Home Energy Storage Workshop Attracts Big Crowd
Source: Community Environmental Council
Community Environmental Council (CEC) and the City of Santa Barbara presented a free Home Energy Storage Workshop on Wednesday, November 13 to help Santa Barbara homeowners understand the ins and outs of pairing solar power with battery storage.
Fueled by the threats of recent statewide power outages, over 200 community members filled the Faulkner Gallery, overflowing into an adjacent room and coming from as far away as San Luis Obispo. Led by CEC, the free workshop provided the community an opportunity to gather and discuss power backup options in the face of recent widespread “public safety power shutoffs" (PSPS).
In response to this demand, CEC, Clean Coalition and the Montecito Association have scheduled a second Energy Storage Workshop on Wednesday, December 11 at the Montecito Union School Auditorium, 385 San Ysidro Rd., Santa Barbara, CA 93108. This event will cover community microgrid solutions, in addition to individual home applications. RSVP for the Montecito event here
A Home Energy Storage Workshop was also rescheduled for December 2 at the Museum of Ventura County. The original event had to be postponed due to threats of power outages and fire on the original October 30 date. Please RSVP for the Ventura event, as capacity is limited.
“Thousands of people lost electricity in Northern California and Los Angeles recently, and people are understanding that this is a real threat facing Santa Barbara,” stated April Price, CEC’s Renewable Energy Program Manager. "With the prospect of long term power outages, we have seen a big uptick in energy storage inquiries. We want to help people see that generators aren’t the only option; solar-paired batteries are a safe, easy-to-use power backup solution.”
Former head of Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management Rob Lewin spoke to the importance of energy resilience in Southern Santa Barbara County. Lewin stated, "Whether due to climate change-induced disasters or public safety power shutoffs, our electrical grid is vulnerable. Now is the time to create clean, reliable back-up power supplies to protect our families, our businesses, and our communities.”
CEC has partnered with various Central Coast cities, nonprofits, and solar companies since 2001 to offer Solarize programs. These programs provide a streamlined purchasing process and group-purchasing discounts. In that time, the programs have helped 776 homeowners go solar. In the last two years, battery storage options have been available in response to community demand.
At the workshops, participants gain insight into the technical, financial, and safety considerations of tying batteries to solar energy as a backup power source. The first hour features a series of speakers from public utilities, nonprofits, energy storage companies, and the City of Santa Barbara. Afterward, homeowners enjoy light snacks during a mixer where local energy companies answer questions about products and services.
Justin Bradshaw traveled from San Luis Obispo to attend in hopes of hosting a similar event up north. He shared his experience as an owner of a solar-paired Tesla Powerwall, stressing the financial savings associated with storing electricity from his solar system and then using the power later in the evening, avoiding peak-priced power. Bradshaw shared with the audience, "Solar saves you a lot; the battery saves you even more."
The free workshops are sponsored by the Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator, in partnership with the Community Environmental Council, City of Santa Barbara, Central Coast Green Building Council, Institute for Energy Efficiency, Southern California Edison, and the South Coast Energy Efficiency Partnership.
More information, upcoming event registration, and a livestream of the first event is available at: cecsb.org/home-energy-storage.