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October is Solar Energy Month!


Governor Schwarzenegger has proclaimed October 2010 the third-annual Solar Energy Month.  Join tens of thousands of Californias to celebrate the joys -- and the many financial benefits of clean solar energy.

Get involved and Go Solar, California!

Solar Energy Month provides a showcase for solar events happening statewide—and we want to promote YOUR solar event, too!

Simply click to the Go Solar California! Community Solar Calendar and submit the details about your event.  Then, we will publish your events in weekly emails to over 10,000 subscribers of the California Solar Initiative Newsletter.

The focus of Solar Energy Month 2010 is to Get Involved and Go Solar, California!  We’re inviting everyone—from residential solar beginners to savvy solar pros—to join with their communities in taking a solar class or workshop, attending a solar tour or fair, and talking with their neighbors and local businesses about going solar and generating their own clean energy. View our poster.

Here are 10 easy ways you can Get Involved and Go Solar:

  • 1. Submit YOUR local solar event to the Go Solar, California! Community Solar Calendar and reach out to thousands of solar enthusiasts statewide! 
  • 2. Attend one of the many free solar classes held everyday throughout California.  Whether you are completely new to solar, or a seasoned solar contractor, there are dozens of workshops and classes for you.  As a start, the California Solar Initiative Program Administrators in your utility service territory—PG&E, Edison and the California Center for Sustainable Energy (for SDG&E customers)—offer basic and technical solar classes.  Sign up today!
  • 3. Hop on the bus for guided solar tours--or take a self-guided solar tour!  The American Solar Energy Society will sponsor the annual National Solar Tour at over 20 locations in California.  These tours are a lot of fun and incredibly informative, as you get story from real solar system owners. 
  • 4. Already got solar? Wonderful!  Now wouldn’t it be great if more and more of your neighbors began installing solar systems, too?  Well, spread the word. Become a Solar Ambassador--the go-to person for solar in your neighborhood--so that when your neighbors have questions about the way solar works, the costs and savings, and how to find a good solar contractor they will have someone to talk to.  (Print out a Go Solar, California! window or lawn sign to announce that you’re the neighborhood solar expert!)
  • 5. Check the Numbers:  The CSI Program now provides real-time graphs and downloadable program data on plus information on average system costs so that you can find out information about systems in your area.
  • 6. Looking for an entry into solar's green collar workforce? Solar Energy Month is a stage for green job seekers and employers alike.
    • A recent workforce development survey by the Vote Solar Initiative found 27 programs delivering solar-specific instruction throughout the state, with more than 5,400 prospective new solar workers currently enrolled.
    • The Emerging Industry and Occupations Report (2008) by the Centers for Excellence states that 70% of the businesses surveyed would hire within the next 12 months.
    • The Environmental Defense Fund has published  a Green Jobs Guidebook, which profiles more than 200 green jobs currently in California, including details on 25 different types of solar jobs.
  • 7. Find your solar potential on a solar map.  Both San Francisco and San Diego have developed highly accurate interactive maps for customers and installers to determine how much solar a given rooftop can produce.  The maps account for attributes like tilt, shading, and climate zone, plus allow people to enter other inputs such as historical energy usage and the effects of energy efficiency measures.  Location arrows show other solar systems in the vicinity, and many system owners provide system output and other relevant details to help you get a clear picture of your true solar potential. 
  • 8. Attend a solar expo or conference.  October kicks off on Saturday October 2nd with the National Solar Homes Tour throughout the state, and  West Coast Green in San Francisco.  Mid-October boasts the largest solar conference and exposition in the U.S., Solar Power International, held the 12th - 14th in Los Angeles.  Mark your calendar: Solar Power is FREE to the public on Wednesday October 13th from 5:30—8:30 p.m., and CSI Program Administrators will host the third quarter CSI Program Forum from 6:00 - 8:00 pm during the expo.
  • 9. Go Solar!  Contact eligible solar contractors for competitive bids; a qualified contractor should hold a valid A, B, C-10, or C-46 California Contractors license, and can be found (among other places) on the State’s Eligible Contractors List.  Your contractor will get you started with a simple energy efficiency audit, then show you the most affordable system design for your property—whether to displace your entire load or simply skim off the highest, most expensive energy use tiers—and assist you by applying for California Solar Initiative rebates on your behalf.  Building a custom home?  Make solar part of your home’s design from the start.  Your architect or builder can help you with New Solar Homes Partnership incentives.  Go solar and you’re also eligible for 30 percent federal tax credit (plus other business perks like accelerated depreciation.)  And homeowners, did you know that your solar system will increase the value of your home without a property tax assessment?  Plus, you get to generate free energy each month, earn bill credits for your surplus generation, AND do something good for the environment.  Don’t let your rooftop go to waste—go solar!
  • 10. Help inform others. If you know someone who is considering solar—as an energy solution, investment, or career—then forward the California Solar Initiative electronic newsletter their way.  You can also send them the option to subscribe themselves.  Click here for the opt-in form. For serious data fans, take a look at the CSI Program’s Performance in the CPUC Annual Program Assessment to the Legislature.  California now boasts a half gigawatt of solar power in over 50,000 locations.

Last Modified: 10/1/2010

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