"It's like having my own ATM machine"

“My gosh, it’s like having my own ATM machine,” said Pearl Verre as she looked at the inverter mounted on her wall. “It really is. You know, my last bill was 53 cents!” Mrs. Verre, a retired senior who volunteers in a Kindergarten class at the local elementary school, is one of 84 homeowners in the Desert Rose community in Palm Desert, CA to be saving money with solar through GRID Alternatives.

City officials, homeowners and other partners and dignitaries joined GRID on Tuesday, May 20 to celebrate the completion of the 246 kW project, which represents the largest solar deployment in a single affordable housing community through California’s SASH program. It is also the largest for GRID.

The systems will save families up to 90% on their electrical bills, or an estimated $2 million over their anticipated 30-year lifetimes. The power they generate will also contribute to cleaner air in a region that has among the state’s highest air pollution levels, offsetting the carbon equivalent to removing 1,150 cars from the road for one year.

The systems were installed by GRID Alternatives Subcontracting Partner RGS Energy, which provided a paid position to a solar job training program graduate for each project.

“This project has been an amazing partnership from start to finish,” said Bambi Tran, Regional Director for GRID Alternatives’ Inland Empire office, “with everyone from the city, to the homeowners association, the roofer and the subcontractor pitching in to make solar a reality for all these families, while giving new installers a jump start on their careers.”

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