Thirza moved to the City of Ontario with her husband and oldest daughter 35 years ago. She heard about GRID Alternatives Inland Empire (GRID IE) through a friend, who told her there was a great program through the City of Ontario that provides low-income families with assistance for roofs and solar. Thirza’s husband started repairs to their roof, but sadly passed away before being able to finish the project. Her friend thought she could really benefit from the program, since she knew about Thirza’s situation. Both Thirza and her sister decided to apply since they live around the corner from each other.
Thirza qualified for GRID’s no cost Energy for All program, through the Transformative Climate Communities (TCC) Ontario Solar Homes Initiative & Neighborhood Empowerment (SHINE) program. However, her roof needed major repairs before her solar system could be installed. Income-qualified Ontario residents within the TCC project area may qualify for certain improvements such as tree-trimming and roof repairs to make their home solar ready in preparation for their solar system. When Thirza shared her story with the roofing company contracted by GRID IE, her story stirred him and he was very motivated to help her with her roofing repairs.
Thirza lives with her daughter and is the primary caregiver for her disabled son. Since her husband’s passing, she is now on a fixed income and has been having financial difficulties. She worries about her essential needs such as food and utilities. She expressed her gratitude for GRID staff, her Outreach Coordinator, and the roofer Rafael who completed the work her husband was unable to do. “I am so grateful and happy for the support and resources provided through GRID and the City of Ontario.” said Thirza.
When asked about her energy habits in the home she replied, “When you are on a fixed income, energy efficiency is a part of your lifestyle. I will continue to practice conserving energy even after my solar is installed,” she said. GRID’s’ Referral Rewards Program provides $200 for every person who is referred that qualifies and gets solar through GRID. Thirza has already started spreading the word with her neighbors and sister-in-law. She said she will continue to tell as many people as she can.
Thirza said although the Covid-19 pandemic has affected her emotionally because of the isolation, she is very thankful for the help and support she has received during these trying times. “I thank God for the resources that have been made available to me,” said Thirza.
Ontario Together is supported by California Strategic Growth Council’s Transformative Climate Communities program with funds from California Climate Investments—Cap-and-Trade Dollars at Work, as well as Disadvantaged Communities—Single-Family Solar Homes (DAC-SASH), a State of California program overseen by the California Public Utilities Commission and administered by GRID Alternatives, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Energy for All is a program of GRID Alternatives, a community-based nonprofit organization. GRID has partnered with the City of Ontario through Solar Home Initiative and Neighborhood Empowerment Project (OntarioSHINE) to install solar for low-income Ontario families.
For more information call 1-866-921-4696, or to see if you qualify for GRID’s Energy for All program visit www.GRIDSolar.org.