California’s Top Solar Cities Announced

Northern California cities lead southern counterparts in solar adoption.

SunRun, a leading home solar company, and PV Solar Report, an authority on California solar market data, today announced the top solar cities in California for the first eight months of 2011. With San Jose in the No. 1 slot and Bakersfield, San Francisco and Fresno in the Top 5, the list indicates that families in northern and central California are setting the precedent for taking control of their electricity costs by switching to solar. The top solar cities list is based on the California Solar Initiative’s (CSI) database of residential rebate reservations through August 31, 2011.* In seven of these ten cities the majority of homeowners chose a lease or similar options over a cash purchase. Rankings are as follows:

  1. San Jose
  2. San Diego
  3. Bakersfield
  4. San Francisco
  5. Fresno
  6. Corona
  7. Simi Valley
  8. Santa Rosa
  9. Murrieta
  10. Lancaster

“Families in Fresno and Bakersfield have some of the highest electric bills in the state, so it’s not surprising that more homeowners in those areas are looking for ways to save money on electricity by switching to solar,” said SunRun president and co-founder Lynn Jurich. “Because SunRun lets homeowners switch to solar without buying the panels, customers come to us with that financial pain in mind and save tens of thousands of dollars over time.”

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SunRun is growing at more than 200 percent each year by letting American families switch to solar without spending $30,000 or more to buy panels. SunRun owns, insures and maintains the solar panels and installs them on a homeowner’s roof. Families pay a low monthly rate for clean energy, fixing their energy costs for 20 years.

“PV Solar Report provides a daily snapshot of the industry for solar professionals, and as the solar market grows we see increasing interest from consumers in the reach and affordability of solar,” said Stephen Torres, founder and managing director of PV Solar Report. “This top cities list was designed to inform the industry, as well as demonstrate to California families that solar is affordable today. For example, over the past twelve months the cost of a solar installation has dropped significantly and more homeowners are now using leases or power-purchase agreements to go solar than at anytime in the past.”

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PV Solar Report’s analyses also indicate that going solar without buying the panels – known as 3rd-party-owned solar or solar power service – is becoming the preferred option in California. For example, June of 2011 was the first month ever in which more Californians opted for 3rd-party-owned solar over cash purchases, and the trend continues. SunRun invented this model for residential solar in 2007 and remains the market leader in California. In August, the company had three times the market share of the next largest provider.

For more information on SunRun visit For an executive brief and comprehensive list of the top 25 cities in California from PV Solar Report click here.

*The CSI database includes data from the California utilities SDG&E, PG&E and SCE.


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