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Join us this Weekend at the Los Angeles Home Show

28 Sep

Join California Green Designs this weekend at the LA Convention Center for the Los Angeles Home and Garden Show, now under new management, the show has blossomed and is now much more organized.

Come by and engage our experts on any and all questions solar. Prices on panels are down, the LADWP rebate may have finally stabilized, find out about solar energy production in fall, and why it’s so high. Don’t forget we now have a no money down lease option that actually is in favor of the homeowner.

Show Hours

  • Friday, September 30             Noon-8pm
  • Saturday, October 1               10am-6pm
  • Sunday, October 2                  10am-5pm

Show Location

The Los Angeles Convention Center is located at 1201 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, California 90015

South Hall K

Admission is free and open to the public.

Visit for more information.


AltCar, the most Addicting Green Show in Los Angeles this Weekend

27 Sep

Join California Green Designs this weekend for AltCar in Santa Monica, California at the Civic Auditorium on Friday Sept. 30 and Saturday Oct. 1. We’ll be there showing off our solar wares, and ready to take all your questions about the new pricing for panels (they’ve dropped!) what’s happening with the solar rebate throughout Los Angeles, and how you can make a difference in your community by hosting a solar party.

You can also test drive the Leaf, Volt, Prius V, iMiEV, CT200h, HS250h, Camry Hybrid, and over a dozen other hybrids and alternative fuel vehicles, and  small cars (i.e. Smart Car).

Altcar is the most addicting green show in Los Angeles, the speakers and their topics are great, the attendance high and excited, and everything on display interesting and high quality. This is the show you don’t want to miss.

The event is free and open to the public!

Free Bike Valet.

Visit for more information.

Solar Increases Home Sale Prices by $17,000

19 Aug

New research by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory finds that installing a residential solar energy system increases a home’s value by an average of $17,000 or $5,500/kW.

Solar Adds to the Value of Your Home
The study analyzed 72,000 California homes sold between 2000 and mid-2009, almost 2,000 of which had solar energy systems. It found that homes with solar sold for an average of $17,000 more than comparable non-solar homes.

Homes with solar power attracted higher offers from buyers who wanted to save money on utility bills and reduce their impact on the environment. The increase home sale prices was comparable to the average cost of system installation, and solar homeowners also enjoyed the benefit of dramatically lower electric bills.

How to choose a Solar Contractor

28 Jul
California Green Designs is one of many solar installers in the solar installation market, we want to make sure you feel comfortably entrusting your home with us. This can be a tough decision, as you have to balance factors such as price, qualification and experience. Solar PV energy systems themselves are expensive, complex, and could even be dangerous if installed incorrectly – which is why you should use a licensed contractor with their own full time installation teams. Here are 5 things to look for in a solar contractor before investing in solar.

Researching your Solar Installer:

1. Do they have good references from other homeowners?

Word of mouth is priceless and references from past customers can be hugely important in selecting the right solar contractor. Ask them for referrals and do a background check. Also we recommend do a quick check with the BBB and make sure they have a high standing.

2. Is your Solar Installation Company Licensed and Bonded?

Is your Solar Contractor fully bonded and licensed by the State of California, if so, what is the status of the license and have any complaints been filed against the license holder. This information can also be obtained from the Contractor’s State License Board of the State of California Also make sure that your contractor has both a Contractor’s General and Professional Liability Insurance policy, and a performance bond (typically $100,000).

2. Has the Company been around for a while?

You’re going to be entering a relationship with your contractor, they should guarantee their work for ten years. If they haven’t been around for more than a couple, how can you be sure they will be around in 7 years time. Make sure your solar company has a long history in solar to back up their work. This is why it’s also important for the installer to do it’s own installation, and not hire a subcontractor. A sub may or may not have done many solar installations in the past, and this is someone who will be making holes in your roof and working with electricity.

4. Do they Provide you with a Free on Site Estimate?

Each solar electric system is unique. Differences in roof type, orientation, possible shading, electrical interconnection options and customer requirements mean that there isn’t a “one size fits all” solution to solar. A good contractor will not hesitate to offer you a Free Estimate and a custom solar proposal for your home. He or she will also take the time to answer all your questions about a solar pv system that is custom designed for your needs.

5. Read the Contract

Be sure to read the contract carefully,as questions and be especially mindful of a lease contract if you are leasing your solar pv system. Ask your solar contractor to explain lease terms thoroughly, go through other lease options, and make sure you understand the escalator clause and other lease terms. Also make sure buying the system doesn’t make more sense for your situation.

By doing your homework and comparing various contractors, you are more likely to hire an excellent solar company.

The Glendale Solar Rebate is BACK!

23 Jun

Great news! The GWP Solar Solutions Program is officially back on line starting July 1st 2011. The solar rebate was shut down in August last year due to high demand. The officially rebate rate has been released, it has dropped from last year, but it’s still one of the best rebates in the country. There’s a graph with all the details below.

If you own a home or building in the area and are interested in going solar, sign up soon, and get all that paperwork in order before the rebates shy away again.

GWP Solar Solutions Program

Incentives For Systems Less than or Equal to 30 KW (Most Residential projects fall into this category)

2011-2012 $1.60 $0.40 $2.00
2012-2013 $1.49 $0.37 $1.86
2013-2014 $1.38 $0.35 $1.73

Incentives For Systems Greater than 30 KW (Most Commercial projects fall into this category)

2011-2012 $0.184 $0.046 $0.230
2012-2013 $0.171 $0.043 $0.214
2013-2014 $0.159 $0.040 $0.199

*Actual incentives on the larger systems are paid on a per kwh basis for electricity production over the first five years of system operation.

New Solar PV Leases for your Home

8 Jun
We did our homework, and looked into over dozen lease programs, until we found the ones that most benefit you, the homeowner. 

California Green Designs is very excited to announce that we have partnered up with two innovative lease programs, designed to accelerate the widespread adoption of Solar PV Systems.

Both leases allow the homeowners to protect themselves against future electricity rate hikes. The financial benefit of leasing a solar systems is its tremendous affordability, thus removing the major obstacle faced by homeowners in their decision to adopt solar.

Pay as little as $0 Down for a Solar Lease Program, & monthly payments less than your current electric bill

With these leases, the combined cost of the lease payment and new electric bill would be substantially less than what a homeonwer without solar pays currently.

We’ve partened up with BriteLease, the solar lease program created by Suntech – the world’s largest solar panel manufacturer andSunEdison – an owner and operator of solar energy power plants. They aim to make solar pv systems affordable and accessible to most homeowners.  A solar lease is the ideal way for homeowners to adopt solar pv technology, without an up-front capital investment.

The combination of your new electric bill and BriteLease monthly payment will be lower than your current electric bill.

The leases are a turn key solution that includes bumper to bumper warranty and system performance assurance. Simple monthly payments include everything: product, installation, warranty, monitoring. So let California Green Designs help you take advantage of these great lease programs.

If you’re paying more than $100 per month for electricity, call us!

Solar energy is a proven, reliable energy source that is saving money for many smart homeowners today. And as the cost of electricity increases, homeowners will be satisfied knowing that their electricity costs are locked in over the term of the lease, and the savings start immediately. There is no pay-off period during which homeowners recover their initial investment. Since solar is a major equipment purchase, leasing it makes sense. For this reason, leasing is the method used by most businesses for major equipment purchases. A solar lease maximizes cash flow for the homeowner by spreading payments over long term. During the lease, and at its end, the homeonwer has the option to purchase the system which is a great idea as investment in principal residence has been a longstanding good investment. If the homeowner decides to sell the home, the lease is transferrable to the new buyer.

Join us this weekend in Santa Monica at the AltBuild Design Conference & Expo

5 May

We’re excited to be taking part in the 8th Annual Alternative Building Materials & Design Conference & Expo AKA AltBuild, this weekend. It’s one of the most interesting and sustainability oriented Green events in the Country. The event will be held at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on Friday May 6th and Saturday May 7th, 2011, from 10am to 5pm.

Stop by the California Green Designs booth and catch up on all the latest news regarding solar. We’ll be showing off one of our largest installations, and have on display two full-sized solar panels, an inverter, and a solar pathfinder – the instrument used to project the daily trek of the sun all year long.

Other events that will be held at the expo include the Energy Upgrade California Networking Event, and the Ask A Pro event organized by the AIA Los Angeles Chapter where folks can get advice on green renovation questions from licensed architects and LEED Accredited Professionals. The Hennessey & Ingalls bookstore will feature architecture, design and eco-friendly books on display and for purchase and the Post Alt-Build Mixer organized by the Westside Branch of USGBC-LA will be held as well.

Come and see the APEX Block Demo Trailer built made of 80% post industrial recycled polystyrene foam and 20% cement. LifeSource Water will provide refills of filtered water so bring your cateens to AltBuild and the ever popular AltBuild Café will offer a complete menu of lunch and dessert options.

Zero Waste will attempt  to capture as many valuable materials as possible through Zero Waste Stations and to encourage bike use to the event, a FREE Bike Valet parking will be set up by the City of Santa Monica.

Event Location
Santa Monica Convention Center

1855 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401-3209

Celebrate Arbor Day

29 Apr

The month of April is the environmental kickoff for the green industry. During April we celebrate not only Earth Day but also, and with just as much passion, we mark Arbor Day.  We are all aware of the many benefits of trees such as their absorption of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide and their release of oxygen which is vital to all living things.

Trees also provide much needed shade, keep our climate cool, conserve water, improve air quality, and create their own eco systems for animals and other wildlife. In addition to these benefits, trees are also exceptionally beautiful and their presence in Los Angeles gives our neighborhoods amazing beauty and tranquility. They provide cover for paved surfaces, reduce water runoff and reflected heat. This helps lower airconditioning use. Trees improve the curb appeal of a neighborhood, increasing real estate values by 5 to 20 percent.

As a metric of how environmentally beneficial our work is, we have always kept track of the amount of electrical energy that our solar electric installations produce, and compare it with how many pounds of carbon dioxide we’ve offset, that would have been produced by coal for the same amount of energy. We also compare how many acres of trees would have been needed to offset those carbon dioxide emissions, that we’ve essentially eliminated. To date, we’ve installed over 4.5637 Megawatts of Solar. The average energy produced by this amount of power, is approximately 25.1 Megawatt-hours per day. So, each day our systems eliminate enough carbon dioxide emissions that would have required approximately 4,121 acres of trees, or roughly half a million trees, to offset.

When we design and install Solar Electric systems we are especially careful not to disturb trees. If any tree trimming is needed on a client’s property, we always turn to a qualified tree surgeon, such as Daniel Correa Gardening. We think that trees are a vital part of green technology and their strategic placement can help enhance the performance of a solar system. To find out more, read next week’s blog entry on “Solar, Your Electric Bill and Trees”.

At California Green Designs we love trees. We think trees rock! We have them in our company logo and in our hearts. Happy Arbor Day!Majestic Trees

Interested in Solar? Great Part Time Job Opportunity

29 Apr

Promote Solar in Neighborhoods Door to Door.

– Hourly pay rate of $11/hr and $10 for each free estimate scheduled + $125 for each estimate that is closed by our sales team

– Usual shift is 3pm to 7pm

– A reliable form of transportation is required.

– Advancement opportunities (i.e. drivers, team leaders, etc)

– Benefits package (medical, 401K, paid vacation)

– Paid Training

Successful candidates MUST:

– Be able to walk and stand for extended periods of time

– Be 18 years of age or older

– Positive attitude, strong work ethic, and the desire to succeed

Please Send Resumes

Be a Solar Advocate: Show off your Solar Home

28 Apr

There are many great ways to Promote Solar Energy in your Neighborhood, one of the most rewarding is to take part in Solar Home Tours.

CAGD urges commercial and residential owners of solar electric systems to sign up for the 15th Annual National Solar Tour, to host visitors interested in learning more about living and interacting with solar.

Tours take place in neighborhoods all over California, in most locations, the Tour is scheduled to be on Saturday, October 1.

To find out more, or sign up your home or building click here.