• It’s a good day for California solar installers and homeowners in the state looking to go solar. That's because two days ago, the California Energy Commission (CEC) put out an official statement clarifying that, under the statewide orders in response to COVID-19, solar installers are considered essential electricity industry workers. That means that we are officially authorized to install, which means we can fulfill our contracts and keep our employees on the payroll. 

    Under Gavin Newsome’s Executive order to combat COVID-19, the California Department of Public Health’s (CDPH) State Public Health Officer has ordered that everyone stay at home with the exception of anyone who works at what is considered an “essential” job. Essential jobs, as defined by the CDPH, are any that are required in order to maintain the operations of critical infrastructure sectors. The full list of essential jobs can be found here, but some examples of these critical sectors include energy, food and agriculture, information technology, and transportation systems. It was unclear as to whether solar installers were included under energy, until April 27 when the CEC made its clarification.

    The official list of essential workers in the energy industry includes any workers who are needed to maintain or ensure the transmission of power to homes and businesses. This includes workers that are required for power generation, or workers like electricians that are required for maintaining existing electrical systems or building new ones at construction sites. Fortunately, since installing solar and battery storage can contribute to the resilience of energy infrastructure in the state, solar installers fall under this “essential” label, as they are important for ensuring an uninterrupted power supply to homes and businesses.

    Since solar can help contribute to more stable energy infrastructure, and is therefore considered essential, it means that the state is officially encouraging local agencies to permit the construction of solar systems on homes and businesses. This includes both solar and battery systems, on both new and existing structures.

    What does this mean for you? It means that if you’re a homeowner, you can officially get a solar system permitted and installed, and in fact, it’s encouraged. So if you’ve been holding off because you thought that maybe solar installation wasn’t considered “essential”, you officially have the green light. Not only will you have a consistent source of energy, you will be saving money in these times of financial uncertainty for many families.

    What does it mean for us? It means that we are permitted to operate at full capacity, which means that we are able to market, sell, design, and install solar and battery storage systems on both homes and businesses. That means that our employees, including the installers, designers, energy consultants, marketing staff, and everyone in between, are able to get back to work. This means paychecks in their hands, and food on the table for their families, which we can all be grateful for.

    So we are obviously very excited about this clarification by the CEC and the fact that we are considered essential. The entire staff at Stellar Solar is thankful to be back to work, and are enthusiastic to help homeowners save money on their power bills by switching to solar. So if you’re a San Diego homeowner who is ready to make the switch, give us a call today. You’ll be saving money, fighting climate change, and helping a business that provides hundreds of jobs to San Diego residents who are being impacted by this crisis just like you.

  • About the Author

    Michael Powers


    Michael is one of the founding partners of Stellar Solar. In 2001, he helped launch The Home Depot’s national solar energy program which is now offering home solar through hundreds of stores in nearly a dozen states. He is a writer and marketing professional with over 30 years’ experience in the fields of energy, market intelligence and leadership training. He currently serves as treasurer and board member of Global Energy Network Institute (GENI), a San Diego-based non-governmental organization that advocates linking renewable energy resources around the world using electricity transmission.