The Solar Reflector
Newsletter of the Texas Solar Energy Society - November 2017

Solar is for Everyone!

We need your support to pro- mote energy efficiency and clean, renewable solar power in Texas.

Individual memberships start
 at $25

Texas Solar Events on the Horizon 

2017 is coming to a close, but there are still a wealth of ways to learn about solar in your community and in your state.

Roosevelt Park
 This is a huge party where you can   learn from almost 100 vendors         about solar energy, sustainable
 living, green building and more.       The music and food is always           great!

Rainwater Revival + Hill Green Living Fair  Nov. 4, Dripping Springs
 A perfect paring of solar power,
 rainwater collection and sustain- 
 able living

 A workshop to introduce engineers   and designers to the basics of solar   and inspire leadership to increase   the deployment of solar PV.   Sponsored by the DOE SunShot   Initiative. 

NTREG Monthly Mtg Nov. 11, Dallas
 The DFW Solar Tour wrap party,   plus a presentation on one special   tour project that brought solar to a   household in South Dallas, installed   by students who look to a future in   the solar industry.  

Clean Air Through Energy Efficiency    Nov. 13-15, Plano
 The premier Texas conference on   energy efficiency will again feature   a track on renewable energy.

HREG Monthly Meeting  Nov. 28, Houston
 Our Houston chapter's last meeting   of 2017 as they elect officers and   prepare for the Houston Solar Tour   in Feb. 2018! 

Dec. 6, Barr Mansion
 The 10th annual holiday celebra-   tion for the Austin Earth Day   community. Keep an eye on the   website for more details

 Keep an eye on the Solar Austin   website for details.This  is always a   great party. 

And in 2018

The TXSES Annual Meeting
Jan.14, Austin
  Details at soon.

Our Chapters
Around the State

We have chapters in 
all working to promote the value and adoption of clean, sustainable solar power.Our  calendar lists more 
events around the state and the nation.

TXSES is a chapter of the American Solar Energy Society

ASES  has been shining a light on the solution since 1954. Become a member of ASES and receive Solar Today Magazine and more!

Thank you EarthShare Texas for your support
We are fortunate to be one of 40 environmental organizations under the EarthShare Texas umbrella . ESTx raises money through workplace giving, H-E-B's April tear pad campaign and Reliant Energy EcoShare.

Chair's Corner
DJ Rosebaugh

Welcome to the fall 2017 edition of the TXSES Solar Reflector. This will be my last "Chair's Corner," as I am concluding my second term on the TXSES Board of Directors. It has been an honor to be a part of such a great organization.

During my four years with TXSES-a virtual lifetime in the solar industry-we have accomplished much. Primarily, we continue to educate the public, advocate for solar policies, and support local solar energy groups throughout the state. While we would never presume to take all the credit, we are proud to have played an important role in increasing awareness and adoption of solar energy.

After 21 years in the high-tech world, I decided to change careers to work in photovoltaics (PV). I felt compelled to be part of the revolutionary changes occurring in clean energy and to play my small part in mitigating climate change. A revolutionary at heart, I had to enlist. 

A New Community-Wide Approach to Solar

By Scott Nguyen PhD, 1PlanetSol
We just survived another sizzling Texas summer. To keep cool and comfortable in the Texas heat, many of us do not think twice about cranking up the air conditioning. However, for Billy, an eight-year-old who lives on the southeast side of Austin, and his family, the decision to turn on the AC is not as simple. Air conditioning consumes tons of electricity, and electricity rates are often highest during summer months.
As a result, paying the electric bill can be a monthly conundrum for Billy's family. Do we incur a large utility bill or prioritize food, school supplies, or medical expenses?
Billy's family is not alone - Texas has over ten million people living in poverty. These families spend up to 30 percent of their income on home energy costs compared to an average of 4 percent statewide. 
Going solar could be a great solution to reduce these families' energy burden. Read More

Rooftop Solar Under Attack


By Michael Jewell, Jewell and Associates

Residential and small commercial customers who install solar generation behind their meters - commonly called "rooftop solar" or, more generically, "distributed renewable generation" - may be excused for feeling paranoid. In many cases, their electric utilities are out to get them.

While some electric providers, like Austin Energy and City Public Service of San Antonio, have shown a desire to work with customers who want to install rooftop solar, others have not been as accommodating. Why? Perhaps it is because, as one utility executive put it, customers who install solar have become the utilities' competitors. The resulting conflicts have centered on what utilities can charge their customers who install rooftop solar and how much the utilities should pay for excess energy put onto the electric grid by a customer's generation system.

These discussions have really taken off over the past few years, and we have seen this issue arise more frequently in electric utility cases filed at the Public Utility Commission of Texas. As the representative of several clean energy clients, I have had a front-row seat for many of the recent proceedings.  Read More

Lone Star State Community Solar - Part 2

By Katherine Searcy, Cation Consultants, PLLC 

In the April 2017  Solar Reflector , I described the obstacles to growth of community solar, the characteristics of successful programs, and the array of programs sprouting up across Texas .

Throughout this time, community solar has continued its rapid growth across the country and within the Lone Star State. According to Greentech Media, community solar installation rates through Q2 2017   are on track to grow by 400 MW by year-end, which would double the cumulative installed capacity.

In this second installment, I provide updates on new and emerging programs, discuss the variety of program options employed in Texas, and share strategies for cost reduction.  Read More

The Solar Reflector is a publication of the
Texas Solar Energy Society

Promoting clean, safe, locally harvested solar energy  for every Texan.

As an education-focused   nonprofit, we work to bring solar energy to all Texans via rooftop or community photovoltaics and passive solar design. Sunlight can sustain our communities by delivering inexhaustible, pollution-free, and affordable energy that conserves water and creates good-paying jobs.

Board Officers
DJ Rosebaugh - Chair (Austin)
Ron Zagarri - Vice Chair (Austin)
Micah Jasuta - Secretary (Austin)
Paul Gonin -  Treasurer (Georgetown
Board Members at Large
Richard Behlmann (Katy)
Bill Glass (Austin)
Larry Howe  (Plano)
Katherine Searcy  (Austin)      
Chapter Representatives to the Board
Leslie Libby - Solar Austin 
Lissa Magel - North Texas Renewable Energy Group (NTREG)
Kate Rodriguez/Jacob Eyer - Build San Antonio Green/Bring Solar Home
Bill Swann - Houston Renewable Energy Group (HREG)
Executive Director  - Lucy Stolzenburg 
Solar Reflector Editor - Ron Zagarri 
Solar Reflector Copy Editor - Sarah Weber 
Thanks to Our Platinum and Gold Level Supporters
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Visit for a list of all our business supporters. We thank all of our members, both business and individual, for supporting our mission to educate Texans on the value of solar and encourage its adoption through local Texas businesses.