While most of the Bay Area flocked to the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, 20 members of the Young Professionals in Energy (YPE), a national networking group, were donning hard hats and harnesses to install a solar electric system for the Li family in San Francisco.
Not only did the YPE crew volunteer their time, they also worked hard all summer to raise over $9,000 to support the installation! Special thanks also to Jinko Solar, a GRID equipment partner whose donated panels were used for this project.
Theres a great marriage between GRID [and YPE] where you learn something about energy, and then you have the whole service aspect of helping low-income families, explains Alex Portilla, of YPEs Events Committee. Within the membership of YPE, theres a large constituency of people who believe in and work in renewable energy and want to give back while at the same time learning more about it.
Being on the roof was very empowering and satisfying, adds Peter Do, YPEs highest fundraiser. The YPE opportunity was really unique to me because it was addressing two things that are near and dear to my heart, two things that build on each other. Not only are we preventing greenhouse gases, were doing it in the context of affordable housing. Its a win for everyone.
YPE members are a true testament to the power of volunteerism in the growing solar revolution. Not only were they willing to climb a two-story house to install the Jinko solar panels but they went the extra mile to fundraise from their personal networks - even their own wallets - to support the installation. On behalf of the Li family, and everyone with a dream of going solar, thank you YPE!