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GRID Alternatives' mission is to empower communities in need by providing renewable energy and energy efficiency services, equipment and training. Since 2001, GRID Alternatives has been working to bring the power of solar electricity and energy efficiency to low-income homeowners, and to provide community members with training and hands-on experience with renewable energy technologies. We believe making energy choices that are good for the environment can go hand-in-hand with improving the lives of those living in low-income communities. GRID Alternatives works collaboratively with communities and local organizations to identify specific needs and to develop renewable energy solutions that are environmentally, socially and economically sustainable. Our vision of sustainable development centers on community involvement, and our focus and expertise lies in using renewable energy and energy efficiency to provide solutions to the challenges facing low-income individuals and families. We have offices in the San Francisco Bay Area, Greater Los Angeles, San Diego, and Fresno/Central Valley to serve communities throughout California.
Since piloting the Solar Affordable Housing Program in 2004, we have installed over 1300 solar electric systems with low-income families throughout California. These systems are reducing each family's electric bills by approximately 75%, which will translate to a total of over $32 million in energy generated over the systems' projected life spans. They will also prevent roughly 108,600 tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the next 30 years, the equivalent of planting about 312,000 trees. You can view photos of many of these installations at PicasaWeb. GRID Alternatives has also trained over 7,400 community volunteers and job trainees on the theory and practice of solar electric installation, and provided them with opportunities to gain hands-on experience with real-world solar installation projects. Our volunteers gain valuable skills and experience that they can bring back to their homes, businesses and communities, and help build broad-based, grassroots leadership and support for renewable energy. Experience with us is recognized by the solar industry. We have also installed energy efficiency upgrades for over 1,612 low-income households. These small changes provide these households, which primarily live on fixed incomes, with approximately $89,240/year in energy savings.