Enphase volunteers help farmworker family harvest the sun


April 25, 2016

David Meza's dad wasn't home when volunteers from Enphase came out to Windsor to install solar on his roof. He was out in the fields of Sonoma County picking grapes, hard work that has sustained him and his family of eight since they came to California from Jalisco, Mexico decades ago. "I picked grapes alongside my father for three years, every weekend all during the summer when I was out of school, ” said David, the youngest of the six children.  “My dad made all of us boys do it and would say, ‘this is what kind of work you will be doing if you don’t go to college.’” Now a student studying Criminal Justice at Sonoma Junior College, David was home representing for his father and translating for his mother while the Enphase team was hard at work.

Over the last six years, Enphase has partnered with GRID to bring the benefits of solar power to underserved communities through microinverter donations and employee volunteer installation hours, many of these hours taking place in affordable housing neighborhoods in Petaluma-based Enphase’s own backyard. In Sebastopol, up the road from the Burbank Housing development where the Mezas live, GRID installed Enphase equipment on 29 homes in the Hollyhock development, also by Burbank Housing, with 125 Enphase volunteers logging over 1,000 hours to help those families go solar. 

For most of the Enphase volunteers at this installation, it was their first time volunteering with GRID. “It’s awesome to get out and actually see how it all fits together, “ said Tim Mayhew, who works on the Finance team for Enphase.

Stepping into the home, you could see how much life was lived between the walls, lined with family photos and little objects from weddings, birthdays, etc… “The kids come and go, living here when we or our family needs a little help, and then we go out on our own,” said David. “Since we all have different schedules--like my parents get up really early, but I come home late from work and start studying, so a light is almost always on--this will help so much with our high electricity bill.”

As lunch time came, Mrs. Meza prepared plates of Mexican food, and the volunteers and GRID staff all gathered around her table, sharing gratitude for the food, the family and of course, the sun. Thanks Enphase, for helping lighten the Meza family’s load! Click here to see more photos from the day!