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How to Go Solar

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Santa Barbara has many sunny days and capturing that solar energy can support the resilience and energy reliability of your home. 

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Considering Solar for Your Home or Business?

1
Upfront Questions to Consider

Do you own your own roof? Does your roof receive a lot of sunlight? Does your roof need to be repaired in the near future? 

2
Efficiency Check

Improving your home’s energy efficiency will reduce the amount of solar energy you need to produce. Upgrading your lighting to LED fixtures will reduce your energy consumption and lower your bills. Consider replacing out-of-date appliances and air conditioners with more energy efficient models. Find other ways to make your home more energy efficient through our partner 3C-REN. 

3
Understand Your Potential

Use Google’s Project Sunroof tool to see the solar capacity of your property. 

4
Find a Contractor

3C-REN offers help in finding solar and storage contractors. Contractors must have a valid Santa Barbara Business License. Get at least three bids or quotes and at least three references from each bidder. Hire only CA state-licensed contractors with a valid license, which is either Photovoltaic (PV) Generation System: C-10 and C- 46; or B (General) license. Check contractor license numbers with the Contractors State License Board or by calling (800) 321-CSLB (2752). 

5
Compare Financing Options
  • An upfront purchase eliminates borrowing costs and initiates a bill savings stream. Financing the system over time eliminates the need for upfront capital and the monthly payments may be less than the bill savings. 
  • Financing the system over time eliminates the need for upfront capital and the monthly payments may be less than the bill savings. 
  • Leasing a system requires no money down, can still save money, and the lessor will repair or replace the equipment as needed. 

If you need additional help, review the CPUC Solar Consumer Protection Guide for more information.

6
Apply for a City of Santa Barbara Permit
  • Your contractor will  apply for a permit with Construction and Land Development 
  • On-Demand Permitting – Solar Photovoltaic with Optional Energy Storage  
    For contractors: The City is improving the permitting process for solar photovoltaic with optional energy storage system projects with On-Demand Permitting (ODP). ODP removes the plan check phase, as long as the proposed project meets minimum requirements. Solar photovoltaic systems rated less than 10kW AC CEC with optional energy storage systems less than 27kWh are now available through ODP.   
  • Get your on-demand permit through Accela Citizen Access.
7
Installation

Your contractor can begin installation after receiving the necessary permit. Make sure to turn on your system only after receiving City of Santa Barbara permits and completing the Southern California Edison (SCE) interconnection process.

Friends of SB Clean Energy

Santa Barbara Clean Energy has exclusive arrangements with organizations to help you save money when going solar:  

  • Home Power 
    The PoweredUp Network (previously SB Home Power Program) covers the cost of a customized solar power and battery storage system. You pay for the power produced by the system over the term of the agreement. No credit check, financing, or lien on property. All City residents are eligible! 

    Get a free savings estimate 

  • Brighten Solar Co. 
    Brighten offers exclusive discounts on solar and batteries for Santa Barbara Clean Energy residential customers: $100 per kilowatt for solar systems and $70 per kilowatt-hour for battery systems. 

    Plus, if you are a California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) customer you get an additional discount: $125 per kilowatt for solar systems and $100 per kilowatt-hour for battery systems. 

    It’s as easy as… 
    Fill out the form below with your information and SBCE service account number (this is same as the Edison service account number, it should start with an “8”). Make sure to let us know if you qualify for the CARE additional discount.  

    Receive email from our team confirming your eligibility.  

    Work with Brighten Solar Co. to build energy resiliency and reliability for your home!