Wildlife Sanctuary

Customer Stories

Wildlife Sanctuary

Wildlife Associates now saves over $8,000 a year with the system allowing them to put more resources toward helping wildlife and educating kids.

Wildlife Associates provides nationally acclaimed educational programs throughout the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. At their 120-acre wildlife sanctuary in Half Moon Bay, they care for more than 50 non-releasable animals that could not survive in the wild.

In 2016, SunWork and our volunteers installed 90 solar panels, creating a 27 kW system to power Wildlife Associates operations. SunWork partnered with Everybody Solar who identified the opportunity, raised funds for the project and worked with several companies for donations. Jinko Solar provided the solar panels, Enphase donated the inverters, and Mounting Systems provided the mounting hardward.

Wildlife Associates now saves over $8,000 a year with the system allowing them to put more resources toward helping wildlife and educating kids. Check out the video of Bruce Holaday, Wildlife Associates, Executive Director.

Harbor House

Customer Stories

Harbor House

Helping Harbor House save money and preventing CO2 emissions are great goals by themselves, however this project is about much more. It’s about locally driven change that empowers people to take control of their communities’ health.

SunWork has partnered with nonprofit RE-volv for several nonprofit solar installations around the Bay Area including the Harbor House installation in the summer of 2017.

SunWork designed the system, and with the help of many volunteers, built the 14.4 kW solar system with 48 solar panels that will reduce Harbor House’s electric bills by roughly 39%, saving around $111,000 over 25 years. The money saved will help improve the quality of Harbor House services and enable them to serve more of the community.

Helping Harbor House save money and preventing CO2 emissions are great goals by themselves, however this project is about much more. It’s about locally driven change that empowers people to take control of their communities’ health. It’s about educating children about solar, and making sure that the next generation knows the value of clean renewable energy and protecting the environment. It’s about making the value of solar accessible to all communities. It’s about getting everyone involved and giving everyone a chance to make a difference. Check out the video on Harbor House and RE-volv’s successful crowdfunding campaign.

Check out the latest RE-volv crowdfunding campaign here.

San Francisco Estuary Institute

Customer Stories

San Francisco Estuary Institute

SFEI selected SunWork to install a 60-panel, 17.4 kilowatt system in May 2018. SFEI has a perfect roof for solar, easy to access, easy to walk and work on, and with fantastic 360 degree views.

The San Francisco Estuary Institute, SFEI.org, is a premier scientific institute employing over two dozen scientists helping to understand, visualize and manage SF Bay and Estuary water quality. Located on the waterfront in Richmond, SFEI wanted plenty of solar for their operations and for their three newly installed EV charging stations.

Thanks to help from a grant from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD), SFEI was able to afford installation of a solar system along with three EV charging stations. SFEI selected SunWork to install a 60-panel, 17.4 kilowatt system in May 2018. SFEI has a perfect roof for solar, easy to access, easy to walk and work on, and with fantastic 360 degree views. SunWork founder Reuben Veek led the installation, Senior Environmental Scientist Don Yee from SFEI coordinated and helped on the installation, as did numerous SunWork volunteers. With all the help, it was possible to complete the installation in a week, with all 60 panels installed in just 2 days.

The Evans Family

Customer Stories

The Evans Family

After installing solar and converting most of their appliances and vehicle to electricity, the Evans family generates a small net surplus of electricity annually and their natural gas usage is close to zero.
2018 was a big year for the Evans household. The addition of a new baby meant that their energy needs had changed and it was a great opportunity to go solar. With help from SunWork they installed a twelve panel 3.42 kilowatt photovoltaic system and were able to help kick the fossil fuel habit by switching many of their home and transportation needs to electric.

They learned about SunWork from coverage in the East Bay Times celebrating SunWork’s 500th rooftop solar installation. SunWork’s unique model as a nonprofit organization focused on teaching volunteers about the solar energy revolution was a real selling point. Evans works at the nonprofit Center for Biological Diversity which is focused on protecting wildlife from pollution. He was excited to partner with another mission-driven organization dedicated to reducing pollution from fossil fuel energy. SunWork’s nonprofit, volunteer-focused model also meant it was able to install a system for less than other companies.

As part of their home energy system upgrade, the Evans family was able to ditch an inefficient natural gas floor furnace and hot water heater. Instead they installed an electric heat pump, with a ducted forced air system, to keep their house air conditioned year round. They also installed a tanked electric hot water heater. An untimely demise of their car also meant they switched to a plug-in hybrid. The 20-mile electric range of the plug-in hybrid allows the family to carpool to work and daycare powered only on electricity without relying on the gas engine.

After the first year of the solar installation, they generated a net surplus electricity, helping add distributed solar energy to the grid, and their natural gas usage is close to zero. SunWork founder Reuben Veek helped them design a system that maximized their rooftop capacity and plan for the successful transition from gas to electric in their household. “Thanks Reuben and the SunWork team,” said Evans. “We’re excited about raising the next generation in a carbon-friendly household.”

Rosana Francescato

Customer Stories

Rosana Francescato

Rosana recently received her PG&E “True-Up” bill, which each solar customer receives once per year for any charges for energy drawn from the grid. Her total bill for the year after the monthly PG&E minimum usage fee: 5 cents!

Rosana writes for PV Solar Report. She learned of SunWork through RE-volv, SunWork’s funding partner for several nonprofit installations. Since then she has helped publicize SunWork through blog articles and several local neighborhood groups.

Based on her energy usage, and additional solar for a possible electric car or heat pump, SunWork installed a 3.36 kilowatt (kW) system consisting of twelve 280-watt panels. Rosana wanted shade resistance and per-panel monitoring, so SunWork installed Enphase microinverters and monitoring. She recently received her PG&E “True-Up” bill, which each solar customer receives once per year for any charges for energy drawn from the grid. Her total bill for the year after the monthly PG&E minimum usage fee: 5 cents!

Rosana is helping expand the clean energy community. She teaches solar classes.

She was previously a member of the Steering Committee for the Local Clean Energy Alliance, the Bay Area’s largest clean energy coalition, which helped bring Community Choice Energy to Alameda County (for much more information, see Community Choice Energy a Plus for the Environment & for Solar Customers in this issue).

This June, Rosana joined a working group consisting of PG&E employees, several Community Choice Energy partners, and solar installation companies. The group’s focus includes improved collaboration on communication regarding solar and Community Choice Energy issues, including the complex monthly PG&E bill.

Rosana, thanks for being part of the solar community.

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