Bay Area News

On a cool Saturday morning in the Ocean View neighborhood, Habitat for Humanity Greater San Francisco held an emotional celebration dedicating 28 new affordable homes for low-income families, with a solar system - installed by GRID Alternatives - on every roof. The development, called Habitat Terrace, arose from what was once a vacant lot to become beautiful three story homes for families in need.
Welcome to our new Staff Spotlight feature, where we share a brief interview to introduce you to some of our amazing staff members here at GRID Bay Area! This month we’d like to introduce you to our newest Solar Installation Supervisor Andrew Hayes. He’s the type of guy who fixes up old VWs and rides a purple BMW motorcycle named Barney. Quick to smile and patient while teaching, he’s a great person to meet and learn from when you’re out in the field. Keep checking back to meet more fabulous GRID Bay Area staffers!

For many renters on limited incomes, access to solar - and it’s cost-saving benefits - is something they don’t expect to achieve anytime soon. Because renters don’t own the roofs over their heads, they’re usually unable to go solar on their own, even if they can afford the upfront costs. But as we place the final solar panels at the end of March, solar will be a reality for nearly 100 families in Richmond, CA.

“I know that one day, people will tell your story and say that you have changed the world” – Beatrice Sonfack at TechWomen

The first day I ever spent on the roof with GRID Alternatives, I happened to look across the freeway and see a few tall houses with all black solar arrays in a row. I realized the GRID customer community - low-income families with access to solar - is small compared to the relatively more privileged community with easy access. GRID’s mission started to resonate, make solar practical and accessible to the people who could truly use it. It’s the reason I became a GRID Team Leader, finishing 14 installs in the last 12 months.
I would like to say thank you to the strong group of volunteers and job trainees that I have met this past year as the Workforce and Volunteer Fellow at GRID Alternatives Bay Area. I am continuously humbled by your heart and passion for the communities we serve and the hope of a cleaner environment. Since I was hired a year ago, together in the Bay Area you have volunteered 3,123 hours, helping us install 134 systems that will save over $3.6 million for the families while preventing nearly 7,519 tons of carbon emissions. This is the carbon offset is the equivalent of planting over 174,906 trees.
After working 20 years in the food service business, Doug Hackett felt unenthused and discontent with the lack of upward mobility in the industry. So when he saw a posting on Craigslist about Rising Sun Energy Center, a leading green training, employment, and residential efficiency organization based out of Berkeley, he jumped at the chance to turn his career in a new direction with Rising Sun and, ultimately, with GRID Alternatives Bay Area.
Glenda Brown had hardly thought about installing solar in the 46 years that she has lived in her house in East Palo Alto. That all changed when her daughter, Lea, who also lives in East Palo Alto, went solar with GRID last year. Lea’s experience with GRID was so positive that Glenda decided to apply, recognizing GRID as a way for her to keep her costs down.
Known for it’s low crime rate and good school district, the city of Novato is a beautiful haven in Marin County, featuring 3,600 acres of open space. These amenities don’t come without a price, however--with an average home value of upwards of $750,000, Novato is not a city accessible to all. On Saturday September 10th, GRID and Habitat for Humanity of Greater San Francisco will help change that, bringing solar to 10 new affordable homes during our 11th annual Solarthon event!