On Saturday, WGL volunteers joined GRID Alternatives in Southeast DC to install solar for our first multifamily project in the Mid-Atlantic. The WGL volunteers were participating as part of the annual “WGL Day of Weatherization,” which involved 215 WGL employees from all WGL entities (Washington Gas, WGL Energy, Hampshire Gas and WGL Midstream) weatherizing 105 homes in West Virginia, Maryland, DC, and Virginia. The weatherization work included energy efficiency upgrades such as caulking, replacing old lightbulbs with more efficient lights, installing water efficient aerators, and implementing other energy-saving improvements. The Day of Weatherization was started in 2006 by Robert Bethea, Manager of Field Operations of Washington Gas, who has worked at WGL for an impressive 49 years. This is the second year that a GRID Alternatives’ solar installation has been a part of the WGL Day of Weatherization; last year WGL learned about solar on the ground through a mock installation.
This time around though, the group had the chance to put in a little elbow grease, get on the roof, and participate in a solar installation that will benefit the tenants.
The group of WGL volunteers who came out to the GRID site on Saturday specifically signed up for the opportunity to get involved with solar. Many of the WGL volunteers had never installed solar before, and were excited to try something new. Allan, a WGL volunteer who works in finance, wanted to get out in the field and try something different. For Jane, a young WGL employee, this meant something more; she wanted to explore solar as a possible career avenue in the future. Another volunteer was interested in pursuing a possible graduate program in renewable energy. For all the volunteers, this was an exciting experience allowing them to give back to the planet, and to a low-income community in DC.
GRID Alternatives is excited to continue to be part of the WGL Day of Weatherization, as well as expand into the multi-family solar realm. “What a perfect day to begin work on our first multi-family project in the Mid-Atlantic. We are thankful and excited to continue to grow our partnership with WGL,” said Nicole Steele, Executive Director of GRID Alternatives Mid-Atlantic.
Many people came out to support WGL and their day of volunteerism with GRID, including Councilmember elect Trayon White, Harvey Grant of the Wizards, and Ben Stutz and Tommy Wells with the District Department of Energy and the Environment. Their support of clean energy for low-income families reassures us that we are moving in the right direction.