Contact: Virginia Nicols, Corporate & Community Relations, EcoMotion

(949) 450-7153,

Irvine, CA August 23, 2009

Solar Santa Monica Moves into its Third Year with EcoMotion

Program Evolves Thanks to Heightened Community Involvement

Solar Santa Monica was created in 2006 as a demonstration “kick-off” to the City’s Community Energy Independence Initiative. The CEII’s goal is to help Santa Monica become a “net-zero” city by 2017, reducing its dependence on outside energy sources, providing some offset to future energy price fluctuations, and responding to local and global air quality concerns.

EcoMotion was hired to help design and run Solar Santa Monica. In July, 2009, EcoMotion received a second extension of its contract. Now in its third year, the program has witnessed significant change:

“Packages.” At the outset, Solar Santa Monica offered residents fixed-price packages of efficiency and, where appropriate, solar measures. “We wanted to simplify the process, and be sure home owners would make cost-efficient choices,” explained Ted Flanigan, President of EcoMotion and principal architect of the packages. “Today, the public is much more knowledgeable about energy and solar, and they want to select only the measures they feel are most important.”

Contractors. Contractors bid on providing the packaged services; the “winners” became Preferred Contractors who received special training and referrals from the program. The current program has been opened to all contractors who meet minimum standards. They are listed on the Solar Santa Monica website, along with suggestions for consumers about how to solicit and compare bids.

On-site visits. In the first two years, every home or business that requested information was offered an on-site “solar check” followed by a comprehensive written Energy  avings Analysis. Over 350 site checks were performed. Now, given a reduction in City resources, do-it-yourself information has been posted on the website, and staff focuses its personal efforts on larger, more complicated commercial projects.

“In the second year of the program, we doubled the amount of solar in Santa Monica,” said Michael Ware, EcoMotion Solar Project Manager. “We are starting fiscal year 2009 with a pipeline of business that could double it again – if we can help property owners find their way through tax laws, state incentives and utility rates.”

While continuing to sponsor educational events that cover topics as diverse as “Efficiency First: Caulking” and “New Utility Rate Option R for Business,” Solar Santa Monica has developed political connections and strongly promotes a California Feed-in-Tariff to benefit small alternative energy producers. “Our Advisory Board sees that legislation is necessary if we want to make a significant change in solar uptake in California,” said EcoMotion’s Flanigan.


Based in Irvine, CA, EcoMotion’s mission is to promote positive change for a healthy, sustainable future. It applies the power of the increment (many small actions building on other actions) in the energy-related programs it designs and implements for organizations, cities and utilities.


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