Cristal's Blog


April 10, 2023

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I have seen a growing interest among homeowners in off-grid solar power systems. Climate change and rising energy costs have caused many homeowners to research ways to reduce their environmental impact while saving money on their energy bills. Off-grid solar systems are an excellent solution for those looking to live off the grid and reduce their dependence on fossil fuels.

Hands making a heart shape over the sun setting over the ocean

What is Off Grid Solar?

An off-grid solar power system pulls energy from the sun and its rays through solar panels, which most often are mounted to the roof of a home. The power the panels collect is then routed to a battery that stores the energy until you need it. At that time, an inverter converts it into electricity. Unlike traditional grid-tied solar systems, off-grid systems do not rely on the utility grid for power. Instead, they generate their own electricity and store it in batteries for later use.

An diagram in blue and yellow of how off-grid solar works with a solar panel, a battery, a lightbulb an inverter and a grid
Solar Energy, CC BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

The Advantages of an Off-Grid Solar Power System

One of the most significant advantages of off-grid solar power systems is their ability to provide energy independence. Homeowners can generate their own power and have a reliable energy source even during power outages. Their system can also be more cost-effective than traditional grid-tied systems. While off-grid systems require more upfront investment, they can pay for themselves over time through reduced energy costs. Homeowners can also take advantage of tax incentives and rebates to offset the cost of installation.

Another advantage of these systems is their environmental impact. By generating power from renewable sources, Santa Barbara homeowners are contributing to a more sustainable future. Off-grid systems also eliminate the need for power lines and other infrastructure, which can have negative environmental impacts.

If you're considering an off-grid solar power system for your home, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you'll need to ensure your home is energy-efficient to minimize your energy needs. This may include upgrading insulation, windows, and appliances to reduce your energy consumption.

4 Reasons Why Santa Barbara is the Perfect Location for Off-Grid Solar

1) Santa Barbara County has abundant sunshine throughout the year, which makes it an ideal location for solar power generation. With an average of over 300 days of sunshine annually, homeowners can generate a significant amount of energy from their solar panels, even during the winter months.

2) Homeowners in Santa Barbara can save substantial money on their energy bills by using off-grid solar systems. By generating their own electricity and storing it in batteries, homeowners can avoid expensive peak electricity rates and reduce their overall energy costs.

3) Off-grid solar power systems provide a reliable power source for homeowners during power outages, which can be particularly important for those who work from home or rely on electricity for medical equipment.

4) Santa Barbara residents are environmentally conscious and committed to sustainability. By using these systems, homeowners here can reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to a more sustainable future. Using off-grid solar aligns with the city's goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting sustainable living.

    How to Move Forward

    You'll also need to work with a qualified solar installer who can design and install a system that meets your specific needs. The systems require careful planning to ensure that they provide enough power to meet your energy needs while also being scalable for future expansion.

    Saveonenergy has created a document with everything you need to know about off-grid solar, including the best off-grid solar power systems in 2023. They have the plans Santa Barbara homeowners are looking for and the tools to get the job done. We are currently working with them on a project, and I highly recommend you contact them for a free solar savings estimate.

    In summary, Santa Barbara's abundant sunshine makes it an ideal location for homeowners to use off-grid solar systems. Once installed, homeowners can save money, increase their energy independence, and contribute to a more sustainable future by generating their own electricity while reducing their reliance on the grid.

    Meanwhile, if you're considering listing your home, call me at (805) 886-9378 or email me at for a free consultation. And I’m here for buyers, too. Begin your home-hunting journey by checking out my extensive portfolio of listings for a sneak peek at some of the extraordinary homes on the market today.

    Other Resources:

    Cristal’s Picks: 2023 Santa Barbara Earth Day Festival
    SBFSC: Free Fire Preparedness Workshops and Home Assessments
    10 Luxury Amenities Every Cutting-Edge Home Needs

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    Client Reviews

    “Cristal is a pleasure to work with! Her knowledge of the local real estate market coupled with her amazing listening skills resulted in her showing us an array of homes that were all excellent choices. Her low-pressure patient attitude made us feel extremely comfortable with the whole process. I cannot recommend her highly enough.”

    - M.F.

    “Cristal Clarke is #1 in her field - and you don't become #1 by luck. Cristal works harder, and longer, and with more charm and patience than any real estate agent I have ever worked with in the past; her calendar has no weekend, her days have no clocks, her only concern is selling your property as soon as possible and for the best price on the market. Am I a fan? You bet!”

    - P.B.

    “We have used Cristal now several times and cannot express how grateful we are for her expertise, dedication, and unwavering support throughout the entire home-buying process. Cristal is knowledgeable, patient and attentive. Her attention to detail is remarkable, and she consistently went above and beyond to provide us with all the information and resources we needed to make informed decisions. Cristal is a skillful negotiator and advocate. She can navigate complex negotiations with professionalism and grace and felt like a true partner to us in the home-buying process. Cristal has a genuine passion for real estate and a deep commitment to her clients' satisfaction. I cannot speak highly enough of Cristal and her exceptional service. She is a true expert in her field and her dedication to excellence, combined with unwavering support is the reason we choose to work with her for all our real estate buying needs.”

    - T.C.

    “Cristal is a top-notch realtor who sold my home before it ever went on the market. I had two competing offers that enabled me to get top dollar for my home. Not only is Cristal superb but her team is extraordinary. I cannot say enough about Cristal and her team. They are simply phenomenal, the consummate professionals, who took care of every possible detail, making the sale and transition period, smooth from our end. They are also lovely, caring people, who knew all the right professionals, to get the job done. Thank you, everyone!”

    - D.R.

    “I could list lots of cool adjectives to describe Cristal. All good by the way. But, that is not why I or anyone should hire Cristal. My reason for hiring her, which proved to be correct, is very simple. She got the job done. And, she does it time and time again and with zero issues. And, that is why she is one of the top agents in the country. End of subject. ”

    - M.A.

    “Working with Cristal was a complete pleasure. Cristal was extremely patient with us as we evaluated nearly 2 dozen homes over a span of 2 years. Her knowledge of the market is unmatched. Cristal provided us with exceptional counsel as we evaluated opportunities and negotiated pricing. The closing process was handled thoroughly and efficiently. We could not be happier with our purchase and even more happy to now call Cristal our friend.”

    - D.K.

    “Cristal Clarke has conducted numerous real estate transactions for me beginning 13 years ago with the purchase of a Lemon Ranch. She has handled both large and small purchases and sales with equal dedication. As a negotiator, you can’t find anyone better. Her transactions are always conducted in the most appropriate and professional manner. Cristal has considerable knowledge of the Santa Barbara market.”

    - S.N. Decker Ph.D.

    “Living in Europe, we were to say the least, unaccustomed to the nuances of Real Estate acquisition in California and Cristal steered us through the process with absolute professionalism and personal attention to detail at every turn. Her in-depth knowledge of the market place combined with enthusiasm and drive was the only reason we secured the property of our dreams and will be forever grateful. If you are looking for personal discrete and private representation of the highest quality we suggest you look no further than Cristal Clarke.”

    - Johan and Paula van den Berg

    “Cristal is very straightforward, cheerful, helpful, professional and trustworthy….we felt very lucky to work with her.”

    - John and Lacey Williams

    “After considering our many choices, we are grateful it was Cristal Clarke of Sotheby’s International who represented the sale of our Montecito cottage. We are familiar with Cristal’s reputation of hard work and dedication to clients, but it was her attention to detail that made our experience so positive. She offered suggestions for staging the property, worked in harmony with potential buyers and was even able to secure back up offers. The sale of our cottage was completed much sooner than we expected, due in great part to Cristal’s professional skills and support. We highly recommend Cristal as a first choice for anyone needing representation with real estate.”

    - Michael & Nancy Lee

    “Our experience in working with Cristal Clarke resulted in the successful and discrete acquisition of a property which was not yet on the open market. Her knowledge of the Montecito/Santa Barbara area and vast expertise blended with her passion for real estate and architecture, provided us with the very highest level of professionalism and personalized services. Cristal exhibited a rare combination of excellent communications, attention to detail, creativity and patience.”

    - Richard and Catherine Frinier

    “Cristal really breaks the mold. She knows every nook and cranny of this real estate market, understands value, and follows up on everything, all the time. She was incredibly patient with our two year quest to find the perfect house. Every house hunting trip from across the country was well planned, and our time was never wasted. On top of her professionalism and expertise, she is delightful to spend time with. We are thrilled with the home we purchased, and grateful to Cristal for so wisely advising us through this process, right through to the close and beyond.”

    - Laurie Siegel

    “We met Cristal first in the course of renting a winter home (for three years), then buying a house using her as our agent. She was amazingly good at listening to our wants and showing us homes that fit our needs. Her mastery of the paperwork was perfect. Most importantly, there was never a situation where we doubted her straightforwardness or integrity. If we do another real estate transaction in Montecito (which I doubt, we’re happy with what we purchased), without question we’d use Cristal again.”

    - Ken Saffir

    “Susan and I just want to thank you for your efforts in the sale of our home. You are really quite amazing. Your competence, persistence, optimism and humor made the entire process effortless. Every problem that arose, you somehow fixed; any obstacle, you overcame. We have bought and sold many homes. It has never been such a painless and enjoyable process!”

    - Michael & Susan Marquart

    “A little something about “our” realtor, Cristal Clarke. My wife and I came to Santa Barbara about fifteen years ago looking for a seasonal home from which to enjoy the weather and amenities of the central coast. Being in the real estate business myself I was familiar with agents and brokers so entered the market with open eyes. We “flipped” a few houses in the early years, dealing with various agents and finally ended up in Montecito. That’s when good fortune put us together with Cristal. To say we were impressed is to put it mildly. Cristal really knows the market. She is familiar with the area, its history and trends. When we have questions about a particular property she either has the answers immediately or gets back to us by phone or email. There is no waiting or wondering with Cristal. She is an agent who is “on top of it.” Her recommendations as to price points, contractors, inspectors and title agents have proven to be exceptional, showing great insight and the highest professional standards. We consider ourselves exceedingly fortunate to say that Cristal Clarke is our realtor and would recommend her services to any serious buyer or seller.”

    - Rob & Judi Kelch