SLO County Shines Bright With 15,000 Solar Homes Milestone.

For Immediate Release

On April 22, 2021, yes, it had to be Earth Day, San Luis Obispo County reaches the 15,000th residential solar install mark. This milestone is a major achievement for the entire county. It proves our commitment to sustainability, renewable resources, and the possibility of a net zero society.

Rich Tomassi, a Paso Robles resident and  the 15,000th solar home in San Luis Obispo County, has been considering solar electric for many years. He just finally got around to solar being on the top of his to-do list.  "The final motivation to go solar was getting an EV. Solar was now a mandatory to saving money," says Mr. Tomassi.

1,000th homeowner to install solar energy.

In 2006, the earliest that specific solar energy data is available, there were six residential solar energy permits pulled in San Luis Obispo county.

Solarponics installed the 15,000th system. They also installed one of the first solar PV systems in the county back in 1981. This milestone comes in the wake of many recent Solarponics initiatives and accomplishments for the past year, including:

  • Becoming a Green Certified Business.
  • Transitioning to a Certified B-Corporation.
  • Lobbying for extension of the 26% solar tax credit.

“We launched with solar thermal water heating in 1975, but quickly saw the benefits of solar electric. The market didn't really take off until about 2013. The tax credit, continuously rising grid energy rates, and the drop on solar energy costs were, and still are, all the major contributor to the success of solar energy,” says Solarponics president, Kristian Emrich.

"It's been a long and tumultuous road...lots of starts and stops, political influences, legislation battles...but we have never lost sight of our mission, to help every central coast resident achieve energy independence," says Mr. Emrich. "Reaching this milestone reinforces that mission and has really re-energized us."

California has led the country and the world in solar energy adoption for the past 15 years. The state added 3,904 MW of residential solar in 2020 alone. We pull our weight here in San Luis Obispo County. The central coast has one of the highest per capita share of residential solar in the country.

Residential solar sales continue to exceed expectations as interest in home improvement surges, and customers suffering through power outages and extreme weather events seek energy resiliency.

U.S. Solar Market Insight Report, published this March by Wood Mackenzie estimates double digit growth in the residential solar market for the next three years.

Thomas Edison may have said it best in 1931, when he confided with his friend Henry Ford, "I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy. What a source of power! I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that."