Solarizing Santa Barbara!

solarize santa barbara county

For the third consecutive year, Brighten has been chosen as a solar installer for the Community Environmental Council’s (CEC) Solarize program! Installers are selected through an extensive vetting process, and the CEC ensures that the companies have a proven track record of high quality installations and customer service. This year Brighten is the exclusive solar installer for Solarize Santa Barbara, which offers discounted prices for the community with a portion of proceeds benefiting the CEC.

Solarize makes solar power more affordable to the homeowners in our community. The program is a group purchasing model which allows homeowners to install solar at a discounted price. As of early 2019, the CEC Solarize programs have helped more than 700 local homeowners go solar, bringing 3.5 megawatts of solar to the Central Coast. Brighten is so honored to be participating in this amazing program that benefits a local non-profit and makes solar more accessible to the community!

Solarize & Energy Storage

Along with discounted solar systems, the program will also offer residents options for solar-paired energy storage. These battery systems are ideal for individuals who want to be protected during emergency power outages and mandatory grid shut-downs. Batteries are also great for residents who want to avoid high peak energy prices; they will store energy from your solar system during the day and use that stored energy during peak times. This battery option will be eligible for the 30% federal solar tax credit and a rebate through the Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP), which will bring down the final battery price. For more details on solar energy storage, download our white paper here.

Brighten Solar Co’s Commitment: Brighten chooses to install cobalt-free batteries due to a combination of safety and ethical considerations. Cobalt batteries have a more limited temperature range, and they run a much higher risk of thermal runaway. In addition, a majority of the world’s cobalt is mined in the Democartic Republic of the Congo under hazardous conditions. Cobalt is toxic to humans, and both adults and children are regularly exposed while mining in the Congo. Cobalt-free batteries are a much safer and more ethical alternative, which is why we are committed to being a cobalt-free battery installer. If you’d like to read more about why cobalt matters, check out our blog post

The CEC’s Solar Initiatives

Solarize is just one of the many programs that the Community Environmental Council has implemented to combat climate change and benefit the environment. The CEC has also been taking action to promote solar in other ways; they have published resources that show the viability of renewable energy in the Central Coast, helped the county approve its first utility-scale solar project, and tirelessly advocated for community choice energy in Santa Barbara County.

One of their most recent successes is the County’s decision to move forward with Community Choice Energy. On July 16th, 2019, the County of Santa Barbara voted 4-1 to join Monterey Bay Community Power. The CEC has been advocating for this move for over a decade, and their efforts have finally paid off. Community Choice programs are one of the most effective ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and they bring access to programs that reduce the costs of electric vehicles, increase energy efficiency, and build more local solar projects.

Brighten is so grateful for the work that the CEC does for our community, and we can’t wait to see what renewable energy accomplishments they achieve in the future! To learn more about the work the Community Environmental Council is doing check out their website: www.cecsb.org