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GRID Inland Empire positively transforms the lives of residents and communities by providing access to clean, renewable solar energy to low income families and hands-on job training to help workers enter the solar industry!
News Under the SunSee all news
- GRID Alternatives Inland Empire held its Earth Day Installation and Open House on Friday, April 19, 2013… Read more
- On March 26th 2013, GRID Alternatives Inland Empire (GRID IE) will be in the City of Redlands and Loma… Read more
- GRID Alternatives Inland Empire (GRID IE) would like to thank our wonderful volunteers for their hard… Read more
- “Most of the parents have their own stuff to pay for and even five dollars a week less can help those… Read more
- In honor of Veteran’s Day, GRID Alternatives Inland Empire (GRID IE) solarized 2 homes of retired U.S.… Read more
- Recent Installation in Perris, CA Leaves Volunteers Excited About Solar Read more
- GRID IE volunteers come from all walks of life. Read more
- On Saturday, May 19th GRID IE hosted its inaugural community solar installation and annual fundraiser,… Read more
- On February 27th GRID Alternative Inland Empire installed its 200th solar electric system in Redlands,… Read more
Senator Richard D. Roth joined GRID Alternatives IE to celebrate Earth Day 2013!
GRID Alternatives Inland Empire held its Earth Day Installation and Open House on Friday, April 19, 2013 attracting a veritable who’s who of distinguished political leaders and representatives from the California Congress, Assembly and Senate. Local elected officials from City of Jurupa Valley City Council, as well as community leaders also joined in this historic day. The event gave attendees the opportunity to see first-hand how GRID Alternatives makes every day Earth Day by witnessing a solar system being placed on the roof, the impact of job trainees receiving invaluable workforce development at no cost, and the hardworking and deserving family who will save on their electric bill while positively contributing to the environment.
To commemorate this landmark event State Senator Richard D. Roth from the Thirty-First Senate District attended and was the special guest speaker! “I am grateful for the opportunity to see the teamwork and commitment of GRID Alternatives during the solar panel installation in Jurupa Valley. It is very impressive to see the work GRID Alternatives is doing throughout Inland Southern California and what solar energy is doing to save working families money through lower energy bills. GRID Alternatives helps create excellent partnerships to build strong families and communities throughout our region and throughout California.”
The event provided the opportunity to share the success story of past volunteer and team leader, Carmen Valles, who as a result of GRID IE's “classroom on the roof” hands-on training experience, was able to be hired on full time within the solar industry. She shared with the crowd that “GRID IE is known for reducing one of the most expensive utility bills, electricity, but at the same time...training an army of solar installers.” Carmen proudly declared, “They [GRID IE] helped me re-invent myself from a ex-bank executive to a fully rounded solar employee."
Also in attendance from the Sixtieth District, the district where the home, a Habitat for Humanity Home is in, was AssemblyMember Eric Linder and Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity Riverside, Karin Roberts. Joining them were representatives from AssemblyMember Cheryl Brown of the Forty-Seventh District, Congressman Mark Takano of the Forty-first district, The California Public Utilities Commission, and the Morongo Band of Mission Indians.
The Earth Day Event installed a 3.2 kW solar electric system which will generate more than 170,000 kWh of clean, renewable energy over the system’s lifetime. This equals over $29,800 in total savings for the family. In addition, 101 tons of greenhouse gas emissions will be prevented over the systems’ lifetimes, equivalent to planting 2,365 trees. This solar installation was made possible in part by a grant from the S.L. Gimbel Foundation Advised Fund at the Community Foundation serving the Counties of Riverside and San Bernardino.
Students Spend Spring Break Bringing Renewable Energy to Underserved Communities
The GRID Inland Empire office launched its Inaugural Alternative Break Event during Spring Break 2013 during the week of March 25th. GRID Alternatives Inland Empire (GRID IE) will be in the Cities of Redlands and Loma Linda to solarize the homes of Alejandra Pennington and Dewi Maria Sagala, with the help of the Southern California Engineering Technology Association of California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, for GRID IE’s Inaugural Alternative Spring Break Project. To commemorate this landmark event, Mayor Pete Aguilar from the City of Redlands welcomed the Alternative Spring Break team!
It is often difficult for college students to volunteer with GRID during the week because of busy class schedules and extra-curriculars. GRID sees the time between quarters/semesters as an excellent opportunity for young individuals to serve the community, learn how to install solar as a team, and help build a foundation for a sustainable energy future.
When asked why they were spending their spring break installing solar systems instead of going to the beach, many of the students said it was a no-brainer. Not only were they going to learn a new skill, but they were also empowering a community with renewable energy. One volunteer, Robert, could not believe all the information he learned in just one day! By attending this installation, it has reaffirmed his desire to eventually start his own solar business.
The Alternative Spring Break project is installing 2 solar electric systems, generating 5.783 kW of clean, renewable energy. This will equal $ 54,022 in total savings for the families over the systems’ lifetimes. In addition, 182 tons of greenhouse gas emissions will be prevented over the systems’ lifetimes, equivalent to planting 4,286 trees.
Keep checking our webpage, in our Special Events section, to find more information about our Summer and Winter Alternative Breaks. If you would like to participate or sponsor a team, please contact our SolarCorps Volunteer Training Fellow at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Standing Ovation for Our Volunteers!
In 2012, volunteers installed over 74 solar electric systems saving families over $2,416,126 and preventing 7,581 tons of greenhouse gas emissions from polluting the environment over the lifetime of the systems - that’s equivalent to planting 178,230 trees!
Our volunteers and job trainees travel from all over Southern California to install solar in the IE, and one volunteer, Angelo, even traveled as far as Canada! We truly appreciated Angelo’s help at installations and in the office in the fall. "It was great to get some real life experience working in the solar industry, both in the office learning the design process and helping at installs too. It will definitely help me in the future with my career in solar," said Angelo, who is now volunteering with GRID Alternatives Bay Area office to get more experience.
Hearty congratulations also to our volunteers who have recently been hired in the solar industry, including: Team Leaders Jimmy Adauto, James Hitchler, Steve Brown, Bill Wollenzier, Carmen Valles, Pete Hernandez, and Francisco Rosas. Special shout out to Jeff Apoian, Roof Team Leader extraordinaire, who just recently joined GRID IE as our Solar Corps Construction Associate for 1 year! And we’d like to recognize Harold Stonier, Jenny Le, Trini Shrinarine, and Ruben Trigueros for starting their own solar business, Burning Day Light Solar.
In appreciation of our volunteers and their accomplishments, GRID IE is hosting a very special Volunteer Appreciation Day on Saturday, February 9, 2013. Join us for some food and drinks, and camaraderie and a jolly time! We’ll also be giving away awards and prizes to our volunteers. Space is limited, so RSVP here today!
Once more, THANK YOU to all our volunteers and job trainees! We couldn’t do what we do without your support and hard work. We look forward to celebrating with you on February 9th!
By Judy Ramos, Development and Marketing Intern, Posted 8 January 2013
Family passes solar savings on
April Honore runs a childcare center out of her home. This involves long hours during the day and night as she watches and cares for as many as 8 children at a time. While families usually try to cut back on electricity use, in April’s case, the children’s comfort has to come first. April’s summer electric bill was double the amount during the winter. Since most of her income from her business is spent on her electric bill, April was considering raising her prices just for her business to survive! This all changed, however, when April contacted GRID Alternatives, and the magic of energy efficiency and solar transformed not only her utility costs, the lives of the families she was caring for!
April and her family received a 2.17 kW solar system in early April of 2012, which was designed to save them approximately 86.3% on their annual electricity bill. This translates into more than $25,325 saved and 85 tons of CO2 emissions reduced over the life of the system.
Through GRID IE, April took part in energy efficiency programs through Southern California Edison and has been the proud owner of a solar electric system for 8 months now. She has saved as much as possible and seen a significant reduction in her electricity bill, and has been able to pass those savings directly onto her clients. Instead of raising her rates, April was able to maintain her current fees, and even lower her rates for some families who were struggling to afford childcare.
The experience has led to April building long-lasting friendships with some of the GRID IE volunteers who helped install the solar electric system on her home. Discovering that some of them roller skate regularly at the same rink she does, they now go skating together and have invited other volunteers to join them!!
Giving Back to Veterans
In honor of Veteran’s Day, GRID Alternatives Inland Empire (GRID IE) solarized the homes of Tyrone and Jerome Saxton, twin brothers and retired U.S. Army Reservists, on November 9th 2012 in Jurupa Valley, CA. A special ceremony was held for the Saxton brothers and our veteran volunteers, which included a Presentation of Colors by Members of the American Legion Riverside Post 79. GRID IE was joined by local dignitaries for this occasion: City of Jurupa Valley’s Mayor Laura Roughton, Wells Fargo's Inland Empire Area President Celia Lanning, and Habitat for Humanity Riverside's Executive Director Karin Roberts.
Tyrone and Jerome Saxton’s beautiful homes were built last year by Habitat for Humanity Riverside (HFH) for which Wells Fargo and Thrivent Builds Lutheran Church generously provided funding. "HFH was looking for two veterans to build homes for and it just so happens that Jerome and I are veterans and twin brothers", laughed Tyrone as he recalled how it began one year ago.
With the help of an enthusiastic group of Wells Fargo volunteers and Thrivent Builds Lutheran Church volunteers, we installed a 2.1 kW solar electric system on each of the Saxton brother’s roof tops. The dynamic Veteran’s Day Installation team included four veterans: Rick Stephens from Thrivent Builds (Air Force Reserves), and GRID IE’s Team Leaders Kevin Muhammad (Army) and Trini Shrinarine (Air Force), as well as Solar Installation Supervisor Greg Graham (Marine Corps). Volunteers were thrilled to get on the roof and install solar for veterans. "It’s a great opportunity to help somebody, especially our veterans. I truly feel that we don’t give enough to be able to help them. It’s an amazing feeling!" shared a volunteer from Wells Fargo.
Mayor Roughton presented Certificates of Recognition to GRID IE, HFH Riverside, Wells Fargo and Thrivent Builds for helping to build and solarize the Saxtons’ homes. She commended each organization for providing "a unique opportunity for low-income families in (the) community to realize the benefits of green technology, which will have a lasting and positive impact on the City of Jurupa Valley."
Tyrone expressed that he is very grateful to everyone who took the time to install solar on his roof and he is anxious to see how solar will affect him and his family. "I am happy that I’m going to be saving a lot of money from solar energy. That’s the most important part because it is money that I can pour back into my family, which is truly a blessing." The solar electric systems installed on Tyrone and Jerome Saxton’s homes are expected to bring the families a combined savings of over $40,000. These will eliminate over 126 tons of greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere over the lifetime of the systems, equivalent to planting 3,000 trees.
We’d love to see more Vets helping Vets in the Inland Empire. Please contact us if you’re interested in being part of this initiative!
email@example.com or 951-272-4743
By Judy Ramos, Development and Marketing Intern, Posted 29 November 2012
Everyone’s Talking About Solar!
On Saturday, October 13th, GRID Alternatives Inland Empire (GRID IE) installed a new solar energy system on the home of Yolanda Arenas, a single parent and lifelong resident of Perris. Over the past year, Ms. Arenas’ living situation has greatly improved as she was finally able to provide her children with a Habitat for Humanity-renovated home in a safe neighborhood. Now she has a new solar energy system on her roof thanks to GRID Alternatives, which is expected to save her at least 91% on her annual energy bill.
The dedicated volunteer installation team included members of the Association of Environmental Professionals - Inland Empire Chapter (AEP-IEC), a nonprofit organization made up of environmental professionals, such as biologists and lawyers within the Inland Empire, who come together to enhance and protect the natural and human environment. All were thrilled to get a hands-on experience with solar.
"Everyone’s talking about solar!" said Greg Graham, GRID IE Solar Installation Supervisor. "Volunteers tell me that they always hear about solar on the news and now here they are installing solar professionally! They all agree that the installation process is much easier and quicker than it sounds." Volunteers installed a 10-panel, 2 kW system on Ms. Arenas’ garage in just one day! The system is expected to save the family over $8,831 and eliminate 56 tons of greenhouse gases over the lifetime of the system – that’s an equivalent of 1,309 trees being planted!
Jenny Cleary, V.P. of Membership at AEP-IEC, shared that she and her friends had a great time at the installation. Jenny believes that installing solar energy systems with GRID IE is an awesome and unique way to become involved in the community. "People can donate money to nonprofits, but not everyone has a chance to actually become involved with nonprofit projects. By allowing people to participate in installs, GRID Alternatives gives people the opportunity to donate time and see the immediate impact they are having on families, which is a very cool aspect of GRID Alternatives," said Jenny.
By Judy Ramos, Development and Marketing Intern, Posted 21 November 2012
Volunteer Spotlight: James Adauto
At any given installation, you’ll find solar job trainees learning new skills to get careers in the solar industry, general contractors and electricians expanding their knowledge so they can expand their own businesses, do-it-yourselfers getting advice so they can install their own solar systems, entrepreneurs gaining insights into the trade so they can open their own solar companies, community members practicing their skills and giving back to their communities, financial execs, real estate professionals, retirees, Veterans, students, youth… and the list goes on!
One dedicated volunteer is James ("Jimmy") Adauto. Jimmy came to GRID Alternatives after participating in the Homeboy Industries program in LA for formerly gang-involved and recently incarcerated men and women. Jimmy was ready to turn his life around for himself and his family and saw a bright future in the green industry. He started volunteering with GRID Alternatives in April this year to supplement his classroom solar training. Already, Jimmy’s logged in over 170 installation hours and is a Certified Roof Team Leader! And with his experience with GRID, Jimmy landed a position with the Plumbers and Pipefitters Union to work on a solar thermal project at the California-Nevada state line! Dan Glasow, one of GRID IE’s Solar Installation Supervisors, was impressed by Jimmy from the start. "Jimmy is a real go-getter. With his quick learning abilities and positive attitude, I’m sure he will excel in his new career."
Last week, Jimmy also connected GRID IE up with Zazou Productions, Inc., a New York production company, making a documentary on behalf of NHK, the Japanese equivalent to PBS. Thanks to Jimmy, both GRID’s and Jimmy’s stories will be featured in the documentary on the energy industry in the US, including the clean energy industry in California. The documentary will be released in Japan in the Fall, bringing GRID to the international arena! We’ll announce its broadcasting when we receive more information. Commenting on his GRID experience, Jimmy said, "Anything I can do to help GRID, I will. I appreciate what you've done for me."
While not all of us can be in the bright lights, every GRID volunteer and supporter help us make BRIGHTER FUTURES for our homeowners, each other, and our communities! Thank you GRID IE volunteers for your passion, dedication, and commitment to GRID Alternatives!
To learn more about volunteering with GRID IE, including our internship opportunities, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Posted by Bambi Tran, Regional Director, GRID Inland Empire, Posted on August 3, 2012
The Impact of IE's Solarthon 2012
On Saturday, May 19th GRID IE hosted its inaugural community solar installation and annual fundraiser, Solarthon, in the City of San Jacinto, California. If you read our Solarthon wrap-up blog, you know our focus for the event went beyond connecting panels to rooftops, toward creating a sustainable event that we can use as a template for years to come. We established multiple bottom lines for our event to include volunteer recruitment, community building, fundraising, vocalizing GRID’s mission, and environmental impact. These five key elements, we feel, play huge roles in the sustainability of Solarthon, as well as our ongoing program here in the Inland Empire.
We’ve put together an impact report that highlights the outcomes of these elements, providing a snapshot of the success of Solarthon and identifying what areas we can improve on next year!
Check out the GRID Alternatives Inland Empire Solarthon 2012 Impact Report!
Now that you’ve worked your brain with the hard data figures from Solarthon, we invite you to sit back, relax, have some popcorn, sesame chips or whatever your favorite movie snack is, and indulge in this fun montage of highlights from GRID IE’s Solarthon 2012! FYI: There is music in the video so you may want to use your headphones.
1 MEGAWATT of Solar Power!
On February 27th GRID Alternative Inland Empire installed its 200th solar electric system in Redlands, California, reaching a total 1 MEGAWATT of solar electric power installed throughout Riverside and San Bernardino Counties! The Shearer Family received a 6.9 kW solar system consisting of 33 panels which will reduce their electric bills by over 80%. Check out pictures from the install!
GRID Alternatives has been installing solar systems in the Inland Empire since August 2010 and has installed over 5.4 Megawatts of solar throughout the state of California. One Megawatt of solar power means over 9 million dollars in savings over the lifetime of the systems for families in need. It also offsets 31,500 tons of harmful carbon dioxide emissions, equal to planting over 741,100 trees or removing 5,581 cars from the road for an entire year!
On April 3rd, the GRID IE community celebrated this milestone at the
Lake Alice Trading Co. in downtown Riverside with a Green Mixer! Volunteers, homeowners, community partners, and friends alike came out to help GRID IE celebrate and show their support! Find pictures here!
GRID IE will be hosting Green Mixers regularly throughout the Inland Empire! Come celebrate the most recent GRID IE accomplishments while talking to peers, professionals and friends interested in renewable energy and the environmental movement!