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Creating His Clean Energy Future, Twice

DONOR SPOTLIGHT: Climate Sustainer Club member Gerry Lazzareschi, MD


Gerry Lazzareschi had 38 solar panels installed on the roof of his Healdsburg home a month ago. (Conner Jay / PD)

The second time’s a charm for Climate Protection Campaign Sustainer Club member Gerry Lazzareschi.   Gerry was recently featured in the Press Democrat for going solar using Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing via the Sonoma County Energy Independence Program (SCEIP).   

The PD article did not explain that Gerry opted for solar not once, but twice. Gerry’s first foray into solar was ten years ago in his Santa Rosa home.  Gerry’s goal was to offset his big utility bill, and the project was financed all out of his own pocket.  Back then the state incentives had not yet kicked in, so the 7.5 kilowatt system was a big investment with a modest return, but still a good idea as a long term investment.

The second time, after moving to Healdsburg and working with his passionate contractors, Pure Power Solutions, Gerry learned about SCEIP’s PACE financing. The Energy Independence Program is a Sonoma County Energy and Sustainability Division program that serves county residents and businesses as a central clearinghouse of information about energy efficiency, water conservation and renewable energy generation. What was Gerry’s net result?  Gerry financed his second project at one-third the cost and is now producing more clean power than he needs. After going live in March, which had ten sunny days, Gerry reports that his solar panels have generated 1,000 kWh or one megawatt-hour of power.

 Gerry is an emergency room doctor at Kaiser and wanted to help his workplace go solar too.  Along the way, he met Barry Vesser from the Climate Protection Campaign and learned how the organization was including in PACE financing as part of its overall plan for Sonoma County.  The Climate Protection Campaign identified SCEIP’s PACE financing strategy in the Community Climate Action Plan issued in 2008, and worked in partnership with others to make it a reality. Since its launch in 2009, PACE has been on the fast track as the nation’s first ongoing countywide program, providing $66,369,552 to finance 1,980 residential and 61 commercial projects, creating 721 jobs, 80% fulfilled by local contractors. 

 Now Gerry is one of 33 people to give through our Climate Sustainer Club membership.   Every month we count on Gerry’s donation to help us plan for a clean energy future.  You can join this club and help us to our goal is to reach 100 Sustainer Club Members this year.  The Club gathers several times a year to discuss and learn about the impact of our organization firsthand. 

 Contact Kristin Berger at 707-525-1665 x 123, Kristin@theclimatecenter.org to learn more or sign up online.