In May 2011, The Community Environmental Council (CEC) launched “Solarize Santa Barbara”, a three-month group purchasing discount program for homeowners in Southern Santa Barbara County. The program helped 49 families install 205 kW of solar.
“One of the main goals of Solarize Santa Barbara was to increase the amount of renewable energy in south Santa Barbara County and we did just that,” said Megan Birney, Renewable Energy Specialist, Community Environmental Council. “More importantly, we raised the profile of solar in our community. People are talking about solar and realizing that it’s not as difficult as they thought.”
“Solarize Santa Barbara” was a solar group purchasing discount program for homeowners in Southern Santa Barbara County. The program kicked off May 1, 2011 and ended July 31, 2011. During this time, South Santa Barbara County residents were able to purchase solar at a set price, from two local solar installers. After a rigorous application process, the CEC selected REC Solar and Sun Pacific Solar Electric based on their experience, quality and price and because they could give homeowners a high quality solar system at a great value.
CEC spread the word about the campaign through free homeowner workshops offered throughout the South Coast in Carpinteria, Santa Barbara and Goleta. “We had over 75 people attend the workshops and learn about energy efficiency, conservation, and solar energy. Even if no one had gone solar, I would still consider the program a success just from those workshops. We are helping people understand how energy is used and how to save money by reducing use,” said Megan Birney.
While the program is over, the website for Solarize Santa Barbara is still live and offers plenty of tips for those interested in going solar: www.SolarizeSB.org. The latest national and local news relating to solar can be found on our Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/solarizesb.
In addition to helping people go solar, Solarize Santa Barbara has helped CEC further its mission. Included in the purchase price was a small one-time fee that is based on the size of the solar installations and will be paid by Sun Pacific Solar Electric and REC Solar directly to the CEC. This fee will help the CEC continue to promote renewable energy in the Central Coast region and be self-sustaining, with no additional cost to the homeowner.
About the Community Environmental Council
Since 1970, the Community Environmental Council (CEC) has led the Santa Barbara region – and at times California and the nation – in creative solutions to some of the toughest environmental problems. Today CEC is focused on eliminating the use of fossil fuels in the Central Coast region in one generation – Fossil Free by ’33. Find the CEC on the web at www.cecsb.org on Twitter @CECSB and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CECSB .