Volunteer and Training FAQs
What is the time commitment?
Installations typically take two full days. Volunteers may sign up for one or both days. Start times will vary by office and time of year, but expect to start early and spend eight hours in the field with a break for lunch.
How many volunteers can you accommodate?
For safety and workflow reasons, each site can accommodate 10-15 volunteers each day. Spots fill up quickly with consideration for previously waitlisted and local volunteers and participants in job training programs. We encourage local volunteer attendance at our events and cannot guarantee confirmation to individuals traveling long distances. We also cannot provide lodging assistance.
What experience is required?
No experience or tools necessary! Each team is led by an experienced volunteer Team Leader, and each installation is managed by GRID consturction staff. Moderate lifting (20 lbs.) may be involved. As GRID Alternatives policy, all modules and inverters must be carried by at least 2 people at all times. If you are uncomfortable with heights or ladders, ground work is available.
What is the age requirement for volunteering?
You must be 18 or over to volunteer. In some cases, we can accommodate 16-17 year-olds with written parental consent. Please contact your local GRID Alternatives office for more information.
What training is provided to volunteers?
All volunteers are required to attend a volunteer orientation session which covers basic solar electric concepts and a review of the installation process with a focus on safety. The orientation is not intended to be a technical training on system design. Once you have attended an orientation, you may sign up for as many installations as you like. You must receive confirmation for all installation dates. Translation can be made available upon request.
Where do I report safety issues?
Safety is GRID's number one priority. If you have comments or suggestions, or want to report a safety issue, please either talk to the site supervisor or submit your feebdack on our website at www.gridalternatives.org/safety.
What happens if I am waitlisted?
When you are waitlisted for an event it does not carry over to future events. You must send a new request each time you want to attend something. For example: if you request a seat at a mandatory volunteer training in April and are waitlisted, you are NOT automatically put on a list for the next volunteer orientation. When the next orientation is announced, you must send another request for a spot.
Other questions? Please read our Volunteer Guidebook for more information and to access the Volunteer Agreement form.