Making Our Solar Rebate Filing Deadline

We made it!  It was a complete team effort by everyone involved and we filed our rebate under the NSHP by September 29, 2011.  Yeah!

Focusing on Our Solar Permit Approval and Meter Release

The first item that we needed was the approval of our solar permit with the City of Monte Sereno.  Then, we needed a ‘meter release’ from the City so PG&E could install a permanent meter to measure the net electricity that we are generating/consuming.  With these two items, our rebate application will be complete and we will meet the deadline of September 29, 2011.

These two items are linked to the indemnification that the City asked us to provide them with regarding the live electric panels in the house.  Bryan agreed to the indemnification yesterday with Brian Loventhal, the City Manager.

When Bryan went to sign the indemnification agreement this morning, Brian explained that we would have to provide a certificate of insurance in with a minimum of $2 million per occurance.  This was a surprise.

Rolling with it, Bryan called our insurance expert, Ed Szylko, at EJMS Insurance Services in Los Gatos.  Ed explained that the first step would be to get the City of Monte Sereno as a named insured on Al’s insurance.  He would investigate our insurance.

After calling Al’s insurance agent, First Service Insurance Inc., Bryan learned that Al’s insurance is limited to $1 million per occurance.  Another issue to resolve.

While Ed worked on the our insurance, Bryan met with Brian Loventhal and explained that we have $1 million per occurance, not $2 million per occurance.  Brian agreed to discuss it with the City Attorney, Kirsten Powell, to see if the lower level would be acceptable.

Then, Ed called Bryan and outlined how he could get insurance for us at $2 million per occurance and, with our approval, could have the certificate of insurance prepared today.  Cool … Bryan agreed to this.

Brian Loventhal called Bryan, who was sitting in the parking lot at City Hall, and said that they had finalized the indemnification agreement, with the $1 million per occurance, and it was ready for signing.

Bryan scootted over to the counter at City Hall and both Brian and Bryan signed the indemnification agreement.  Brian gave Bryan a copy of the signed agreement, then he approved and signed the solar permit, and gave Bryan a copy of the meter release for PG&E (Brian was going to fax it to PG&E directly).

With the documentation in place, Bryan headed over the hill to see Roseanne at the Real Goods Solar office in Santa Cruz.  Roseanne scanned the documents and Bryan returned over the hill, now headed to PG&E’s service planning group in Cupertino.

The PG&E representative that Bryan met with previously, Catherine Only, met with Bryan and reviewed the meter release.  Since we had missed the scheduling deadline for Friday, Catherine set expectations with us that the permanent meter would be installed no later than Tuesday, October 4.  Way cool …

As Bryan drove back to the job site, he spoke with Jo-Anne (who is in Boston as it is the end of the quarter and she has to be available for any and all last minute legal issues that may arise).  Jo-Anne reminded Bryan of his obligations under the indemnification agreement and that he should focus on those items so we are in compliance.  Focus, focus, focus …

Back to the Job Site

At the job site, Bryan reviewed the progress on insulating the ceiling in the Wine Cellar and Wine Dining, and the installation of the siding on the East wall of the house.  Then, he printed the insurance certificates that he had received via e-mail.  Also, Bryan drafted language for the warning signs for the electric panels (required under the indemnification agreement) and then called with his brother, Darryl, in Calgary, Canada who is fluent in Spanish.  Bryan explained to Darryl that we need signage on the electric panels in both English and Spanish, and asked if Darryl could translate into Spanish for us. 

Darryl agreed to do the translation and said he would call back.  Meanwhile, Bryan got Nep to do the initial translation and then went to the City of Monte Sereno.

City of Monte Sereno and Signage

Bryan provided Brian Loventhal with copies of the insurance certification, which named the City of Monte Sereno as an additional insured.  Brian reviewed the certificates and said they were fine.  Then, Brian reviewed the wording for the signage and selected, ‘Warning – Do Not Open.  Live Electric Panel’.  Having fufilled the insurance certification obligation, Bryan headed to Frankie’s Awards to have the signs engraved. 

On the way, Bryan received the Spanish translation from Darryl on his Blackberry.  At Frankie’s Awards, Gloria reviewed the signs and said she would create a draft sign for approval.  Bryan waited and then reviewed the layout and wording.  There was a spelling error, which she caught, and Bryan approved the layout.  The two signs will be available tomorrow morning.

Back to the Job Site, Again

Bryan saw that everything was shut down for the evening and then Kel Marchbank arrived.  Kel hadn’t been to the job site in more than six months so Bryan provided Kel with a quick tour.  Kel loved the siding glass doors at the back.

Oh, Scott and Sue arrive tomorrow …

Al works on the siding on the East wall, by the Kitchen door.

Kitchen window with siding over the Tyvek.


Dan completes the siding on the North corner of the East wall.


Approved solar permit!


Approval and note, referring to indemnification agreement that Bryan signed.


We moved the wine racks into the Conference room so the insulation can be installed in the ceiling of the Wine Cellar and Wine Dining.


The wine racks, looking great, take up a lot of real estate inside the house. It would be great to get the ceiling and cooling panel completed in the Wine Cellar so we could install the wine racks permanently and get them out of the way.


The insulation is attached to the ceiling using sharp spikes, which are attached to the underside of the concrete with no VOC adhesive.


Insulation hangers attached to the underside of the hollow core concrete panels.


The insulation in the ceiling in the Wine Cellar. We will have closed cell polyurethane foam sprayed over the sheets of foam, which will create a moisture barrier inside the Wine Cellar.


Ceiling in the Wine Dining. The central vacuum system is in the dropped ceiling so we will have another layer of insulatin in the ceiling here.


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