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Charlie Sharpe started Sharpe Solar Systems in Bakersfield California in 1976, the year son Jeff graduated high school. 

Sharpe Solar designed and installed bread-box solar water heater, pool cover, woodstove, shading systems and oil-field monitoring systems in that era of Jimmy Carter tax-credits. They had become one of California’s longest-running solar businesses by the turn of the century. 

Jeff worked with his dad installing their signature “Magic-box” solar water-heaters while studying at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). At UCSB Jeff and his team worked with passive solar-tracker designs and developed a novel insulated (surf-board foam) self-closing Magic-box water heater on the Engineering Department’s roof.

Several of the original Magic-box units are still operating on rooftops in the San Joaquin valley. Jeff’s father Charlie and mother Carol served on the Board of Directors for Jeff’s Sharpe Energy Solution since its inception in Ashland in 2007.


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