About Allterra

Our Story

Allterra was founded in 2004 by brothers James and Nathaniel Allen. Allterra began as an environmental engineering firm that investigated and remediated dissolved contaminants in groundwater.  In Allterra Environmental’s short history, it successfully investigated and closed 30 groundwater contamination cases in the SF Bay Region.

In 2009, Allterra launched its solar division to accelerate the adoption of renewable energy on the central coast. Allterra’s unique data-driven approach and unparalleled customer service have fueled the company’s success. In 2012, Allterra Solar was awarded Best Solar Company in Santa Cruz County by readers of the Good Times and Santa Cruz Sentinel, titles that have yet to be relinquished.  Subsequent awards include Best Place to Work in Monterey Bay by Monterey County Business Council and 2015 Cool Climate Leader by California Air Resources Board, an award earned by only five other companies in California.

Allterra is certified Small Business (DSG #1568700) in California and an active participant in Think Local First and other Local Business Organizations promoting small independently owned organizations. We are focused on the Central Coast of California; home to our staff, clients, and owners.

Our Team

Allterra Solar’s team is what makes it all possible. At 33 employees, Allterra has decades of combined solar experience. Our solar team does its own marketing, sales, engineering, permitting, building, servicing, and customer service in-house; we have created many jobs locally in the following divisions:

Sales and Outreach spread the word about solar, informing residents of the benefits and savings of solar. We work closely with each client to develop a custom solar solution for their home or business.

Design and Engineering take into consideration all the variables and constraints (shade, roof tilt, azimuth, etc.) of a home and an individual’s energy use patterns. Our Engineering Team will visit the site to collect data and determine final details of every system design.  During this stage, we ensure clients are getting the best system possible for their home by modeling energy production over time.  Once we have the best system design possible we complete the plan set and submit the Building Permit application.

Installation and Building team takes the approved plan and arrives on-site to layout system components and install modules on the roof. Installation and wiring typically takes 1-2 days based on system size and roof type.  Once everything is installed and Fire and Building Inspections are passed the system is ready to turn on and start generating electricity!

Client Support and Servicing provides scheduling and project information throughout the process of going solar. We explain each step and send updates as Project Milestones are completed.  Not sure how the Tax Credit works?  No problem; we send clients the IRS form with instructions to make life easier.  When you hire Allterra you will be connected to your project and understand next steps.  We still have people answer the phones and say hello too.

Allterra’s experience is what makes the complex process of going solar so simple.

Our Founders

James Allen and Nathaniel Allen are Monterey Bay natives. Both graduated UC Berkeley with degrees in Environmental Science. Both have extensive experience with groundwater protection, constructing engineered systems, and managing projects. Both are influenced greatly by their parents, two local school teachers, who took the family camping, surfing, mountain biking, fishing, rock climbing, and road tripping through the Pacific Northwest and Mexico.

Our Approach

Allterra’s distinguishing factor is it’s unique approach to business and solar. Allterra prominently focuses on providing the best solution for every client. That is why Allterra is a proponent of owning your solar system rather than leasing it. Other solar companies tend to recommend PPA or lease agreements because they are easier to sell. Letting a finance company own the equipment limits homeowner’s options and provides only a fraction of the benefits owning does. Allterra will not sell you solar if you are not a good fit. As a referral-based business, customer loyalty is critical to our continued success.

Internally, Allterra strives to create the best working environment possible.  We believe the people at Allterra are integral to Allterra’s success.  We offer healthcare, retirement savings, paid time off, competitive wages, paid driving time to and from job sites, and routinely have staff appreciation events to acknowledge team members doing great work. It is tough, balancing act to reward staff for great work and reward clients with great services and prices. We hope Allterra exemplifies a better way of doing business where community involvement is part of our marketing plan and support for other locally owned businesses is part of our procurement approach. Businesses can be part of the solution or part of the problem. To learn more about Allterra Solar’s affect on the Central Coast community, check out our Annual Economic Impact Report here

Our Impact

As solar continues to grow, so do the benefits of local communities. Solar installations create jobs, cut greenhouse gasses, and keep energy dollars in the pockets of local home and business owners instead of going to shareholders or large utilities. Since 2010, Allterra has contributed over $10.5 million to the regional economy. Including payroll to staff living locally; payments to locally owned businesses; and money spent locally. Small local businesses are integral to the vibrancy of our community. Going solar is one of the best ways you can make a positive impact on the local economy and environment.