Solar electricity for 10 low-income families, USA

by GRID Alternatives

On May 4, 2012 GRID Alternatives staff members from across the state gathered in Castroville, CA to install solar for ten families. This group installation was part of our second annual staff summit; a gathering of all GRID staff to spend two days together building our team and culture.

GRID Alternatives' Co-Founder and Executive Director, Erica Mackie speaks to our success by all of us working together toward the same goal.  GRID Alternatives has grown to 102 employees and have currently installed 1,975 homes with solar energy systems.



GRID Alternatives has had great success in 2011 and is looking forward to building and expanding more of our services in 2012. To date we have installed 1571 solar electric systems among 7 regional offices in California and have now reached 4.2 Megawatts of generating capacity across the state. In addition to these successes, we have had a positive influence in the lives of our clients and volunteers.

Stories from the field this year have come from many walks of life and have inspired our greater community and our staff. These stories have included homeowners who have had to choose between electric bills and medical bills prior to their solar electric installation and then were relieved of this financial strain after assistance from GRID Alternatives. Stories have also included unemployed solar installation volunteers and interns who later found work in the solar industry as a result of their experiences with GRID Alternatives - many of whom still volunteer with the organization after they become employed! To learn more about GRID Alternatives' solar success stories and our impact in the lives of our clients and volunteers click here.

It is with deep gratitude to our donors that we are able to faciliate change in the lives of families with low incomes throughout California. We are looking forward to having an even greater impact in 2012!


On Saturday, September 10, 2011, GRID Alternatives will kick off it's Solarthon Season in Oakland, CA!  Solarthon is an annual solar installation block party and fundraiser for GRID Alternatives.  Solarthon brings together hundreds of individual, team, and corporate participants from their communities to install multiple solar energy systems alongside the homeowners.

In 2010 GRID Alternatives took the event statewide and held three regional Solarthon events out of our Greater Los Angeles, Bay Area and Central Valley offices.  A total of 24 solar electric systems were completed during these events in conjunction with the Single-family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) Program, under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission.

In 2011, GRID Alternatives will host five Solarthon events throughout California:

Bay Area- Saturday, September 10, 2011

Central Coast - Saturday, October 22, 2011

Central Valley - Saturday, October 8, 2011

Greater Los Angeles- Saturday, November 5, 2011

San Diego- Saturday, September 24, 2011

We look forward to all of our Solarthon events and would like to thank all of our supporters.  With the help of our global community, we are able to provide solar energy systems to more families and shine the light on a better, more sustainable future for all! 

Porterville High School Students lend a hand!
Porterville High School Students lend a hand!

The past few months have been busy, busy! From students to storms, GRID Alternatives is excited to share a few stories with you!

On May 4th and 5th, GRID provided students from the Porterville High School Alternative Energy Resource Occupation (AERO) Pathway Program hands on training during a two-day install.  Students applied what they have learned in the classroom while helping two families lower their electricity bills.  We are thrilled to see eager students preparing for careers in solar, wind and other renewable energy professions.

"May gray" was upon us in San Diego setbacks, but the sun came out to shine for the office's 100th install celebration! It's amazing to think we have provided solar for 100 families since opening the San Diego office in 2008.  More amazing is that the office will now perform close to 100 installs this year! San Diego also completed the first solar install on the La Jolla Indian reservation.  The crews were top-notch at this scenic site and we look forward to working with many more tribal families. 

San Diego wasn't the only office affected by weather, but that didn't stop an all-star volunteer coming from Minnesota to volunteer with GRID Alternatives. Michael’s first step to learn more about solar energy was to attend a Boots on the Roof class in the Bay Area. That is where he first heard about GRID Alternatives. After seeing an electric meter spin backwards he thought, “This is a great way to help out. It has always been important for me to help others. I always had a good life and helping others makes me feel good about myself. Some things you just cannot buy. Experience and the feeling to give back are priceless,” said Michael.

Thank you to all of our volunteers and donors that make it happen! 



Cathedral City Install
Cathedral City Install

GRID Alternatives is proud to announce the opening of our sixth office, now serving California's Inland Empire! 

The San Bernadino and Riverside counties are some of the largest in the nation and homeowners in this area can greatly benefit from solar energy.  With sun a plenty and jobs few and far between, we are eager to accrue employees, volunteers, job trainees and homeowners to positively impact this region.  

Since 2004, GRID Alterantives has installed over 750 solar elelctric systems accross the state, providing homeowners with up to 75% savings on their electric bills.

Thank you to all of our donors for supporting us and helping to bring solar energy to more families accross California!

One more solar family!
One more solar family!
The GRID Crew!
The GRID Crew!

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Organization Information

GRID Alternatives

Location: Oakland, CA - USA
Website: http:/​/​
GRID Alternatives
Project Leader:
Susie Chang
San Francisco, CA United States

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