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December 10, 2023 6:30pm
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Long Beach Has Solar Energy Fever

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It’s hard to imagine a place with more sun than Long Beach, and solar power has understandably swept the California city by storm. Not only is Long Beach home to a number of colleges with impressive technology-based programs, even the kids get into green technology at a young age: the Long Beach Solar Energy Grand Prix is a soapbox-derby race in which teams of children from 6th to 12th grade design and build derby racers, then race them for awards and accolades. Businesses in Long Beach keep solar energy car kits to donate to the various teams.

That’s not all the local businesses are doing for Long Beach solar energy. Because solar energy is the focus of statewide initiatives for greener energy use, companies such as environmentally conscious electricity provider Southern California Edison hold free informational sessions for area residents, explaining the basics of solar energy, the benefits of installing solar power systems in homes, and the incentives the state provides through the CSI (California Solar Initiative) program. On top of this, they conduct classes for homeowners interested in self-installing solar panels. This exciting opportunity allows residents of Long Beach to have solar energy in their homes with the special feeling of do-it-yourself home improvement well done.

Homeowners are understandably excited about this chance to dramatically reduce their energy costs, help protect the environment, and save money on their taxes; not only do they benefit from California’s groundbreaking green energy incentives, but they can also take advantage of federal tax rebates that can recoup half the installation costs of a new solar energy system. The city of Long Beach even offers a generous rebate for installing a solar water heating system, for even more savings on energy costs.

The city has also brought solar power to its recycling program. Partnering with WAXIE Sanitary Supply, Long Beach has placed a number of solar-powered recycling bin/trash compactors on the busy downtown sidewalks. The bins collect solar energy in recyclable batteries to power internal compactors, allowing up to 180 gallons of refuse to be stored in the 35-gallon bins before sensors in the bin detect that it is full and send a wireless signal to notify the collectors that the bin needs to be emptied. The program is intended to reduce landfill, encourage recycling, and save money on trash collection, since the bins are only checked and emptied when needed. These projects represent just a small section of Long Beach’s extensive efforts to green the downtown area.


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