Irvine, you're a veritable jack of all trades. Last week, OC Register readers voted Irvine the best place to live in Orange County, beating out 33 other cities.
What makes Irvine the star of the OC? A lot of things, actually. Irvine is home to some of the best parks in California, and also hosts the top-ranked school district in Southern California (based on SAT scores.) As if that weren't enough, the FBI itself named Irvine the safest city in America. Yes, we're talking about the opinion of the actual FBI.
So, Irvine, what's your secret? Well, there's a little thing called the Irvine Master Plan that could be given a little credit. In the 1950s, Los Angeles was growing like crazy. People were looking for a city that had open space, as well as great employment opportunities and high quality education. Thus, the Irvine Master Plan was born, laying down the groundwork for one of the best cities in America.
This year, the OC Register named Irvine the top city in six other categories, including fiscal strength, job availability, and the "best place for families in SoCal." We believe congratulations are in order.
Right now, it's also one of the best cities in America to install a home battery. Here's why:
Southern California Edison is asking a revolutionary question: Can distributed wind and solar actually replace the traditional power plant? This is a question that a lot of utility companies are asking, but SCE needs answers fast because of Orange County's high demand for electricity. The need for reliable power is partially due to the closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. When the station closed, the area's grid reliability took a hit.
But SCE didn't immediately replace the plant with more nuclear generation. They wanted to explore other options first. That's why the OC's 250,000 residential and commercial customers are now part of a massive project to reach a conclusion that could change the way that power companies operate.
The Preferred Resource Pilot Program (or PRP) is motivating Irvine residents to look into energy storage. Here's what you need to know:
First of all, what are "preferred resources?" Basically, the power sources SCE (along with many consumers and environmental advocates) would rather use instead of gas-powered plants. There are four main categories:
Energy Efficiency or, the reduction in electrical usage al together. We can make this happen through efficient building design and appliances.
Demand Response or, reducing the use of energy at key times where demand is extra high.
Distributed Generation or, renewable energy sources like solar in a decentralized system that doesn't depend on a massive, non-local power plant.
Energy Storage or, using batteries to stores renewable energy when it's generated, so that you can use it when it's not available. (Renewable sources like solar are intermittent, but we can store them during the day for use when the sun goes down.)
Swell Energy is in the business of helping Orange County residents protect their power. Reliable electricity exists, and right now, there are great incentives that can cover a huge portion of the cost of a Tesla Powerwall home battery. Join one of the world's largest fleets of home batteries in Southern California.