Nearly three years ago, Los Banos native Jesse Cortez applied to GRID’s Central Valley office in hopes of receiving a solar system to help with high electric bills. Supporting a wife and 7 children, Jesse wanted some relief from the high cost of utilities in the hot, arid region in Merced County. $400 electric bills were just not affordable. He knew the benefits of solar and that the climate where he lived was a perfect match! He reached out to Solar City, but the programs they offered were not a good fit for his family. In came GRID Alternatives. As a low-income homeowner, Jesse qualified for a system from GRID. Unfortunately, GRID Central Valley was not installing in Los Banos at that time.
Fast forward 3 years…
GRID Central Coast began installing solar systems in Los Banos earlier this year. Our office noticed Jesse’s application on file and reached out to him to see if he still qualified for a solar installation on his home. Jesse was tremendously excited to discover he was provisionally approved and moved quickly through the qualification process, providing necessary documentation to our Outreach staff and frequently expressing his gratitude along the way. He got pre-screen qualified, and during the construction site visit, inspecting his tile roof, it was discovered that there was a problem.
Underneath the tile shingles that lined his roof, unbeknownst to Jesse, there was no plywood in place. This created a major problem for construction as it was unsafe and our office was not able to install solar under these conditions. Jesse searched for an answer. Initially, he thought perhaps he would just install plywood under the section of roof receiving the panels. Further research showed that the most practical, long-term solution would be to replace the whole roof. Jesse would not be deterred from receiving solar. A few weeks later, Jesse had found his solution and new plywood and shingles were installed on his home. He immediately called our Sr. Outreach Coordinator, Clarita Cortes, and pleaded to be the first GRID client served in Los Banos.
While he was not the first client in Los Banos, he certainly was one of the first. He worked alongside our GRID crew, installing the very panels that he knew would save his family thousands of dollars every year and benefit the environment by eliminating greenhouse gases from being released into the environment. Our staff was so impressed with Jesse and his hard work and dedication. Clarita recalls, “Jesse was very grateful. Thanking always!”
Jesse is now, finally, enjoying the benefits of solar. No longer saddled with $400 utility bills, he has additional money to spend on his large family and the expenses therein. His electric bill has now been reduced by 75% and GRID CC couldn’t be happier. “His family waited so long and wanted it so much, “ says Clarita. We couldn’t be happier to help this hardworking, dedicated father.
SIZE: 6.3 kW-AC
VALUE: $67,742 projected to be saved on electric bills over the lifetime of the system
IMPACT: 139 tons greenhouse gases prevented from release into the environment (Equivalent to 27 cars being removed from the road for 1 year or planting 3,267 trees.)