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City Manager's Office
Press Contact: Matthai Chakko, (510) 981-7008

NEW PROGRAM CREATES JOBS WHILE PROVIDING SOLAR TO LOW INCOME HOUSEHOLDS
Program increases City's resilience, lowers greenhouse gas emissions

Berkeley, California (Thursday, May 26, 2016) - Low-income Berkeley residents will soon have access to free job training in solar installation as part of a new program from the City of Berkeley and multiple community-based organizations and local community foundations.   

The program will also help bring solar to affordable and low-income housing in Berkeley, with assistance to approximately 40 multifamily buildings, a complete solar demonstration project on one affordable housing multifamily building, and plans for other ways to bring solar to low-income housing.  This Brighter Futures Berkeley program will feature services provided by GRID Alternatives and Rising Sun Energy Center, two Berkeley nonprofits with expertise in solar installation and job training.

GRID Alternatives and Rising Sun Energy Center will provide hands-on training and job placement support to income-qualified job seekers interested in becoming solar installers. Residents interested in learning the skills to join the solar industry should apply through Rising Sun Energy Center's webpage: http://risingsunenergy.org/adult-participant-application/  

GRID Alternatives will provide Berkeley residents the opportunity to have solar on their rooftops. The grant will offer income-qualified homeowners the opportunity to get solar on their rooftops at little or no cost. Solar energy helps homeowners save money on electricity bills while reducing community-wide greenhouse gas emissions and helping implement Berkeley's Climate Action Plan goals. Families interested in qualifying for this solar program can visit www.gridalternatives.org/qualify or contact the GRID Outreach Team at (510) 735-0727, or via email to baoutreach@gridalternatives.org.

Owners and developers of affordable housing interested in free solar technical assistance can find out more by emailing infoba@gridalternatives.org.

Funding for Brighter Futures Berkeley comes from Partners for Places ($35,000), The San Francisco Foundation ($25,000) and the East Bay Community Foundation ($10,000), for a total of $70,000. This partnership will ensure that Berkeley is not only a leader in solar adoption and green jobs for those who can afford it, but also for low-income residents who otherwise might be left out of the solar movement.

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