Several new solar panel customers have called our newsroom. They all want to know why it's taking PG&E weeks or even months, to activate their solar systems after they're installed.
When the temperature rises, so do electric bills.
That's why Beth Ferguson had a solar system installed on her Bakersfield home. But, instead of capturing the rays, her panels are just collecting dust.
She's waiting for PG&E to clear the system for use and hook it into the power grid.
"Why does it take so long? Especially when you put it in at this time of the year in the summer, you want to be able to use it but we can't," said Ferguson.
Ferguson's solar panels were installed the first week of July. She says city inspectors cleared her system a week later. Now, all she needs for her electric meter to start running the other way, is the electric company.
"You know, I don't know if it's because they don't like people changing over to solar because they are losing the money for it and the business. I don't know if that's the issue, if they don't have enough of the meters, I don't know what it is," said Ferguson.
"We are definitely aware that there are some delays in the process," said PG&E spokesman Denny Boyles.
Denny Boyles says the combination of summer and solar has created a paperwork backlog for the power company. Their goal is to get applications processed in 30 days.
Boyles says they're working overtime and weekends and have even hired more help. But, it's still averaging five to six weeks before a PG&E worker will come out, make sure the system is correctly connected and install a meter. That's about a ten-minute process.
"We're just having to adjust to this increased workload to process all of these applications and get our customers into that energy meter," said Boyles.
The activation applications are typically submitted to PG&E by the solar company that does the installation. If something is incomplete or that doesn't happen right away, that can also lead to a delay.
"At least 50 percent of the time, when we start looking at it, we realize we're not out there because we've not received anything from the company," said Boyles.
Meantime, Ferguson is left mustering up her patience. "I know eventually we'll get it turned on, I hope," she said.
Waiting for her panels to start seizing the sun.