For the second consecutive year, CEC has helped dozens of local families gain the benefits of clean energy through the Solarize group purchasing program. In the final months of 2012, CEC conducted Solarize programs in both the Ojai and Santa Barbara regions, helping 42 families gain the financial and environmental benefits of solar power.
A Solarize program works much like a “Groupon” for going solar; by using the power of collective purchasing, homeowners get a discounted price for solar electric systems. Additionally, homeowners in the program worked with trusted solar installers that CEC carefully vetted and selected based on quality, reliability and customer service.
Joan A. and Ellen B, two of this year’s Solarize Santa Barbara participants, describe the benefits of CEC’s rigorous installer selection process. “CEC’s expert vetting of solar companies and their selection of two high-quality choices made it extremely easy to proceed with clarity and confidence.” Joan and Ellen ultimately opted for 2.76 kilowatt system that will save them $132 a month in electricity bills.
The Solarize Santa Barbara and Solarize Ojai programs ran for three months and two months, respectively. In that time over 200 kW of new solar power was contracted for the region – translating to 300,000 kWh of clean, emission-free electricity each year. This new solar power means that the equivalent emissions from 500 barrels of oil will not be released into the atmosphere1. It is also equivalent to planting 173 acres of pine forest2. These environmental benefits were important to Joan and Ellen when they decided to switch to solar. Joan states, “While we ultimately will save a lot of money by going solar, reducing our carbon footprint and contributing to the health of our endangered planet is even more meaningful to us.”
1, 2 Equivalent emissions figures are calculated from US EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Equivalencies Calculator, http://www.epa.gov/cleanenergy/energy-resources/calculator.html#results