Image via: Grid Alternatives
Grid Alternatives, the non-profit that uses volunteer labor to put solar panels on low-income homes in California has been chosen by California Solar Initiative to manage the Single-Family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) program. Effectively they've been given a high five and a HUGE chunk of change to keep their mission going forward. The California Solar Initiative essentially has money set aside to help homeowners across the state "afford" solar electric panels on their homes. A portion of that money is set aside specifically to go to qualifying low-income homeowners. Grid Alternatives, since 2001, has been installing system on low-income houses using staff and mainly volunteer labor. (Psst, if you're interested in learning how to install solar, this is a great way to get some experience for free. They have offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles and now San Diego). So essentially the California Solar Initiative realized they needed someone to manage these funds, realized that Grid Alternatives already works in that arena and found their perfect match.
Now Grid Alternatives is in charge of "marketing, financing, designing, engineering and installing" these systems and they are ready to go. Applications are now being accepted for the SASH program. If you're a PGE, SCE, or SDG&E; Customer, if you own your residence, if your household income is 80% less than the area median income, and if you live in a California Public Utilities Code 2582-compliant affordable home then you are eligible to apply. More information on how to apply and applicable forms can be found at SASH.
Grid Alternatives also partners with job-development organizations, in addition to using volunteer labor, meaning that they are also training community members to gain jobs in solar. Look for Grid Alternatives to be expanding to other cities throughout California, so if you don't see a volunteer opportunity near you, just keep checking their calendar and website. :Grid Alternatives
More on Solar in California
Put Green First & Promote Solar Power with the Vote Solar Initiative
Los Angeles Mayor Announces Big Solar Initiative
500 MW of Solar Power Plants in California, Southwest to be Developed by NRG Energy & Solar
1.3 Gigawatts of Solar Thermal Power in California to be Developed by PG&E; and BrightSource