Non-Profit Installs Solar Panels in Low-Income Neighborhoods

Posted: 10/10/2013  browse the blog archive
Non-Profit Installs Solar Panels in Low-Income Neighborhoods

GRID Alternatives is an environmental not-for-profit organization which leads teams of volunteers and trainees to install solar electric systems exclusively for low-income neighborhoods, thereby providing low-cost and clean energy to those who would otherwise be unable to afford it, writes the Huffington PostSince 2004, GRID Alternatives has installed more than 10 MW of renewable power for over 3,700 families in California and elsewhere in United States. 

Although government subsidies have helped make renewable energy projects more affordable, for many low-income families they are too expensive to install.  GRID Alternatives helps these families save money on electricity bills while simultaneously offering valuable experience for the volunteers and trainees that install them.  GRID estimates that it has prevented the release of 315,000 tons of greenhouse gasses over the solar systems’ lifetimes, while providing more than $80 million in energy cost savings. 

Many of the trainees from GRID Alternatives are able to use their experience to subsequently gain full-time employment in the solar industry. According to the National Solar Jobs Census 2012, the U.S. solar industry currently employs over 119,000 Americans, with a 13.2 percent employment growth rate over the past twelve months.  It is expected that there will be 17 percent job growth in 2013.

GRID Alternatives was founded during the 2001 California energy crisis by Erica Mackie, P.E., and Tim Sears, P.E., who were driven by a desire to make renewable energy available to everyone.  In 2012, the non-profit received the Environmental Protection Agency’s Environmental Hero Award – Climate Change Champion for the Pacific Southwest Region.   

The Chanler Group is actively engaged in the review and analysis of incentive-based .renewable energy programs to determine potential benefits to our clients.  Global energy consumption continues to increase each year and, with this increase, the demand for safe, clean, and unlimited energy is on the rise.  The Federal and State governments promote this interest through a variety of financially-beneficial incentives.  Our understanding of these laws allows us to guide homeowners, businesses, and/or developers through the various ways to take advantage of these incentive-based benefits.  With the appreciation that renewable energy laws and regulations are constantly changing, The Chanler Group is committed to investing in its understanding and practice of this area of law.