Inland Empire Housewarmings Powered by Pro Bono Solar Installation

The nonprofit Grid Alternatives gets a boost from SCE volunteers, grant.

Video Credit: Ernesto Sanchez and Roberto Lazarte

Chino resident David Cibrian thought about his family, especially his young daughter, as he watched solar panels being installed on his recently purchased home.

“The solar panels will help us save energy, be energy efficient and help the environment for my daughter’s and my family’s future,” he said.

The panels were installed recently by a group of 40 Southern California Edison volunteers, who joined counterparts from the Inland Empire arm of the nonprofit GRID Alternatives. The volunteers installed solar panels pro bono for income-qualified families in three adjacent homes in a Chino neighborhood. 

Grid Alternatives
The nonprofit GRID Alternatives teamed up with Edison International to help new homeowners install solar panels.      Photo Credit: Elisa Ferrari

Cibrian’s nearby neighbor and new Chino resident, Jean-Pierre Cuba Segura, was having solar panels installed on the same day. For Segura, the no-cost solar panels installation by GRID Alternatives was a big factor in his decision to buy the home.

“Solar panels was one of the main features that was very important to my wife and me,” he said. “I pay close attention to consumer reviews and going with GRID Alternatives put me at ease.”

Edison International, parent company of SCE, is a longtime supporter of GRID Alternatives and recently awarded a $35,000 grant to the nonprofit to support its Inland Empire projects this year.

“Our company believes that all Californians, regardless of neighborhood or income, should have access to the benefits of clean energy,” said Caroline Choi, SCE’s senior vice president of Regulatory Affairs, who was one of the volunteers at the recent event. “That’s something we share with GRID Alternatives and one of the reasons Edison has been a longtime supporter of their work.”

The GRID Alternatives team included students and trainees gaining experience in solar panel installation. The nonprofit also provides job training, knowledge and skills that help the students and trainees pursue careers in the solar and construction industries.

Grid Alternatives - Inland Empire
GRID Alternatives and Edison volunteers gather in the Inland Empire.     Photo Credit: Elisa Ferrari

“Bringing solar power to disadvantaged communities really requires a collaborative effort,” said Bambi Tran, Inland Empire regional director for GRID Alternatives. “That’s what’s really great about the effort here [today], bringing solar to these communities one rooftop at a time, as well as providing job training and skills to community members. Sponsorship from companies like Edison is so critical for us to do the work that we do.”

To date, GRID Alternatives’ Inland Empire team has installed solar for more than 450 homeowners in San Bernardino County. According to their estimates, the work done by the volunteers in Chino will equal 7,230 trees planted, 311 tons of greenhouse gases eliminated and 59 cars removed from the road for a year.

For Cibrian, the benefits include energy bill savings that will pay for food, other bills and help for his daughter.

“It means a lot for me and my family, all these people spending their time to help us,” he said.

SCE Solar Facts at a Glance:

  • In July 1998, SCE connected its first residential solar customer to the electric grid.
  • Every year since 2007, SCE has ranked in the top 10 utilities in delivering solar to its customers.
  • SCE connects an average of 3,600 solar customers to the electric grid monthly, equal to a solar customer coming online every 12 minutes.
  • SCE has connected more than 252,000 residential and commercial customers to the grid.
  • Last year, SCE connected 547 megawatts of solar energy to the grid, equivalent to removing 231,839 cars from the road for a year or 16,205 garbage trucks worth of waste being recycled instead of going into a landfill.
  • Information on SCE’s solar programs can be found at