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Modern Day Money Trees

Ten years ago, Stephen had realized that he could either continue to pay his power company for increasingly expensive electricity, or he could invest in solar. Once he recouped his initial outlay on the investment, he reasoned, he could bask in free electricity for the duration of the panels’ life — between 30 and 40 years.
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CEC to showcase electric vehicles for every style and budget

With 18 models of electric vehicles (EVs) now on the market—from the affordable to the luxurious—attendees of CEC’s upcoming Green Car Show at the Goleta Lemon Festival will have plenty to talk about. Join us Sunday, September 21 between 10 am and 5 pm at Girsh Park to talk directly with local owners of various pure electric and plug-in hybrid cars.

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The Kellys Are Driving on Sunshine Thanks to Solarize Santa Ynez Valley

Rick Kelly and his family are self-described “energy hawks,” always looking for ways to improve the energy efficiency of their home. After switching all their lighting to LED bulbs, Rick -- a business manager at UCSB -- was looking for more. Intrigued by solar electricity, he attended a homeowner workshop about Solarize Santa Ynez hosted by CEC and the Santa Ynez Valley Alliance. At the workshop, another homeowner brought up the topic of combining home solar and electric vehicles (EVs), and it spurred Rick to do his own research.
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A Conservative Embraces Driving on Sunshine

Aaron is not your typical “go green” kind of guy. He thinks that the country’s solar industry has been too heavily subsidized. And don’t get him started on climate change. None of that, however, stopped Aaron from installing solar panels on his home or purchasing a plug-in hybrid vehicle. Come again?
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A Clean Energy Future

Cameron Clark is a local freelance website designer interested in clean energy issues and environmental sustainability. He is also a member of the Santa Barbara County Water Guardians.  

America is a country that rises to a challenge, albeit sometimes reluctantly. Winston Churchill observed: “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing—after they've tried everything else.” Nowhere is that more true than energy.

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The Electric Vehicle Ripple Effect

Nearly everyone who works at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital knows that if you’ve got questions about solar panels or electric vehicles, Dr. Timothy Rodgers probably has the answers. During the lunch hour, you can sometimes spot Timothy, a specialist in Internal Medicine, in the hospital’s cafeteria — and a couple times a week, he’s chatting with someone curious about green technologies.

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Setting an example for the next generation

Sue Selle was introducing her science students to ways they might reduce their carbon footprint -- including the many forms of alternative-fuel cars available in today’s market. Then came the question: "Ms. Selle, do you drive one of those cars?" The answer was no. She shared her reasons, but her words felt hollow. "I always try to be a role model to my students, to practice the environmentally-conscious actions that I teach about. I didn't like that I couldn't do that in this case."
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Commuting in “Kelleafy”

When Kelly Schmandt Ferguson took a job in Santa Ynez last year, commuting to work by bus was no longer an option for the Santa Barbara resident. Concerns over increased gas expenses and the environmental impacts of fossil fuel emissions as well as the desire to “support a technology that [she] believed in” led Kelly to research leasing an electric vehicle.

 

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Five Ways Colleges Are Coaxing Students Out of Their Cars

Like other schools across the country, the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) has its own program to entice students, faculty, and staff to reduce driving and choose more sustainable modes of transportation. The Transportation Alternatives Program, or TAP, seeks to reduce traffic congestion, traffic emissions, and the demand for parking on campus and serves those who commute to UCSB by foot, skateboard, bicycle, bus, carpool, vanpool, or train.

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Tesla: More Cost-Effective Than You Think?

Kenneth can drive between 24,000 and 30,000 miles in a year, nearly double the amount of the average driver, according to the Department of Transportation. Such heavy vehicle use — and gas —has consequences, as Kenneth realized. His mounting gas bill coupled with a growing realization of the repercussions of his CO2 emissions on the planet’s climate convinced him to look at purchasing an electric vehicle. Then, when an EV charging station was installed outside his office building, he took it as a sign. Transitioning to an EV, however, wasn’t without its bumps.
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Most popular personal stories of 2013

Santa Barbarans are leading the way in the clean energy movement. We've met locals who are installing solar panels on their homes and helping others go solar. We've heard from people who are driving electric vehicles and powering them with energy from the sun or commuting to work by bike or bimodally. Read our most popular personal stories from 2013 for a dose of inspiration going into the new year.

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Employees plug in at lynda.com

lynda.com is a rapidly growing online learning company that offers thousands of video courses to help viewers learn software, technology, creative, and business skills. With growth comes the challenge of recruiting, and the largest motivation for installing workplace electric vehicle (EV) charging stations came from the Human Resources department.
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