With abundant sunshine and the Pacific Ocean in its back yard, San Diego has always been an eco-friendly, forward-thinking place. That’s why it leads the U.S. in solar energy installments. In fact, going solar in San Diego is a common theme for America’s Finest City and its residents. The county increased its solar capacity 60 percent in the past year to 303 megawatts.
If you’re looking to live in sunny San Diego (or even if you already call it home), here are the top neighborhoods to go solar based on key factors that add to the overall quality of living.
1. Del Mar
The coastal city of Del Mar (Spanish for “by the sea”), takes the number one spot for the top neighborhood in San Diego County. It’s ritzy, yet laid back beach-town vibe makes it a pleasant place to live for many residents.
Just about 30 minutes north of downtown San Diego, the area is home to many families and its public school system receives an A+ rating, ranking the #4 suburb with the best schools in the state of California. When it comes to fun activities, Del Mar is famously known for being home to the historic Del Mar Racetrack, where horse races take place all summer long and the town is also one of the only places where Torrey Pines, the rarest pine tree in the United States, grow.
Hike, surf, bet on the ponies or just enjoy a stroll in the sunshine – Del Mar boasts breathtaking views around every turn and excellent beach-front weather, making it a go to place to install solar panels in San Diego.
2. Solana Beach
The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, as Solana beach, the neighboring town of Del Mar, ranks second as a top neighborhood for solar in San Diego.
Solana Beach has a population of 13,000 and is known for its beach, eclectic shops, dining, nightlife, golf courses and hiking scene. It averages a comfortable 62 degrees during the winter season and 77 degrees during the summer time, with a near two-mile stretch of coastline to enjoy. Locals frequent Fletcher Cove Park, a favorite spot to catch beautiful sunsets.
Commuter-friendly Solana Beach houses a major train station stop (one of only three in San Diego County) that serves both Amtrak and the Coaster and residents have easy access to San Diego’s major freeways, including the 5 and the 101 interstate highways. With its outdoor-friendly sentiment, this town upholds environmental consciousness, making it a chief contributor to a more solar San Diego.
Moving further up the cost, the town of Encinitas is another top pick for places to go solar in San Diego.
Encinitas was named among the 20 best surf towns in the world by National Geographic and sits along the historic coastal Highway 101. It’s home to 62,000 residents and is segmented into five different areas: Old Encinitas, New Encinitas, Olivenhain, Leucadia and Cardiff-by-the-Sea. Each of these communities has its own personality offering a range between an oceanfront beach life to more rural, family-oriented suburbia.
Old Encinitas sits along the coast and is known for its famous surf break, Swamis. In Olivenhain, you can find private equestrian facilities and mainly single family homes. New Encinitas boasts numerous golf courses and shopping centers, while Leucadia is a place of tree-lined streets, art galleries and eclectic stores. Cardiff-by-the-Sea is an oceanfront community and home to the San Elijo Campus of Mira Costa College.
Encinitas has something for everyone, which makes it extra appealing to live and reap the benefits of solar year round!
Just south of downtown San Diego, across the signature Coronado bridge is an island called Coronado.
The island community is a top tourist attraction because of its famous Hotel Del Coronado, where Marilyn Monroe used to frequent. But aside from being a major San Diego destination for visitors, it’s also a very family-friendly place to live. Coronado has a small-town charm to it, with shops, art galleries, restaurants and theatres for its residents to enjoy.
And don’t think the beach is just any old beach. Its signature gold sand makes it extra beautiful and mesmerizing as the year round sun reflects off the golden flecks floating in the ocean. The town is also home to a U.S. Naval Base, which instills an all-American pride in Coronado locals. Those who reside here get to enjoy views across the water of San Diego Bay and the downtown skyline as they bask in their private escape that is Coronado.
Living in Coronado, however, comes at a price. The median home value is $1,332,500 while average rent is $2,268 per month. These higher end costs make solar power even more appealing as it saves residents money in their electricity bills, making Coronado a big proponent of solar San Diego.
Carlsbad is a large suburb in North County San Diego. Its population of 112,000 includes many families and the city is one of the most affluent in the state of California. It’s filled with seven miles of beaches, nature trails and endless family attractions, including Legoland.
Carlsbad divides into four different quadrants, each with its own distinct attractions. The northwest quadrant encompasses the “Village” (downtown) and Old Carlsbad— the first part of Carlsbad to be settled. Houses here include everything from cottages and bungalows to mansions overlooking the ocean. The northeast quadrant of Carlsbad consists of mainly single-family homes while the southeast quadrant has a handful of master-planned communities along the hillsides, golf courses and parks. The southwest quadrant stretches along the Pacific Ocean, where constant sunshine makes it solar energy friendly.
The top neighborhoods for solar in San Diego all have a common thread—the residents appreciate the environment they live in and take advantage of their ideal setting in the sun.
With the ocean and beaches in close vicinity, there’s an extra amount of respect to keep the place they live in clean—and solar energy is a part of that. As the sun keeps shining, these communities will continue to keep San Diego #1 in solar installation.
If you live in one of the communities (or anywhere in San Diego) and don’t already have solar panels on your home, we’d be happy to give you a free energy analysis so that you can see how to start taking advantage of the year-round sunshine we have in Southern California!