"It's no longer just liberal coastal homeowners going solar," said Bernadette Del Chiaro, director of the research and policy center's clean energy programs. "It's really conservative areas, really liberal areas and everywhere in between."
It seems North State cities' investment in solar power is paying-off. A report released by Environment California shows Chico produced more solar energy than any other city in California with a population over 50,000.
"In the past two years alone, Los Angeles has tripled the amount of solar power that it had installed in the previous 10 years combined," said Michelle Kinman, co-author of "California's Solar Cities 2012: Leaders in the Race Toward a Clean Energy Future," a report from the Environment California Research and Policy Center. But Kinman added that Los Angeles still has a lot of catching up to do.
La Mesa is the Jewel of the Sun as well, it seems. A new report says our city ranks first in San Diego County—and 29th in the state—for solar power production per resident for cities of at least 50,000 population.
In the San Fernando Valley, homeowners like Dickinson and his wife, Sara, a jewelry designer, have become the unwitting faces of the solar energy movement - residents who didn't set out to be green activists but for whom going green makes sense now more than ever.