Darrel Smith, originally from Arizona, has lived in San Bernardino for nearly 80 years. He was married to his late wife for over 50 years, has two daughters, four grandchildren, and five great-grandchildren. Darrel was a proud U.S. Army veteran who served in the 82nd Airborne. After his service, he worked as a general manager and vice president of a precast concrete company, where he was able to retire at 70.
Darrel grew up on a 180-acre farm, off the grid in rural Arizona. When he moved to California, he was interested in living the farm life that he grew up with. In 1963, he built his house in San Bernardino with his wife and father. On his three-acre lot, he housed horses, donkeys, cows, pigs, geese, and ducks. In addition, he had an extensive vegetable garden which he and his wife used to cook farm fresh meals. Many other people in the neighborhood loved spending time with Darrel and his family. “We would have as many as 20-30 children at our home at a time. They referred to it as, “‘the farm’,’' he said. The farm served as a meeting place for local San Bernardino residents.
Darrel learned of GRID Alternatives Inland Empire through a flyer sent to him by Southern California Edison (SCE). SCE is a major partner of GRID and has introduced countless of Inland Empire homeowners to GRID’s mission and programs.
Homeowners typically save up to 80% on their electricity bill through GRID’s Energy for All Program. Darrel lives on a fixed income and says he is eager to see the savings reflected on his energy bill thanks to GRID. He and his family can expect to save in excess of $30,000 over the solar system's 20-year lifespan. The 5.2 kW DC solar system will reduce 70 tons of greenhouse gases, fostering a more habitable environment.