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Valley Center jumping on solar bandwagon



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Solar energy is making a huge impact on Valley Center and San Diego County as a whole. photo by Courtesy photo.
July 09, 2014
Rooftop solar in California had a record year in 2013. The amount of rooftop installations more than doubled the previous year, closing out 2013 with more than 2,000,000,000-watts of solar power in California. To put this in perspective, it took 30 years to reach 1,000,000,000-watts of rooftop solar in the state. The growth of solar is not limited to the state, but also evident in North San Diego County. According to statewide data, Valley Center is the eighth largest solar city in San Diego County.

The benefits of going solar have ignited widespread adoption of solar power at homes throughout San Diego. One of the main reasons more residents are declaring energy independence is because of the high cost of electricity. San Diego Gas and Electric has the highest electricity rates in the continental United States. The national average escalation in electricity costs per year is more than six percent annually, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

"It's a hoot to watch the meter spin backwards!" said Valley Center resident, Roger Oepicks, who went solar with Sullivan Solar Power in 2010.

In Valley Center, there is about 5,500,000-watts of residential rooftop solar installed across more than 434 systems, according to California Solar Initiative statistics. Due to open landscape, high cost of living, and abundance of sunshine, inland North County serves as the perfect location to go solar.

The growth of the solar sector could also be attributed to the drop in solar panel prices. According to a report released by the White House, the price of rooftop solar has dropped 75 percent and solar installations have increased by a factor of 13 since 2008. As most residents are finding out, solar is often cheaper than the utility.

"There is a reason San Diego is the solar capital of the nation. Going solar is cheaper than the utility and our location is optimal for solar power production," said Daniel Sullivan, Founder and President of Sullivan Solar Power. "Residents have the opportunity to see substantial savings by becoming their own energy producers."

Sullivan Solar Power, the top installer in the San Diego Gas and Electric territory according to California Solar Initiative data, will be hosting the free lunch and learn. North County residents who are interested in learning about going solar can attend the Valley Center Seminar on July 26 from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Valley Center Branch Library (29200 Cole Grade Road, Valley Center). The presentation will cover solar technology, how to determine if solar is right for your home, rebates and incentives, as well as a local case study. To RSVP, call 1-800-SULLIVAN or visit www.SullivanSolarPower.com for more information.

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