Solar Sebastopol has expanded to the new countywide organization Solar Sonoma County. But Sebastopol continues to have solar and energy related activities which you can learn more about here.

PLEASE NOTE: This site is no longer owned or managed by the City of Sebastopol, but as one of the founders of Solar Sebastopol and of Solar Sonoma County, I want to preserve the history of this exciting movement and also keep updating news about solar in Sebastopol.

Any future updates to this site will be from me and not from the City of Sebastopol. Let me know if you have local solar news to share: Marty Roberts Email Marty Roberts

FREE Solarize Sebastopol Workshop
July 8th, 2015

7pm @ The Sebastopol Grange
6000 Sebastopol Ave, Hwy 12

Bringing Solar Home
Local - Quality – Reliable – Clean - Affordable
Learn about Solar Options for your own home, help shape a Clean Energy Future,
and support Renewable Energy Education in our local schools.

Please consider attending and sharing this with friends and neighbors who may be interested.

The focus is on solar (electricity) for your own home. The idea is simple - the more rooftops converting sunlight to electricity, the better off we'll be going forward as a community. Moving toward a clean energy future, means greater environmental benefits, local resilience, and improved personal economics.

I'll review the ingredients that are considered when designing a solar electric system, and how to evaluate your own situation. Financing options will be presented.

Whether you have a roof ready for solar, have already installed solar, or just want to learn more, you're welcome to attend.

If you'd like an evaluation of your own home, bring a copy of your PG&E/SCP bill. This will provide a key bit of information regarding how much energy you currently use, from which a solar array can be sized.

Here's a great testament to the success of our programs

From The Press Democrat via Environment California Research & Policy Center |
A Million Solar Roofs Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Sonoma County embraces solar power By Robert Digitale

"Solar installers credit local groups like Solar Sebastopol, the precursor to the nonprofit Solar Sonoma County, for helping promote solar's benefits as a viable way of cutting energy bills."

Click the link above to read the entire article. Go solar!!

What's New

Sebastopol council votes to require solar power on new homes, buildings

Sebastopol burnished its liberal credentials in May, 2013 by becoming the second city in California to require solar power systems on new homes and commercial buildings.

"We were going to be number one," Mayor Michael Kyes said prior to the City Council's unanimous vote. "Now we're number two.

Lancaster, a high-desert city in northeast Los Angeles County, was the first to make solar power mandatory on new housing developments, part of Mayor Rex Parris' promotion of his city as the "alternative energy capital of the world."

Kyes noted that Lancaster is a "Republican community" and that Sebastopol is "liberal," asserting that speaks to the "broad support" for solar power.

Sebastopol's ordinance would require new residential and commercial buildings -- as well as major additions and remodelings -- to include a photovoltaic energy-generation system.

The system would have to provide 2 watts of power per square foot of insulated building area or offset 75 percent of the building's annual electric load.

In situations where solar power is impractical, such as shaded areas, new buildings may use other energy alternatives or pay a fee.

What is Solar Sebastopol?

Please note: Solar Sebastopol has recently expanded to Solar Sonoma County.

We are keeping this Solar Sebastopol site up since it is full of information and history, but for current news and activities, please go to the new Solar Sonoma County site:

Your chance to slash your electric bill
by making your utility meter spin backwards!

Solar Sebastopol is a local first-of-its-kind program to encourage more solar energy on residential, business, and public properties in Sebastopol, Sonoma County, CA. Our goal is to install 1 megawatt of solar power production in the City of Sebastopol. That’s equivalent to solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on about 500 average-size homes.

We also have a goal of assuring high-quality installations that meet all code standards which is why we sponsor trainings for inspectors and professionals in the field.

We have a window of opportunity to drastically cut the out-of-pocket costs of each solar electric system installation. Act now while rebates and tax credits are still available!

How close is Sebastopol to reaching the goal?

As of December, 2007, Sebastopol has added nearly 500 kW of solar power within city limits, or almost one half of the 1 megawatt (1,000 kW) goal. Sebastopol has installed 105.5 kW on city buildings. We will update this information as new installations get approved - so come back often to check in. You can help us reach the goal!

AND, although it does not technically count towards our goal, the 95472 zip code which includes Sebastopol and the surrounding unincorporated area has installed more than 1.4 Megawatts of solar PV!!

NEW! Solar Sebastopol wins grant to expand countywide
Solar Sebastopol has received a $73,000 grant to expand its community solar energy program to a countywide effort to be called Solar Sonoma County. On December 19, 2007, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District Board of Directors awarded $3 million in Climate Protection Grants to San Francisco Bay Area local governments and nonprofits for implementation of innovative projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Read the whole story

Marty Roberts, Mayor Sam Pierce, and City Manager Dave Brennan receive the NorCal City Solar Awards at the Berkeley City Club, October 18, 2007

Sebastopol and the surrounding 95472 zip code area ranked 1st Place for Total Number of Projects Installed and 2nd place for Total Watts Installed and 2nd place for Watts per Capita for small cities in this year's Bay Area Solar Installations study by NorCal Solar.

Sebastopol received THREE awards for these achievements at the Solar City Awards in Berkeley on Oct. 18. (Listen to a radio report)
~ Northern CA Solar Energy Assoc. second annual study, July, 2007
See the complete NorCal Solar study

Solar now on Sebastopol's City Hall! The 10.6kW system will meet virtually all of the City Hall's electrical needs, while eliminating 14 tons of CO2 from the atmosphere each year. Read more about this.

Sebastopol on the BBC! "SOLAR SEBASTOPOL
California's generous endowment of sunshine gives it a golden opportunity to exploit solar power, but the town of Sebastopol, north of San Francisco, has been particularly energised.

Its goal is to install one megawatt of solar power production across the town - equivalent to decking the roofs of 500 average-sized homes with solar panels..."

~BBC News July 11, 2007 Read the article.

How did this get started?

Local people like you who wanted a program like San Francisco’s Vote Solar initiative started meeting in 2001. Students from Sonoma State University's Energy Management Design Program conducted a solar feasibility study in 2002 and the Sebastopol City Council endorsed the study’s recommendation for a citywide solar program. A self-funded advisory group of solar business and community leaders now manages Solar Sebastopol under the guidance of the City of Sebastopol. Membership is open to anyone who wants to help reach our goal. (Membership information)

What’s in it for you?

A custom-designed solar energy system and highest quality installation, lower utility bills, enhanced property value, greater energy self-reliance, reduced CO2 emissions, reduced fossil fuel dependency, a part in achieving our community-wide goal, role modeling local energy control, and oh yes, helping to save Planet Earth!

Make this your year to go solar!

Your home or business intallation can help us reach our 1 Megawatt goal. Get started today!

Financial Incentives

Right now you can qualify for rebates on the cost of your solar system as well as a generous 30% federal tax credit. Click for a pdf summary of financial benefits.

Contact one of our solar vendors to get the details.

About California Solar Initiative

In January 2006, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) created the California Solar Initiative (CPUC ruling - R.04-03-017) with the goal of installing 3,000 megawatts of solar electric (PV) power on the equivalent of a million roofs by 2017. This new incentive program, for renewable systems of less than one megawatt, begins in January 2007 and is projected to provide a total of $2.9 billion over ten years.

Vist the Go Solar California web site for more information on the current rebate program.

Solar Sonoma County now has a web site! Check it out:

Past Events

Solar Schoolhouse Forum: Powering Schools with Sunlight

March 26, 2010
Sonoma Mountain Village
Rohnert Park, CA

This was a very successful conference to educate school administrators statewide about the beneftis and how-to's of solar on their schools.

May 1 - May Day Renewable Generation & Climate Protection Workshop

Please join us on May Day 2008 for a free workshop to learn about up-to-date opportunities available for renewable generation and climate protection. This workshop will provide information on:
PG&E's newly available Small Renewable Generator Power Purchase Agreement (to allow for selling excess power back to the grid)
California Solar Initiative (CSI) updates and opportunities
California's future cap-and-trade program
PG&E's ClimateSmart program
Attendees will have the opportunity to ask questions of all presenters. Solar Sebastopol vendors will be present to answer installation questions. Workshop and reception are free, but donations to Solar Sebastopol will be appreciated.

Download the flyer with all the details

May 11 - Sebastopol Farm Market

Come to a mini Solar Fair at the Farm Market and Downtown Sebastopol Plaza - 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Bring your Mom!!

Solar Vendors will be there with solar panels and displays and lots of information for you on how to go solar.

Next Building Inspector & PV Installer Training - July 9 & 10, '08, Santa Rosa, CA

We will offer two days of training with John Wiles. You can sign up for either or both. Click here to download the flyer and registration packet.

Reservations and advance payment required.

Steven Strong (right) and Marty Roberts visit Laguna Farm and their new solar collector. Scott Matheson (ctr) runs much of his organic farm with the electricity produced. The system was installed by Solar Sebastopol member business: Solaris Solar.

Contact Us

Since we have now evolved into Solar Sonoma County, please visit for contact information.

Legislation to move us forward

After three years, the Million Solar Roofs bill, SB 1, authored by Senator Kevin Murray, was signed into law this morning by Governor Schwarzenegger.... SB 1 compliments the California Solar Initiative established by the Public Utilities Commission in January and puts California on track toward building a million solar roofs in the next ten years.
~ Environment California, 8/21/06
California will impose broad caps on its greenhouse-gas emissions under a landmark plan that marks a clear break with the federal government and which backers hope will become a national model.
~ AP, Sacramento, 8/31/06 on AB 32 by Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez and Assembly Member Fran Pavley

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