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U.S. EPA Honors GRID Alternatives as Climate Change Champion for Solar Panel Job Training Work in Low-Income Communities

Release Date: 02/26/2013
Contact Information: Nahal Mogharabi,, 213-244-1815

San Diego Tribe Receives Solar Installations in 12 Homes, Reducing Energy Cost

SAN FRANCISCO - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Regional Administrator Jared Blumenfeld today recognized nonprofit GRID Alternatives as a Climate Change Champion. The EPA Pacific Southwest Region’s Environmental Award was presented at a ceremony hosted by the Hopland Band of Pomo Indians in Hopland, California. GRID Alternatives has worked with various low income communities and tribes including the La Jolla Band of Luiseno Indians in San Diego, Calif. on the training and installation of solar panel systems.

“EPA applauds GRID Alternatives for championing clean technologies to offset the climate change impacts of greenhouse gas emissions,” said Blumenfeld. “This organization is a role model for how business can promote solar energy while equipping Californians with the skills they need to sustain this industry.”

GRID Alternatives has developed a solar affordable housing program to train and lead teams of community volunteers and job trainees to install solar electric systems generating financial benefits for low-income families, job training for local workers, and environmental benefits through the reduction of greenhouse gases. The company also provides renewable energy and energy efficiency services equipment and training to low-income communities in California.

The La Jolla Indian Reservation is a federal reservation of Luiseņo Indians in Northern San Diego County, along the southern slopes of Mount Palomar. La Jolla has been working with GRID Alternatives for more than two years. So far, twelve solar panel systems have been installed on the homes of Tribal members with several more to come. The solar panel installations have reduced energy costs and have helped La Jolla work towards renewable energy development.

“The savings that our members have on their utility bills allow them to use that money for other needed living expenses,” said LaVonne Peck, Chairperson of the La Jolla Band of Luiseņo Indians. “Thank you to GRID Alternatives for working to assist La Jolla and other Tribal Nations with solar installations on our homes.”

As of February 2013, GRID Alternatives has installed over 3,000 solar electric systems in homes, trained 11,700 community volunteers and job trainees on the theory and practice of installing solar systems, and has prevented over 250,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions through PV installations. Beneficiaries of these systems have included seniors on fixed incomes, veterans, and homeowners struggling with unemployed and underemployment, as well as low-income residents of more than 14 tribal communities throughout California.

More information about GRID Alternatives, headquartered in Oakland, Calif., may be found at:

The EPA Pacific Southwest Region’s Environmental Awards program acknowledges commitments and significant contributions to protecting the environment in California, Arizona, Nevada, Hawaii, Pacific Islands and tribal lands. Groups and individuals were selected from nominees received this year from businesses, government officials, tribes, media, academia, environmental organizations and community activists. For more information on the other 2012 award winners please visit: