GRID Alternatives North Valley Member Spotlight
Under-resourced communities and communities of color disproportionately bear the burden of climate change impacts. GRID Alternatives North Valley‘s vision is of an inclusive transition to clean energy and it will only be achieved within a framework of social, economic and environmental justice. GRID’s unique, people-first model, is putting money back into families’ pockets, increasing housing affordability, creating pathways to green jobs, and reducing the energy cost burden for affordable housing providers.
Clean energy and low-carbon transportation help clean our air locally and help us meet our larger climate goals, which benefits everyone. These technology investments are ever more important in frontline communities, low-income communities, and communities of color. We believe that the voices and leadership of communities on the front lines of climate change are key to creating equitable and lasting solutions.
Grid Alternatives North Valley
GRID Alternatives North Valley (GRID) champions energy equity by delivering no-cost clean energy technology solutions and pathways to clean energy careers in communities adversely impacted by social and environmental injustice. Every GRID project generates measurable “triple bottom line” results: training and hands-on experience for local workers in the growing field of solar installation; environmental benefits by preventing greenhouse gas emissions; and long-term financial benefits for low-income families struggling to keep up with monthly expenses.
GRID Alternatives has been on the leading edge of creating access to clean energy technology and job training for low-income families and disadvantaged communities for more than a decade. We believe that low-income and frontline communities should be among the first to benefit from the growth in California’s clean economy. We are committed to advancing an equity agenda within GRID and our work in the energy industry by examining and addressing systemic inequities; seeking out and amplifying the voices of the communities we serve and expanding access to renewable energy and career opportunities.
About the program
The Energy for All Program offers solar photovoltaic systems at no cost for single-family and multifamily residents.
- Single-Family Solar: GRID reduces household electricity costs by up to 90% by providing no-cost solar systems to homeowners that qualify as low income. Each installation is also an opportunity for community members and job trainees in GRID’s Installation Basics Training 200-hour (IBT 200) program to get hands-on experience with solar power.
- Multifamily Solar: Solar can reduce and stabilize energy costs for affordable housing providers, and reduce bills for their tenants. GRID is helping catalyze this sector by providing no-cost technical assistance and low-cost design and installation services for affordable housing owners and developers who provide housing and vital services to low-income renters. Our holistic model includes energy efficiency partnerships, community education and engagement, and job training opportunities for residents.
By offering a solution that lowers household utility bills and brings livable wage career opportunities to the community, GRID’s programs help communities strengthen from within. These benefits, along with the integrated greenhouse gas reductions, provide long-term health and economic benefits for all participants and the community as a whole.
GRID’s workforce development program provides hands-on installation experience that helps prepare people for jobs in solar and related fields, connecting people that need good jobs with an industry that needs good people.
Goal of the Program
GRID’s Energy for All Program aims to address multiple community needs through integrated solutions. This project is focused in neighborhoods that fall into the top 25% of the California Environmental Protection Agency’s CalEnviroScreen 3.0 Disadvantaged Community designation. Through our program community members can lead resilience efforts from within, contributing to long-lasting benefits in their own neighborhoods. By having our IBT 200 trainees develop their installation skills on homes in low-wealth communities, we leverage their training to provide access to clean energy for those who are most vulnerable and disproportionately impacted by climate change.
As summers grow hotter, the demand on the grid will either result in power shut-offs or increased electricity rates. We share in the State’s goal to offset local greenhouse gas emissions as well as providing a sustainable resource that powers essential air systems in the homes that need it most.
GRID Alternatives is a high impact nonprofit- we’ve installed over 57MW of solar, benefitting over 15,000 people. That translates into over 1 million tons of reduced GHG emissions and $707 million in collective savings from the many families we’ve served. By integrating workforce development in every solar project, GRID Alternatives’ programs enable residents to take part in implementing important climate solutions in their own community.
GRID proudly partners with a number of community organizations, businesses and community colleges. We partner with community-based organizations to recruit trainees or to provide wrap-around services for trainees who need more support or preparation to enter the workforce. Recruitment and/or wrap-around service partners include Sacramento Area Reentry Collaborative, Brother-to-Brother, the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, Greater Sacramento Urban League, and SHRA Jobs Plus Partnership. Training partners include SAVA, California Conservation Corps, Northern California Construction Training, Sacramento Job Corps and our local community colleges.
GRID also has a network of placement partners; local businesses that have come to trust the skill and diligence of trainees who are referred out of our program. Placement partners include Sunrun, Patelco, Aerotek, Capital City Solar, and ACR Solar.
Funding for GRID’s Energy for All program and Installation Basics Training 200-hour program comes from a handful of funding sources. In California, GRID Alternatives is a statewide program administrator to a few State programs, including:
- Single-Family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) program, a ratepayer-funded program through the California Public Utilities Commission that provides up-front rebates to help low-income homeowners access the benefits of solar power.
- Disadvantaged Communities – Single-family Solar Homes (DAC-SASH) program, a California state program providing incentives to help homeowners in disadvantaged communities go solar
- Solar portion of the Low-Income Weatherization Program (LIWP), which provides low-income households with solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and energy efficiency upgrades at no cost to residents.
GRID also receives philanthropic funding for our programs through corporate, foundation, and individual donations. This funding allows us to continue creating access to solar and solar job training for low-income families and disadvantaged communities. You can help contribute to GRID’s mission here!