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Reducing Irvine’s Carbon Footprint with Solar Rooftops

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While questions continue to be raised regarding whether the Orange County Power Authority (OCPA) is actually moving Irvine towards its goal of becoming carbon-neutral by 2030, residents are beginning to take matters into their own hands.

An important way to reduce Irvine’s carbon footprint and fight climate change is to transition the City’s reliance on residential electricity use from the state’s electrical grid — which is still more than 40% fossil fuel-generated — to rooftop solar. (The electricity delivered to OCPA customers also comes from the state’s electrical grid.)
 
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Irvine has roughly 110,000 households and about 45% of its housing units are owner-occupied. California Energy Commission data on permits shows some 13,000 residential solar installations in Irvine. So, there is still plenty of work to be done.
 
To help, the City has been encouraging homeowners to transition to solar with its Solarize Irvine program, which in the past 18 months has ramped-up and facilitated 170 solar installations throughout Irvine. The program, a joint venture with OC Goes Solar, uses a citizen panel to vet solar installers to recommend, who then charge a discounted rate to homeowners.
 
OC Goes Solar also works with the state Public Utilities Commission’s Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH) Program, which provides financial incentives to bring solar power to the homes of low-income households that otherwise would not have access to it.
 
So far, Solarize Irvine has held seven community workshops to educate residents on solar energy and the Solarize Irvine program, and to allow them to meet vetted installation contractors.
 
Solarize Irvine will hold its next Community Solar Workshop on March 14th at 6pm at the Portola Community Center (900 Tomato Springs). Attendees will learn about how to take advantage of Solarize Irvine’s group discounts for solar, battery storage and EV chargers, as well as the 30% federal tax credit for solar and batteries. Get more information and register for the workshop by clicking here.

Roger Bloom

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