The nonprofit Community Environmental Council has launched a program called Solarize Santa Ynez Valley to provide area homeowners with solar power systems at a discounted, group-purchase price from local solar installers now until Sept. 30.
“We designed the Solarize program to make going solar simple and more affordable for homeowners,” said Jefferson Litten, CEC Energy Program director.
Litten said the systems will be provided by two vetted installers, Sun Pacific Solar Electric and Solarponics, which were chosen by a committee of local experts.
CEC also will offer three free educational workshops — the first one this week — covering solar technologies, energy efficiency and financing options.
The first workshop is set for 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 29, at the Santa Ynez Valley Grange Hall, 2374 Alamo Pintado Ave., in Los Olivos.
The second will take place from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3, in the Legion Wing of the Solvang Veterans Memorial Building, 1745 Mission Drive, in Solvang.
A third workshop is scheduled for 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 25, in Room A of the Buellton Community Recreation Center, 301 Second St., in Buellton.
“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,” Litten said.
Solarize Santa Ynez Valley programs in 2013 and 2014 helped 62 Santa Ynez homeowners go solar.
Those who participate in Solarize Santa Ynez Valley will also help support CEC’s mission in the community, Litten said.
For each homeowner who installs a solar system through the program, the installers will pay — at no additional cost to the homeowner — a small fee that will help CEC offer Solarize programs in local communities.
To learn more or apply for Solarize Santa Ynez Valley, homeowners can go to SolarizeSYV.org or call 963-0583, ext. 101.
Founded in 1970, CEC has worked to improve the environment and reduce climate change.
In addition to solar energy, the nonprofit organization today is involved in alternative transportation and traffic reduction, biofuels and fuel-efficient vehicles, energy conservation and efficiency, environmental and urban planning, green building, ocean and wind energy and regional and statewide legislation.
For more information, visit cecsb.org.