CEC Launches Solarize Santa Barbara County; Program Expands to North County

The Community Environmental Council (CEC) announced the launch of Solarize Santa Barbara County – a community-led, group-purchasing program for residential solar electric systems that will run throughout Santa Barbara County May 4 – July 30, 2017.

Community and government leaders gathered Thursday to celebrate the launch of the program, which provides local homeowners the opportunity to go solar at a discounted, group-purchase price by contracting with local solar installers pre-vetted by CEC. CEC’s previous Solarize programs throughout the central coast have helped 524 homeowners go solar.

“The goal of our Solarize program is to make going solar more simple and affordable for homeowners,” noted CEC’s Renewable Energy Specialist, April Price. This year’s two partner solar installers, Brighten Solar and Planet Solar, will offer sizable discounts on solar installs throughout Santa Barbara County. Price explained, “Our installer partners were selected by a committee of local experts. They studied the companies, their practices, and their equipment to make a responsible selection on behalf of Santa Barbara County homeowners.”

Thursday’s event host Elizabeth Wagner spoke of the benefits they have enjoyed since they with added panels to their home with Brighten Solar. “My favorite thing is every month when we get the electricity bills and they are all negative.”  As a realtor, Elizabeth went on to say, “I am always trying to educate my clients about how to green up their properties, and I thought that this would be a great example to show my clients what I’ve done. Our solar panels here are really inconspicuous – people going by on the street wouldn’t even know they’re there.”

County Supervisor Janet Wolf attended the launch, and spoke of the environmental benefits of solar and her own experience with the Solarize program. “My husband and I participated in the CEC Solarize program approximately 7 years ago. The information we received, the pricing, and the installation were seamless. We now have the benefit of solar that consistently has decreased our energy bills, and we will have paid for the entire solar array sooner than expected. In addition, both my husband and I have plug in hybrids so we are almost fully driving on sunshine.”

Throughout the Solarize program, CEC will host free, educational workshops throughout the county to help homeowners better understand solar technologies, energy efficiency, and financing options. “The workshops are a great opportunity to learn the ins and outs of going solar – from technical aspects, to the effects on home values, to how your electric bills will shrink,” said Price. She went on to say, “We are excited to bring the benefits of the group purchase discount to the entire county- this Solarize Program has excellent pricing
on high quality equipment and installs. I think that people will be surprised at how affordable it is to purchase a solar system, and to generate your own electricity.”

Anyone interested in learning about solar is encouraged to attend one of these upcoming workshops:

Thursday, May 25, 6:00 p.m.
Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara, Jefferson Hall
1535 Santa Barbara St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Wednesday, May 31, 6:00 p.m.
Veteran’s Memorial Building, Legion Wing
1745 Mission Dr.
Solvang, CA 93463

Wednesday, June 21, 6:00 p.m.
Goleta Valley Community Center, Room 1
5679 Hollister Avenue
Goleta, CA 93117

Solarize Santa Barbara County participants will also help support CEC’s mission in the community. For each homeowner that goes solar through the program, the solar installers will pay, at no additional cost to the homeowner, a small fee which helps CEC continue to offer Solarize programs in local communities.

To learn more or apply for Solarize Santa Barbara County, homeowners can go to SolarizeSB.org or call (805) 963-0583 x 101.

About the Community Environmental Council (CEC)

Since 1970, CEC has led the Santa Barbara region – and at times California and the nation – in creative solutions to some of the toughest environmental problems. CEC innovates and incubates real life solutions in areas with the most impact on climate change. Our programs provide pathways to clean vehicles, solar energy, resilient food systems, and reduction of single-use plastic. Find CEC on the web at www.cecsb.org and on Facebook/CECSB and Twitter/CECSB.


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