Bay Area Press

California and the nation will never be able to beat back the devastating effects of climate change unless everyone, rich and poor, can get involved, state Sen. Kevin de León said in San Francisco on Tuesday. De León, who is challenging Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein in the November contest for U.S. Senate, spoke outside a Bayview home that was having a solar energy system installed, courtesy of a nonprofit group founded in the city.

The lack of modern energy services, also referred to as energy poverty, is an ongoing issue in the Bay Area. But many organizations are working hard to make new energy options available to households. In Richmond, in the Iron Triangle neighborhood, many low-income families now have access to solar panels thanks to Oakland non-profit GRID Alternatives. 

With the current administration failing to lead on climate policy, Bay Area residents should be asking which communities will be hit hardest by the effects of climate change?

With support from Facebook, GRID Alternatives, America’s largest nonprofit solar installer, led 125 volunteers, residents, and student trainees from the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula to provide no-cost rooftop solar arrays to nine low-income families during its annual Bay Area Solarthon block party today in Menlo Park’s Belle Haven neighborhood.

The sun has been creating more jobs than before: Solar jobs in Alameda and Contra Costa counties increased in 2016, according to The Solar Foundation, a Washington-based nonprofit organization that advances solar energy use.

April Walton of Blue Lake has long been interested in solar power, but figured she couldn’t afford to get a system in place at her home. When Walton heard of the San Francisco Bay Area-based nonprofit organization GRID Alternatives — which has a Solar Affordable Housing Program that makes solar power accessible to low-income families and individuals — she began to see her dream come to light.

From a rooftop in sunny California, a Breaking Energy writer learns about the need for a national solar policy targeting low-income families.