Solar program comes full circle for CPUC volunteers


April 12, 2017

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) plays a big role in GRID’s work to bring solar to low-income families in California, but it isn’t often that CPUC staffers themselves get to see that work in action. But earlier this month, six CPUC staffers got to spend a day installing solar with GRID Alternatives, which administers the Single-family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) Program, a dedicated solar rebate program for low-income homeowners overseen by the CPUC.

The Wu family of San Francisco was thrilled to host GRID and CPUC volunteers for a day, and eagerly awaited the completion of their new solar system. The family first applied to GRID’s program in 2014, but didn’t qualify because their roof was too old. But earlier this year, thanks to GRID’s roof replacement pilot program with the Mayor’s Office of Housing, they were able to receive a brand new roof just prior to their solar installation.

For the CPUC volunteers helping to install the Wu’s solar system, the project was an exciting opportunity to see the programs and policies they work on every day come full circle, bringing much needed energy savings to a local family. To date, the SASH program has supported solar for over 6,400 low-income California families like the Wus, and hands-on job training for over 12,500 individuals from California job training organizations, helping to solidify the state’s role as a national leader in making renewable energy accessible for all.

Two volunteers from the CPUC carry a solar panel.
"Thank you so much for coordinating a great event,” one of the volunteers wrote in an email after the project. “It was a treat and a fulfilling way to spend a Saturday."

The Wu family was grateful for their new solar system and the volunteers who helped install it. The 2-kilowatt system will save the family nearly $20,000 in electricity costs over its lifespan, and will prevent 40 tons of greenhouse gas emissions--a benefit highly valued by the Wu family.

Thank you to the CPUC volunteers who helped make this project a reality! See more photos from the install here.