Two client families of Eatontown-based Affordable Housing Alliance get money-saving solar power through GRID Alternatives.
Two Asbury Park families will be flipping the switches today on sol
ar electric systems that will cut their electrical bills by more than half. They are the first two families in New Jersey to benefit from a program that has brought solar power to more than 3600 families that wouldn’t otherwise be able to access it.
GRID Alternatives, a non-profit organization with offices across California and Colorado, is launching its New York/New Jersey presence this week with solar installations across the region. Through its volunteer-based model, the organization will be engaging hundreds of job trainees and corporate and community volunteers as it rolls out its East Coast presence.
“I just feel blessed,” said Jolyn Bright, who received one of the systems. She and her husband Warren are in the process of buying their home through the Eatontown-based Affordable Housing Alliance after being forced out of a nearby rental by Hurricane Sandy. “I’m excited to save energy and save money.”
Donna Blaze, CEO of the Affordable Housing Alliance said, “We welcome adding new technology to the development of affordable housing, both to make housing more economical for our clients as well as to reduce our carbon footprint.”
Ms. Bright worked on the roof for two days to help install the systems, alongside teams of employee volunteers from Princeton-based NRG Energy and Wells Fargo. Both companies also provided philanthropic support to GRID Alternatives’ expansion efforts.
“GRID’s model for supporting underserved communities with job growth and clean sustainable energy systems fits well with Wells Fargo’s environmental goals to create positive change by taking action in our communities, minimizing our energy consumption and waste, while supporting renewable sources of energy and building stronger communities,” said Maria Ferreira, Wells Fargo Central New Jersey Area President. “As a supporter of GRID since 2006, we are thrilled to see this great program expand to the east coast so that more families can receive solar energy systems and more jobs can be created.”
“We are proud to partner with GRID Alternatives and help provide communities in need with access to solar power,” says Jennifer Brunelle, Head of NRG Global Giving. “NRG is committed to making renewable power affordable and available to everyone and our charitable efforts with GRID Alternatives are a true reflection of that mission.”
In addition to savings for families, GRID Alternatives also provides job trainees hands-on experience in solar installation that prepares them for jobs in the growing industry. During its launch week, the organization is partnering with several local job training groups, including Green City Force, an organization that prepares young adults from low income backgrounds for family-supporting careers related to the clean energy economy.
“The solar industry is taking off across the country,” said Erica Mackie, CEO and Co-Founder of GRID Alternatives. “GRID Alternatives is partnering with community organizations, businesses and government agencies throughout the New York/New Jersey region to make sure that disadvantaged communities have access to not just the technology and the savings it provides, but also the jobs. Solar really is for everyone.”