By Bruce Naegel September 2018

Next SunWork Training is on September 22 in Milpitas. (1)  See the end of this article for signing up.

Occasionally, you get the opportunity to do something physical to help the environment. How about installing solar on a roof top to increase the amount of renewable electricity?  It doesn’t cost you anything other than the time. It also gives you the satisfaction of knowing you did something good for a non- profit or household while trimming the amount of Green House Gases.

Who provides opportunities to install solar ?

Two No- Profit Solar installers give you the ability to install Solar . One is SunWork. I recently attended a training put on by them. We will cover the second one Grid Alternatives in a later blog.

These organizations reduce the price of solar by employing volunteer labor they train. In SunWork’s case the cost of an installation is reduced by 30%, SunWork did this to broaden the market for solar.

The volunteers are well trained and supervised by a SunWork staff installation leader. This leader has responsibility for the installation from start to finish. This includes the site survey, the initial design, supervising the installation and final sign off.  This level of quality control is why SunWork has one of the highest ratings for solar installers across the US.

What is the  “install solar” training like?

Twenty people attended the  training session to “install solar”. SunWork held the session at the environmental building at De Anza college. People attended the training so they can volunteer in  an installation project. The session lasted 3 hours land covered a range of topics stressing Safety.  After Safety, SunWork covered:

  • Connecting Solar PV systems a to your home.
  • Installing a Solar systems on your roof
  • SunWork and the marketplace
  • Hands on with the tools used to install solar.
Safe procedures
Safe procedures

How does SunWork “install solar”?


–      One member of the SunWork staff does an initial site survey
–      That same person designs the system.
–      Materials are assembled for the installation
–      SunWork sets a weekend date for the installation
–      On Saturday, SunWork and volunteers Install solar mounting hardware.
–      SunWork and team install the Solar Cells on Saturday or on Sunday.
–      SunWork does the final checkup
–      The total process takes a month, but the volunteers are only there for the weekend installation itself.

SunWork At Work

SunWork at work
SunWork at work



When is the next SunWork Install Solar training?

SunWork will be putting on a solar installation class in Milpitas on September 22nd.  Information is here:

Who qualifies for a SunWork Solar Installation?

SunWork serves two main groups. The first is households with electricity bills less than $100 per month on average. This is a market that is not attractive to traditional solar installers. If one has electric heat or electric hot water, the number goes up to $140 average per month. If one has an EV, the $100 rate applies to the before EV monthly average.

The second is small to medium sized non-profit organizations. The Ecumenical Hunger Program in East Palo Alto is one example. Churches, Boys and Girls clubs and homeless shelters have also received solar installations.

The Ecumenical Hunger Program provides a range of services for the disadvantaged in East Palo Alto. Their solar array saves them about $12,000 per year in electric bills. This is money that can go to the services they deliver to East Palo Alto

How much less does a SunWork installation cost as compared to a standard solar installer?

The SunWork cost is about 30% less than what a traditional solar installer would charge. For the homes with electric bills less than $100 per month it is also the chance to have a solar installation. The smaller installations are not profitable for most solar installers, SunWork may the only way they get a solar installation

What is the quality level of a SunWork installation?

SunWork is one of the highest rated solar installers in the country. They are a C-46 licensed solar installer with 6 project leads.

Where do I go for more information on SunWork?

Small Solar Made Affordable