Lobero Theatre Installs Eco-Friendly Solar Panels

By the Lobero Theatre

The Lobero Theatre has expanded their sustainability efforts to operate as an energy-efficient, low carbon footprint facility with the recent addition of solar panels on the Gail Towbes Auditorium rooftop. As Santa Barbara County’s first certified Green Theater, the Lobero is conscious of its lasting presence in the Santa Barbara community and views adopting sustainable practices as a pragmatic and beneficial way to ensure the vitality of the theater long into the future. 

“We hope that the Lobero reaps the benefits of heightened renewable energy, rewarding you lower costs, and the environment any negative impact, while providing inspiration for others to do the same in the SB Community,” said Nora McNeely Hurley, Manitou Foundation.

The Lobero has worked hard over the past decade to reduce their environmental impact, beginning with joining the City of Santa Barbara’s Recycling and Composting Programs in 2011. Eco-friendly improvements since that time include renovation of any remaining antique plumbing fixtures, installation of low-flow toilets, drought tolerant landscaping, and energy-efficient electrical systems – including updating the Lobero’s stage lighting system to energy-efficient LEDs where possible, replacing hundreds of outdated stage bulbs, and even changing to eco-friendly cleaning products.

The historic landmark has also eliminated plastic water bottles at the theater, and has updated their concessions system to accommodate kegs for beer and wine – saving thousands of pounds of glass recycling each year. In an effort to cut down on disposables throughout the venue, the theater uses compostable cups, napkins, and utensils for all receptions and concessions events, sells stainless steel reusable pint cups, supplies water refill stations, provides performers with reusable stainless steel water bottles, serves artists’ meals on real dishes, and offers filtered water in the Green Room area.

The impactful addition of solar panels (a $150,000 investment) will significantly reduce the Lobero’s reliance on traditional energy sources and add excess solar power to the local power grid. As approximately 70% of Southern California Edison’s energy is generated from non-renewable sources, the addition of the photovoltaic solar electric system is clearly a step in the right direction. Through the generosity of their donors, the Lobero is proud to be a leader in renewable energy in the Santa Barbara community.


Written by Lobero Theatre

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