability into the years that come. Please join us for this free weekly series, Wednesdays at 11:00am starting May 20th. 
    Sign up to save your spot - space is limited!
    To register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/business-recovery-and-resilience-series-tickets-103881016918
  • California Energy Storage Alliance Virtual Conference 
    Thursday, 5/21/2020 9:00 AM – 3:00 PM
    Learn about the latest technologies, markets, and business models in the energy storage industry. 
    Free and open to the public!
    Register today! https://www.storagealliance.org/virtual-conference

Not a Participating Contractor…

In addition to great content, participating contractors have access to training, marketing materials and website listing at no-cost. To learn how you can take advantage of these benefits contact our office at (707) 565-6470 or download the Contractor Standards and Guidelines.

Contact Information

Jane Elias

Division Manager

Energy and Sustainability Division

General Services Department

Business Hours
Monday – Friday
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Address
La Plaza A
2300 County Center Drive
Suite A105
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
38.46242, -122.725426