LBISD GRIDAlternatives

Wednesday, December 13th


Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

Good morning and welcome to another edition of living veteran San Diego public service presentation of the an account San Diego radio stations I'm Garry lake. Grid alternatives is a local nonprofit bringing solar energy. To low income families who couldn't otherwise afford it they do it all with the help of community volunteers and job training in fact. They offer various training programs to help people get jobs in the rapidly growing solar industry. Joining us this morning is grid alternatives San Diego executive director Paul Cleary and community relations officer Eddie price welcome Paul welcome Eddie. Lou thanks like morning grid alternatives San Diego now how about a little little background information on the organization a year you're part of a larger group and. Some group Archie we are costs so we're part of a national organization that's based in Oakland. It's been harassed at 2001 and we. Green alternatives covers the city California Colorado and the DC area. We are seven international programming Nicaragua and another one in Nepal in another way in Mexico. But Eddie and I are from the great alternative scene Diego office which is in around since 2008 but celebrate our ninth anniversary. It's not just. National organization that globe international and cash yeah that's right where you located here sandy. Com or by Cobb school 930 gateway senator wait. Okay which is over in southeast San Diego here you're right near the embassy vehicle blood that we're right across street yeah. And the national lastly can come exactly where they were exactly nowhere Costco is that you know where you are right OK if it. And what what is the the mission of of grid alternatives. Will the mission agreed alternatives is. Is to make renewable energy technology and job training accessible to underserved communities basically be what we do is make sure that all. All communities can participate in the solar red revolution. I've read somewhere. And I'd been on your website. That and a local leaders are now calling San Diego. America solar city have you heard that yeah apparently or allegedly bit Thompson the Eagles will most shall arise cities in the country. So will we do for communities of concern on is extremely beneficial and it helps to see you seem to be maintained that. Number one position. And how long is this any offers an open. We were reopened in 2008 and nine years now how Long Beach if you've been with with good alternatives and have you been in San Diego the whole time. With that the organization I've been here about five years the little five years. Paul's been here since the beginning. Yeah I I came on in about this time in 2008 is to open office screen was expanding out of Oakland. And had opened an office in LA and we were moving into San Diego that's my came on board opened up the office here in San Diego and you always worked with then nonprofits I have I. Most of my career I've worked. A lot fundraising I work in international development I worked in human trafficking prevention I worked for an anthropology museum and I worked a little bit as a stay at home father and then I came to great alternatives. And and what drew you to outside immediate job. How exciting he's got what drew you to them well I've always finish in the environment. Environmentalist I was. I had soul or my home for for many years and just really intrigued by the idea of of a nonprofit organization that was involved in the solar market. Brief sort of people who otherwise couldn't afford it and that's really what. Which you hear the idea also building something from scratch start not thin and sort of build this organization and see see what we can go it and Eddie. How about you as far as your your background. Mom. I am very interest in it but my most recent you know how I got to agree it was my handy life altering on health situation. And so it kind of knocked me out for about almost a year basically. Arm as I was rebuilding myself. I've decided that I wanna do something different in so I want on Craig's list you know and instead look at like Al recently to talk colossal. We've got to find some of them will satisfy me. And I saw a grid alternatives I didn't know anything about the environmental. Movement in the energy movement or anything. And I came down and apply now when Beckel crawl back into bid. And two months later Paul called me say he's deluded island yeah I think my wife would really like you're gonna go ethics. Yeah and you know when I went down and in started understanding what grid alternatives does. In communities of concern. Doubts right up my Alley. You don't provides benefits and opportunity in communities of concern in the south of the eighth. I remember I first asphalt. Do we really do this this is what we don't meet meet you weigh these 20030000. Dollar systems. To people in the community for free. It I think I could do then I think I could do that anymore why I got into Al reached. Com the more penal the bug got it to be didn't the energy bug. And I think I found a home what's what's your favorite part about that about the job mom. Sometimes rom drive it home you know I I help provide. Economic security for our family. Or little old lady who's on fixed income who had no way of paying her medical bills and getting her. As the GBB. And you don't have to make those choices. And oftentimes we free up 10000 bucks 200 bucks 300 bucks. To these families. Dad is mind blowing to me you know they they can't make any more money then I'll bogey free money. In the end you know just watching the salute people's eyes when the meter starts going backwards. And you turn the system on is like a game in do you know what that means that's free right there. You're socialist is pretty exciting in addition to that we we we won both as we require from a homeowners' lunch so we pretty good some time. Yes this is part of it US to reverse effect at at. I and and Paula what was your favorite part of the job. Probably match you know yesterday about my in my career I've been in. Unit to allow nonprofit jobs and I've always felt like I've been doing important work what do these are there like about the work we do is it's very concrete. And it's very tangible you you show up to a home. In the morning and you see a bagel roof there of the Eagles sunny roof and then when you leave the dean of the day there's a solar system up there. It's producing energy in meters and back rich folks are saving money so it's it's really concrete you know we talk about saving money we talk about. Help being. Provide jobs we talk about helping the environment and and we're not gonna solve global warming on our on our own but you are gonna see the tangible piece of you know it a little step toward. For work on that problem and also I think in a decent save people money every day dissent comes up. Your nonprofit organization which I didn't think you are when I first heard about and patchy at them from was first brought to my attention. That's another great thing right yeah yeah and I mean it's. It is an inch steam all I think we buy we what are the rules largest largest nonprofit solar installer not the only one but the largest and in the country and I think. It's it's a rare thing. Because solar is you know it's it's a it's typically a place where. You know where most people involved in the sector in the for profit second in the for profit part which is fabulous and and we exist to make sure that everybody can take advantage of of solar technology in and we are fortunate I guess in here in California that the misty hasn't as a very. Progressive solar policy when an early innovators and in its arsenal of policy and that's allowed that if we allowed grid alternatives to start. I'm moving in space and start to help people out. One thing I I I really appreciated by the organization. Is that we're not advocacy group we deliver the mail that's our sole purpose is to deliver the mail. Missiles you know sometimes people give as mixed up with environmentalist and in and build a nice people and I like treason butterflies still. But this energy industry and in the opportunities that day. Exist in communities of concern is is it hasn't got started. You don't always talk about you know job training and in taking people. Will lose their veterans are at risk youth through or women who normally haven't in a we have some stores and office will we've seen people transform. Because there were given opportunities do something so it's it's there's a lot involved and you know when I first are working here we are one trick pony find a fairly good rough. The social World Cup. And in really evolved into you know all these programs that we have. We're both in multifamily you know doing multifamily. Apartment buildings now for ranchers. Com it's it is slow growing industry on I love to be a part of this. Eddie you are out here in the community relations. Officer and Edmund alternatives what does what does that entail. That means that I go on the community I go to meetings I meet with legislators. Come home also on the mayor sustainable energy advisory board in a coach here for cal seal which is the California solar industry energy association. To make sure that it really is that we serve on a daily basis or in the conversations. In to listen these legislators know how much were benefiting some of their constituents. Com and helping educate some of our constituents about either of the power that they have now what they can do. What they should do you know is is is pretty exciting it's pretty exciting to be in this industry that's his level. Since you open your doors. Amelie solar systems have you installed on what what does that work out too. As far as savings for your customers writes oh we did our first. First inflation 2009 tickets if you must get up and running two dozen editor for sleaze we've done. Over 900 now so we've helped over 900 families. And when you add up all the benefits over that 25 your lifetime of those systems it adds up to to over 25 million dollars. In Indian energy savings for those 900 families. And I am so it's you know I guess in technical terms it's 3.3 megawatts which is. Which is about 111000 solar panels that you think about it that way. While net that's just here in San Diego and San Diego via an. Before we get into batter or any other specifics as far as installing solar systems in which you do it great how about a little schooling. And on solar energy okay if you could fill us in a little bit about. Leonard is. It's affects your benefits on on individuals and society. So what we work in his is is PV photovoltaic solar so were taken were put a solar panel up there and what it does it take the sun's light. And it turns it into electricity. So it's not about heat it's not about how water there's other there are the technologies out there but were turned in return in the sun's rays into electricity. And down and the way it works with with. Another term as what they called grid tied so. When we go out and help out a family we put solar on the roof they're still tied to the grid they still get their power from. From misty Jeanine when the sun's not shining. Or when there are using more power than their system is producing assets tied to the grid and basically what it's doing is this system is producing energy that reduces. There electricity bill so. You let's say you use. Use a big 100 dollar and energy but you systematic producing a dollar of energy to and you you you get a twenty dollar bill from testing genie rather than a hundred dollar bill. That's nice yeah. So you still have a bill for this to genie is just hopefully it's a lot laughs so it's reducing reducing its solar energy helps to reduce your. Your bill and up till now mostly we haven't we haven't worked with batteries. We're which are begin energy storage batteries but but up till now on really in a way you're using degraded as your battery Reitman you're sending power on the grid when you. With the way that the weighted a great touched emerges when. Let's say. The sun comes up you know middle of the day. Year at work your kids your school you know I really used much powered home so that energy that you're so anxious is producing is going out. Through the meter on the grid and so it's being used somewhere else maybe my neighbor somewhere else. And in in the meantime Iraqi your credit your meter spinning back which racking up credits with utility. And then. You come home at the end of the day Easter turn on lights and goes down she's not producing he dropped power from the grid and basically. You know like you said your pain at the net of that what you what you use might switch parties. And forget that there's an and we haven't we haven't really gotten us into the store in the battery yet we're just we're just getting to that right now and start the start of what it means stores to. You hear about and I know how that works but doesn't California give you some kind of a rebate if you set a missile system. Yes so big part of how we fund but we do is that California does have a rebate. For homeowners qualify as low income. So that's the that's the basis for for the work that we do is tapping into that rebate. We also take there's a federal tax credit so if you have. If you spend money on solar renewable energy technology. You get a tax credit to were able to monetize that tax credit as well so that forms the basis of our funding. And then what we do from there is we we do all you know in a nonprofit does right we can go out we talked to local corporations. Foundations individuals. He donated materials and sort of make it work like that but you're right the California does have a legacy that has a has had a very progressives or policy in the past. It's sort of jump started the seller machine California at a very at the time very high rebate. You know 10810 years ago that is stepped down overtime. As the industry has grown and as economies of scale of grown. They were sort of the the theory with there'd be less need for that rebates to the overtime the rebate has Reid has has declined in mostly gone away. Except for. Homeowners that are qualified low income. Which it there's still remain there for for those votes so the rebate now pretty much that mainly benefits them ran low income families. You know the rebate is is is merely a rebate on proportional the cost of the system. So unit. So what do you make real concern. Got a rebate they still have to pay me a pretty large feet aegis system right so. We we assume the rebate but we also do like policy we do fund raising in to fill that gap. Who feel that capsule that does. Basically nothing comes out of the class pocket that is wrinkled and. So grid alternatives the nation's largest nonprofit solar installer let's talk about what you do here in San Diego. What is the process was the first step and how to somebody qualify. For service well you have to firstly you have to. We were based in San Diego boo wiggles are all sin you who serve certain geographical locations. Based upon. In com in in in data that's gathered from the census for the state of California. You must only home. And that's basically about it. You have to own you know on and living your home yeah only limit your home yet and be out meeting come guidelines rush which basically. Really depend on you on your household size. Yes so for instance for a for a family won his 50000. 950 dollars so if you are often only one you own your home and you make less than 50009. And fifty dollars. You qualify for program if you live within one of our geographical locations which is basically. South of interstate eight. National city Imperial Beach. San Ysidro. A large portion of Oklahoma Spring Valley. Ramona. Out of the back country via you know that that I guess. The quickest way to and so like it used to be we are able to serve if we have. Funding but in your area so the quickest way to tend to figure that out is to either give us a call or did you can either even go on. Our web site we can. Grilled her dot org and there's there's a link that says gets solar and you could find out right away if you qualify. But it's basically is that he said you own your own home and living home you meet you can guidelines that we we have funding for your particular geographic area memory. So the funding is is not for all areas and forcing not every. Lower income family your income qualified talent would qualify for the rebate there are some. You know there there are some requirements around that and and it comes down continue comes down to geography. And whether year basically whether years you know you're you're considered to have an affordable home. Yet Delores if you blazes that we put on the program. Were funded by the state of California California energy commission and they have certain I mean this is basically their program there were operating from them. Right color re asking is called the SaaS program. And so they have different guidelines and certain parameters. That we got to fall inside. And so it's not. We'd love to serve as everybody is an Eagle County. Someday we well you know that based on bond funding we can only do these certain areas that have been identified by the state of California is needed some assistance. You hear your everything what you do is dictate pretty much by the state pretty much. Okay now now you mentioned training. That you offer an alternative scenario several different training programs we talk about. Few of those picture was so big picture I guess. You know what great deserts where volunteer driven organization we have. We have so inflation supervisors who go out and lead. Lead the installation there they've got hundreds of of ours are working their belt and I'm certifications they leave it they lead a team of around ten volunteers they caught install a system for. An income qualified family. And many of those volunteers are community volunteers you wanna get involved do good turn of the neighborhood you know give back the community. And what we realized. Early on was that that the dedicated volunteers that came back. Day after day week after week. They were building skills and a lot of more jobs and industries that we started to try to formalized that volunteer experience and turn to differ training programs and so. Right now we have. A training program that's funded by the city San Diego and focuses on youth and veterans. We have the women and solar initiative and we have program. That. A New Orleans are you reentry correlation and in working with is collaborating with some organizations that are already have that ongoing. And what can you say reentry winning re entry people coming out of out of the justice system. So are coming out of you with prop 47 kind of changed rules. Four people who are incarcerated. So be reviewed incarcerated longer are digging out earlier or whatever in the governor of the state of California is you know says he he's the one that mandated. Hi Carl treasuries when is the governor the first time. Now his governor again he decided to you know. Maybe that was a bad idea is so there's a lot of organizations that are working to read you know bring people back into society. In in rehabilitation of type way. And so where where we're looking at doing that here bay area of Sacramento Los Angeles so this is a new program. Yeah yeah program for a few hours he has some offices there are further along than others. But I mean is something there that we've got a committed to deceive you know what we can do that general arena. There has as. These training programs have they been a staple of of good alternatives from from the get go well you know as I mentioned it at first. He had originally started as we wanted to excellent books films to save them money right now we realize there's some training opportunities here we tried to formalize it. I'm over the years we've gotten sort of refined it more and more and we are finally able to get some outside funding to support it so now we X haven't paid training program. It's a legacy of sport and cities San Diego and the folks on youth and veterans and so folks can actually you know learn. And earn money the same time earnest acted the same time with a build their skills and and we actually placed them. In jobs. At the end there and at being there they're training program so it's it's definitely a growing growing it for us something that we wanna focus more on. And arm. And in addition in my if I mean answer. Vis vis the paid training is kind of in one buck and we can only do so many our capacity to do so many wilders from funding or our organizational capacity we can only do. 212 minute time however we also have people that come in for I BT training. Installer basic training. Which is there a pretty rigorous course and once they get done you know biggest circular certification from us. And they go out and get jobs or they go I'll start their own business. We were pretty we were pretty high shelf high caliber. Training program that people utilized in the industry is starting to recognize. What you'll get trained or go through the grid program. That's a pretty high quality individual. How long the training programs the current one of Iran now is it a ten week program. Basically 240 hours in three days a week for ten weeks to affording our program that'll keep using he said you're still are basic training sale. Checked off on some basic installer skills that are recognizing industry is. As important to get mad but during that first job so it's just one training program at a time. Yeah would you run we basically ran sort of cohorts so right now we're finishing up our final court of the years we have five individuals that have started the started about ten weeks ago. And there sort of move the process getting toward graduation. Once a week we typically run those courts. Yes or sequentially to finish it up for the year we start again though in January. We're gonna start a new court we have that the another one in April so we kind of run up sequentially like that and and it's hands on training right yes. It's all on real world solar slaves and you're out there. I'm on a different roles really really every every yes. Our our goal is to do on two homes to clients a week right so. Who you worked on this week is going to be totally different next week's old skills that you learn their night. Repetitive skills as different you that I do this this way at this house. Do you you have to interact with the client you have to you know it's it's not so pretty holistic. Training that we thought I was gonna. As a whole kitten Cavuto you're just not just putting that your panels out there have been run in like you said speaking with the client and all right. We also try to rotated through some of the office were his well so. How do you organizer warehouse howdy a lot of and a motive and learn about the pardons are. Going out with our team we have to survey. Com we have the server at home before right so going out with the team to look at the roof measure the roof take the photos figure out how to do the design. And so and then actually put in yet their permit package taking it down the city. Getting the permit after the fact even going to city for inspections around and wait for the city cannot inspect it so we try to give folks a good view of the whole process from. From start to finish the bulk of it really is hands on put solar and right but also figure out a little bit more about what what else involved. That's good because that's that's part of a process right cracked in half and then too so how long does it take to. Too I guess it would depend on the size of the home and how long does it typically take two installed solar system. With our process. It only takes two days right because we're training we're we're we're going slower. We're we're we're doing you know other things. 404 for profit companies sometimes it takes 34 hours. But we wanna make sure that we're doing it right. We want to make sure that the people that we're training a volunteer and learning what they Cain two to learn. So it's it's it's. So warm and Fuzzy kind of training. But more involved but yes little more involved in you know we're not trying to do. Do the ultimate goal is the client satisfaction. Right so's you know you were trying to train people who we want to make sure that we put this on. A person's almost understated as long as these kids don't stay there still produce what we says the produce. All the time we citizens produce that so. You are are are we teased at George trainees also don't know volunteers. You know that is about the client you know that you really can't be on your phone all the time you know we commuted to a job and we'll do it. That's somebody wants to that I get and when you're training programs have a they do they would contact did Millen go Pino at. DC EOP I in no. And grid alternatives dot org. Or they could call 619610. 0164. And speak to the military pinot she's our workforce coordinator. So she would take them to process is better effect right now we're looking forward. For veterans to fill up our. Classes will start in January will start January soldiers and veterans out there. That are interest suitor or might you don't wanna check this out duels in golf are there any special requirements to get in the training program. Well so there's really the only requirement to volunteer with that stick cannot win work with us is that you have to do we have to be eighteen years old if you wanna get on the roof on sixteen if you wanna be and a rabbit beyond that he just tapped him to go to one or volunteer orientation so we hold monthly. Orientations lives and also on line. And it's just about one hour one half hour orientation to basically talk about basic safety concerns. What to expect in the job site how to get the most out of how do you volunteer experience to go through one of orientation then you can basically register. There are sign up online and then you can see all the volunteer opportunities throughout this it's pretty easy. Opted to volunteer with us. Through that for the training program for the paid training program there are couple requirement to do since it's a city funded program you got to live in the city San Diego we're focused we're focused on youth and veterans. But that's for the trade the paid training component for them for the volunteer armed component it's really all comers. Okay now we're just about out of time if I may add we also do. I'll offer corporate installations. So we were with banks and me wanna have the offer is date. Wells Fargo union bank. His different companies that come to us. They want to volunteer and come to pay as you know a certain amount monies editing come out there with the officer would Wear really wanna come out there with. Is like a team building day. In addition that we also have a bomb spring breaks. We're colleges from other states actually come out here in the students on spring break come out here who volunteered to do work out here and we normally have them doing. Installations. In in the tribal communities. I'm a from the mountains somewhere so you know there's there's if your interest in what we do you know please it was a call. Okay where and and again we're we're just about out of time. If somebody wants to help you with your mission. How can they do that can they make a donation that your that you website. Absolutely I'm our website crit alternatives dot org. You can find the San Diego office on there and we yeah we would happily I accepted donations can help us grow this thing and serve more. Homeowners and train more individuals and really make sure that solar is regional parts of the community benefit everyone. And again if you fit into the guidelines the eligibility requirements. On getting solar system. Installed at your home no cost involved no custom. That's great are you are you guys on social media to we are obviously FaceBook Twitter instead grabbed a clear out there yeah clearly at that are right. Paula and Eddie hey thanks for being on the scene and there must yeah. It's a great great thing you guys are doing in the community grid alternatives San Diego we've we've appreciated and I appreciate the up Kenny thank you very much that includes another additional living veteran San Diego the opinions expressed on living veterans San Diego do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of the staff the management. A Vienna count San Diego radio stations episodes of living veteran San Diego are available on the station's website. Until next time. And Jerry Lee have a great week.