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News: How to get solar and energy efficiency to play nice

The solar and energy efficiency industries often are seen as brethren in the clean energy cause. But in truth, they are competitors. Energy efficiency undercuts solar profits. The more efficient a home or building, the fewer solar panels it needs.

As a result, it’s difficult to get solar installers to abide by the oft-stated recommendation that they make sure the home is as energy efficient as possible before they size the solar energy system.

I recently wrote an article about a solution proposed in California, which was to make solar a subset of state energy efficiency programs. (See Would Homeowners Say “Yes” to Energy Efficiency if it Came with Solar?)  The model would capitalize on solar’s popularity to help spur more energy efficiency. I didn’t realize at the time that my home town of Charlottesville, Virginia, already was doing just that.

Read the full story. (Energy Efficiency Markets)