During the past weekend a team of CleanTechies made up of our staff members, friends and blog readers like yourself put our “Think Globally, Act Locally” philosophy into practice during Solarthon 2009. Our team of 15 people spent a partially rain-soaked Saturday to install a solar electric system on a low-income home in a Habitat for Humanity neighborhood located in Oakland, California. The team was organized by CleanTechies over the last month and its members were given the goal of raising almost $5,000 for the privilege of taking part in the event. All this effort was to support the ongoing efforts of a company we’ve raved about many times; GRID Alternatives.
GRID Alternatives is a non-profit organization making solar electric systems a reality for low-income homeowners who otherwise could not afford the systems. GRID does this through an innovative business model where they train volunteers to do everything from designing a system on a sheet of paper to mounting the final panel on a roof. With drastically reduced labor costs, a team of 10-15 volunteers can work slowly and steadily under the guidance of a GRID employee to deliver a complete system at almost half the cost of a typical solar system.