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Solarize Santa Barbara Discount Program to End July 31

Final introductory workshop for homeowners will be held July 21

In May, the Community Environmental Council launched Solarize Santa Barbara, a three-month group purchasing discount program for homeowners in southern Santa Barbara County.

The program is now in its final month, and time is ticking away for homeowners who want to harness the power and affordability of the sun in their homes.

“The time to go solar is now. With Solarize Santa Barbara, there has never been a better opportunity for homeowners in this community to start using the sun to power their homes,” said Megan Birney, renewable energy specialist for the Community Environmental Council. “Through Solarize Santa Barbara, we at the CEC have made going solar as easy as possible, and we are available throughout the process as an unbiased expert resource.”

Solarize Santa Barbara kicked off May 1 and will end July 31. During this time, South Coast residents are able to purchase solar at a set price, from two local installers: REC Solar and Sun Pacific Solar Electric. 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 are giving homeowners the best solar systems at the best value.

The CEC has been hosting introductory workshops in Carpinteria, Goleta and Santa Barbara through which residents can learn about energy efficiency, conservation and solar energy. The final Solarize Santa Barbara workshop will be held from 6:30 to 8 p.m. July 21 at the Unitarian Society of Santa Barbara, 1535 Santa Barbara St.

Through Solarize Santa Barbara, 23 homeowners have signed contracts and some already have homes powered by the sun.

With the CEC acting as the middleman, Solarize Santa Barbara aims to:

» Reduce the costs of solar because community purchasing programs offer better discounts than individual buys

» Simplify the contractor selection process

» Ensure quality

» Increase the amount of renewable energy in southern Santa Barbara County

To participate, Solarize Santa Barbara participants must live within the service territory (Southern Santa Barbara County, which includes the cities of Santa Barbara, Carpinteria, Goleta and the Gaviota area), own a home that is suitable for solar installation, and sign a contract with one of the CEC’s pre-qualified installers by July 31.

To apply for Solarize Santa Barbara, click here for the simple, five-minute application process. Within one week of application, the solar installers will contact applicants to set up home evaluations. Click here to get more information on Facebook.

In addition to getting a discounted price for solar power, Solarize Santa Barbara participants will help support the CEC’s mission. Included in the purchase price is a one-time fee (15 cents per installed watt) that is based on the size of their solar installation and will be paid by REC Solar and Sun Pacific Solar Electric 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.

— Marjorie Wass is a publicist representing the Community Environmental Council.

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