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CEC is committed to creating a more resilient and just region in the face of climate change. Through our work with the Central Coast Climate Justice Network and elsewhere, our vision includes an end to racial injustices and their resulting environmental inequities.

CEC is proud to announce the launch of Solarize Nonprofit, a new pilot program to help local nonprofits go solar at no cost.

Program Model

To make the program possible, CEC is working with locally-owned Asteri Solar as a funding partner. Selected nonprofits will enter Power Purchase Agreements with Asteri, buying the power that is produced on their own roofs at rates projected to be equal to Southern California Edison. After about 5 years, they will own the solar array, which will then provide free power for decades. CEC has also vetted local commercial solar companies that will install projects through the program.

In addition to the project financing, Solarize Nonprofit provides solar information and coaching to nonprofits. The program will ensure that local nonprofits receive the solar equipment, design, and sizing that is appropriate for their specific site. Program leaders are happy to talk with boards, staff and other stakeholders to make sure that the projects move forward smoothly.

Nonprofits who participate will be able to save significantly on their power bills over time, funneling those savings back to support the organizations’ core programs. For Asteri, this impact investing model is a way for their company to support the community by reducing long-term operating costs for nonprofits.

BiciCentro Test Project

Asteri worked with CEC to test out this model of financing with a 7.5-kilowatt solar installation on the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition’s headquarters, BiciCentro. Executive Director Ed France shared his gratitude to Asteri, noting that the organization has already seen savings on electricity bills.

Nonprofit Candidates & Investors

The pilot program can accommodate up to eight nonprofit building projects, though if more nonprofits and investors are interested, the program could grow to add significant amounts of new solar to our region. The results are trackable and quantifiable, which makes this program one that will likely expand over time as the community’s interest grows.

While Solarize Nonprofit has already identified several potential pilot program nonprofits, they are currently looking for more. Eligible nonprofits must own their buildings or be in long-term leases and have facilities suitable for solar. Qualified investors who have passive income, such as from real estate or energy holdings, are also being sought.

For inquiries and more information, contact CEC Renewable Energy Specialist April Price at or phone 805-963-0583 Ext. 101.

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