Elmer Rankin


November 20, 2011

Elmer Rankin is a seventy-year-old Navy Veteran who served on a Nuclear Submarine from 1958 to 1962. He has lived in Sun City, California for the past 14 years. Elmer is disabled and is living with congestive heart failure and prostate cancer and undergoing chemotherapy. He uses an electric wheelchair and needs an in-home oxygen system and a constantly regulated environment throughout the year due to his medical conditions.

Last winter, he was unable to afford to run his heater. He wound up suffering from the cold, his body began to shut down, and he ended up in the hospital. The medical equipment and temperature regulation Elmer needs requires a large and expensive amount of electricity to sustain but Elmer lives on a low, fixed income.

GRID Alternatives helped Elmer apply for and receive a solar electric system that will provide up to 80% of his electricity needs.

"I can have an immediate raise in my budget. I can have heat and cool air now when I need it. I am on oxygen and other medical equipment where I need to choose which ones to run. This will allow me to afford both. Now I will be able to run my heater with the help from the solar panels,” said Elmer, “This is literally going to save my life.”

Elmer's system was subsidized through California’s Single-family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) Program, a program administered by GRID Alternatives that provides low-income families with free or low-cost PV-solar systems to reduce household energy expenses and to allow families to direct those savings toward other basic needs.

Elmer’s solar electric system is a 9.2 Kw system, the largest single system GRID Alternatives has done to date and was made financially possible by SASH incentives and generous donations from individuals.

“I am extremely grateful to GRID Alternatives for what you doing for me and for helping me get solar panels on my home. I appreciate it very much and would definitely recommend the program to anyone who can qualify," said Elmer.