Ed Begley, Jr. shared his experiences with solar power at Solar Brunch, a new initiative that gets neighbors talking to neighbors about an important climate change solution.

Are you curious about solar power and want to hear how it has worked out for people in your neighborhood? Maybe you have solar, love it and would be willing to share your experience with others?  If so, read on!

Rooftop solar has been around for a while and it is now more relevant than ever.  As one of the top ten steps that can be taken to address climate change, rooftop solar has the potential to prevent billions of pounds of carbon from being spewed into the atmosphere. It’s no surprise that here in Santa Monica, where we have abundant sun, solar power plays a big role in meeting our city’s greenhouse gas reduction goals. 

For many homeowners, solar can make sense. It reduces their electrical bills, pays for itself over time and increases home values. Others install it because it allows them to do something meaningful to address the climate crisis.  Still others see it as a form of energy independence and security — they generate their own power and with battery storage can offset higher peak period rates and keep their homes running during power outages. 

With so many benefits, you would think more people would go solar. But as it turns out many people feel uncertain about it.  Unbiased information from neighbors who have installed solar can help them understand what’s involved.  But in many cases, people don’t even know that their neighbors have solar.

That fact inspired Climate Action Santa Monica to see if they can help by connecting neighbors who have solar with those who are interested in it.

“We started collecting quotes from neighbors who have solar and like it, then we invited people to come hear about their experience,” said Laurene von Klan, a member of CASM’s Steering Committee. “And we turned it into something fun, social and not a sales pitch. We invited them to brunch!” 

Thus, the first Solar Brunch was hosted on March 9th, partnering with Solar Santa Monica, a city program that offers resources for people who are considering solar power.  After a presentation on how residential installations work, local solar professionals answered questions and helped people analyze their homes’ solar potential.  A photo display illustrated the diverse configurations possible. The Office of Sustainability explained how solar and electric vehicles can work together.  And of course neighbors chatted with each other, sharing what they’ve learned and answering questions. 

“We’re hoping these neighbor-to-neighbor conversations will help a hundred more homes install solar,” says von Klan. More solar brunches are planned in coming months.

For information about these upcoming events contact us at: climateactionsantamonica@gmail.com.

Reference: Why do people put solar on their roofs? Because other people put solar on their roofs,” by Chris Mooney, Washington Post, October 23, 2014.

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