Grid Alternatives Brochure


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Grid Alternatives Brochure

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Grid Alternatives Brochure

  1. 1. G R I D Alternatives Empowering Communities, One Rooftop at a Time
  2. 2. 10,357 tons of greenhouse gas emissions prevented in our first five years GRID Alternatives empowers communities in need through renewable energy and energy efficiency services, equipment and training. GRID Alternatives was founded in 2001 by Erica Mackie, P.E., and Tim Sears, P.E., two engineering professionals who were implementing large-scale renewable energy and energy efficiency projects for the private sector. They wanted to develop a model to make this technology practical for low-income communities that need the savings the most. This model became GRID Alternatives’ flagship Solar Affordable Housing Program, which trains and leads teams of community volunteers and job trainees to install solar electric systems in partnership with low-income families. This program was piloted in 2004 with two installations in the San Francisco Bay Area, and five years later has grown to over 200 installations throughout California. We work in partnership with local governments and with nonprofit housing developers like Habitat for Humanity.
  3. 3. Lawrence Jackson worked with GRID Alternatives to install solar panels on his home, not just to lower his bills but also, as he says, “to help the environment — I want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.” Eighty years old but “always ready to learn something new”, he now volunteers to help his neighbors go solar, and enjoys the camaraderie that develops between neighbors and volunteers as much as he loves saving money and energy. When you work with GRID Alternatives, says Lawrence, “you’re working together. It all comes together like a beautiful puzzle.”
  4. 4. The systems we’ve installed in our first five years will generate over $3.4 million worth of clean, renewable power for low-income families Our projects bring the savings from solar power directly to low-income families. We believe that environmental and economic sustainability must go hand-in-hand, particularly in low-income neighborhoods that have been hit hardest by high energy prices and utility rate shocks, unemployment, foreclosure, and in many cases also pollution fossil-fuel power plants. GRID Alternatives works directly with low-income homeowners throughout the process, both through community education and by involving our clients directly in their own installations. Most of our clients contribute “sweat equity” either by participating directly in the installation process as their abilities allow, or by helping spread the word to their friends and neighbors about the benefits of solar.
  5. 5. Donna Levey was a foster mother until she adopted two special-needs children, Dolan and Dylan, whose medical conditions “require at least three loads of laundry every day, seven days a week.” Since GRID Alternatives installed a solar electric system on her home, Donna has seen a dramatic reduction in her electricity bills, and is using the savings to buy the boys memberships to the San Francisco Zoo and the California Academy of Sciences. “I remember my parents taking me to the Academy when I was their age,” says Donna, and can now pass on those same experiences to her kids.
  6. 6. We’ve trained over 2,000 volunteers and low-income job trainees on the theory and practice of solar installation. We install solar with volunteers, job trainees, and the homeowners themselves. GRID Alternatives’ experienced solar installation staff train and lead teams of participants from many backgrounds—from environmentalists who want to fight climate change, to job trainees looking for access to the “green jobs” of tomorrow, to do-it-yourselfers interested in learning how solar works, to low-income community members trying to save money on their bills while building a cleaner future for their kids. We then bring these diverse individuals together to participate in hands-on, educational projects – the equivalent of a renewable energy “barn raising” —that fight climate change and poverty on the local level. As a result, these projects help build broad- based environmental leadership that crosses economic, cultural and geographic lines, while serving as tangible evidence that solar is a practical, mainstream environmental and economic solution for all of our communities.
  7. 7. Taulafo “Lafo” Laulu graduated from a community job training program for low-income workers looking to break into the solar industry, but struggled to find employment with no direct experience on his resume. GRID Alternatives gave Lafo the opportunity to gain hands-on experience on all aspects of solar electric installation, and now he installs solar for San Francisco-based Occidental Power. “I worked warehouse for twenty years, but never had much money in my pocket. My life is much better now that I made a career change.”
  8. 8. G R I D Alternatives Your support makes this all possible. For more information on how to get involved, please visit Our Major Supporters Include: Public Partners Corporate and Foundation Donors California Public Utilities Commission Body Shop Foundation Foundation City of Huntington Park Dow Chemical Company Foundation San Francisco Foundation City of Inglewood Full Circle Fund SunPower City of Livermore Google Taproot Foundation City of Pleasanton Home Depot Foundation Union Bank of California Foundation City of Richmond John C. and Katherine T. Harvey Foundation Wachovia Foundation Corporation for National and Community Service Lisa and Douglas Goldman Fund Wal-Mart Foundation County of San Mateo Mitchell Kapor Foundation Weingart Foundation Oakland Redevelopment Agency Pacific Gas & Electric Corporation Wells Fargo Foundation San Francisco Department of the Environment Richard and Rhoda Goldman Fund Winston & Strawn, LLP Individual Donors: Our work is supported by a growing community of over 1,000 individual donors, at levels ranging from $5 to $10,000 Additional Supporters: Atomic Public Relations • CH2M Hill • ClifBar • City of El Monte • ENVIRON Corporation • Franklin Weinberg Fund • IBEW Local 595 Innovalight • OnGrid Solar • Patagonia San Francisco • Renewable Ventures • RMC Water and Environment • Schneider Electric/Square D Company Seguin Woodworks • Solmetric • City of San Carlos • SolarCity • Sybase, Inc. • Washington Mutual • Whole Foods Market • and many more... On behalf of all of us at GRID Alternatives, thank you. Bay Area Greater Los Angeles San Diego Central Valley 3833 Manila Avenue 969 Sandhill Avenue 1827 Main Street, Suite 200 3260 W. Lansing Way Oakland, CA 94609 Carson, CA 90746 San Diego, CA 92113 Fresno, CA 93722 (510) 652-4730 (310) 324-8146 (619) 239-4743 (559) 261-4743