In the News
A collection of notable moments in our work to help local communities and reduce our society's reliance on fossil fuels.
PV Solar Report - May 22, 2014
“It takes the hood to save the hood” states a large billboard near the corner of Van Ness and Market in San Francisco. The quote comes from Rudy Corpuz Jr. -- an ex-felon turned community activist -- who emphasizes that saving the hood requires love and understanding of the kids in the hood. The solution starts with good education.
Change scenes to an LA hood, where Homeboy Industries has been educating and helping high-risk, formerly gang-involved men and women change their lives since 1988. It is the largest gang intervention and rehabilitation program in the U.S., providing counseling, tattoo removal, and vocational education.
Homeboy Industries founder Father Gregory Boyle says, “When we select potential career tracks for our clients we need to be confident that they'll be able to earn a living for years to come so they won't try to return to a gang for survival. We included solar in our job training program because it's one of the fastest growing segments in the U.S. economy."
In fact, Homeboy Industries has plans to not only train solar installers but to go solar themselves, with the help of Everybody Solar, a San Francisco nonprofit.
The job opportunities for the newly certified solar installers look sunny, as President Obama pushes to increase solar energy production.
CleanTechnica - March 28, 2014
The nonprofit sector would seem to represent a natural fit for the solar revolution. While they’re fulfilling their missions, why shouldn’t they help the environment, too, by going green – not to mention giving a boost, by cutting energy costs, to their own bottom lines?
Perhaps the biggest drawback, ironically, is one of the most crucial stimulants to the rise of solar elsewhere in the economy: tax incentives. Because of the tax-exempt status of nonprofits in general, these simply do not apply to them. And because most of a nonprofits’ donors (and usually its board as well) are looking over management’s shoulder to see where every donated dollar is spent, the initially high investment to install a solar array can seem a prohibitive indulgence.
Crowdfunding has also become a popular way to help nonprofits go solar. San Francisco-based Everybody Solar, which is itself a nonprofit, is one organization using this method. Its mission is to help organizations go solar, “thereby benefiting not only the environment but also the nonprofit’s budget.” Although donations are solicited from the Internet, the organization’s crowdfunding model tends to focus on the communities that will most benefit from a nonprofit’s work. And because Everybody Solar partners with a nonprofit installer, SunWork, it can provide solar panels at a cost more economical than many commercial providers.
Second Silicon - March 2, 2014
Episode 23 of Disruption: Solar Energy
On this podcast, host Roger Willhite speaks with Youness Scally to discuss his Bay Area nonprofit Everybody Solar. Listeners learn how this organization is helping nonprofits reduce their electric bills by helping them go solar so that they, in turn, can use more of their resources to meet their charitable goals.
The Energy Collective - January 24, 2014
Andreas Karelas and Youness Scally, founders of RE-volv and Everybody Solar, have been busy. Since founding their solar crowdfunding nonprofits in 2011, they’ve shown that their ideas are more than just ideas by making actual projects happen.
A lot has happened since Rosana Francescato spoke with Scally and Karelas last summer about their successful launches. Both organizations completed their first projects last year and are on to the next ones. Everybody Solar has completed fundraising for their second project, a 7.7 kW solar system benefiting Los Angeles nonprofit Homeboy Industries. The project is slated to be installed in mid-February.
Now both organizations are working to maintain momentum. Scally says, “We hope to reach more people and bring them into the movement to crowdfund solar for communities.” He’d like to complete two more solar projects by the end of 2014 and is looking for the right nonprofit to partner with for Everybody Solar’s next project.
CleanTechnica - December 19th, 2013
Whether it’s a solar array that helps a charity organization focus more on its mission by eliminating its electric bill, or a lamp that helps a child in a remote village do his/her homework at night for the first time, the gift of solar endures.
Thanks to new financing options and lower material costs, solar has been growing like crazy and helping middle class families across the country save for retirement and college funds. However, it still is just out of reach for most charities and non-profits. While a solar array pays for itself many times over and charities are great at cutting costs to improve operations, non-profits are often cut off from financing options that would allow them to benefit from solar. To fix this problem, solar companies and solar-specific non-profits are lending a hand through crowdfunding financing and donating product.
This holiday season, four solar organizations have teamed up to put a solar array in the stocking of one of Los Angeles’s most popular charities, Homeboy Industries, and spread solar cheer. Non-profit Everybody Solar and alt-rock group Trapdoor Social are crowdsourcing the funding for the project, while Orion Solar Racking, module manufacturer ecoSolargy, and inverter manufacturer Solectria Renewables have made significant in-kind donations.
Solar Power World - November 14th, 2013
It’s clear that solar can provide clean energy, but stopping gang violence doesn’t always make its list of benefits. Still, interestingly enough, an organization called Homeboy Industries is using solar to do just that.
The organization serves high-risk, formerly gang-involved men and women with a continuum of free services and programs and operates seven social enterprises that serve as job-training sites. Homeboy Industries covers tuition and supply costs for its clients who wish to enroll in the photovoltaic training program at East Los Angeles Skills Center. Homeboy also offers additional tutoring to help students pass a national credentialing test that makes its clients competitive candidates for employment in the green industry.
Fellow Los Angeles-based company Orion Solar Racking is supporting the project by donating a complete set of mounting materials. This donation will help lower the cost of the project to be installed by GRID Alternatives Greater Los Angeles, pushing them past the halfway point of their fundraising goal.
Los Angeles, CA - November 13th, 2013
Leading Solar Racking Provider Helps Charity Organization Stop LA Gangs with Solar Power
Today Everybody Solar announces that the LA-based company Orion Solar Racking has donated a complete set of mounting materials to the Homeboy Industries solar project. This in-kind donation will help lower the cost of the project to be installed by GRID Alternatives Greater Los Angeles, pushing them past the halfway point of their fundraising goal.
Renewable Energy World - Sept. 17th, 2013
Solar nonprofit and indie rock band join forces to fight crime in Los Angeles: sounds like a movie plot. But this month, clean energy groups Everybody Solar and GRID Alternatives and the band Trapdoor Social have teamed up to help Homeboy Industries, a nonprofit which stops recidivism among former gang members, to go solar. The band is donating all the proceeds from their album’s presale to fund this unique and socially responsible project through the online crowdfunding site Pledge Music.
This partnership will benefit Homeboy Industries by allowing them to direct funds previously needed for their utility bill towards providing job-training, education and mental health services.
KCET - September 16th, 2013
Los Angeles-based alternative rockers Trapdoor Social have a reputation for environmental consciousness, ever since way back in 2011 when the band's principals Merritt Graves and Skylar Funk met while taking environmental studies courses at Pomona College.
So it's no surprise that the two would come up with a green-leaning way to promote their forthcoming album. But rather than offering their crowdsource patrons some green-tinged swag and calling it a day, Graves and Funk decided to use their promotional efforts to create some of what the marketing folks might call synergy.
Trapdoor Social's funding campaign for its next album, due out early next year, isn't actually going to fund the next album. Instead, the net proceeds from the crowdfunding campaign will go to put solar panels on the roof of an innovative and popular Los Angeles non-profit that's helped to turn thousands of young people's lives around: Homeboy Industries.
EcoSolargy Blog - September 5th, 2013
A couple weeks back, I was at a government contracting meeting at Los Angeles City Hall. Due to lovely LA traffic and scheduling, I didn’t have time for lunch #ABitPeckish. Fearing I would have to sit through a 3-hour meeting without sustenance, I heard wonderful news of a diner downstairs. I rushed down and found Homeboy Diner! It was a savior to my stomach and to the others attendees #HungryDeeterIsAViolentDeeter! I thought the name sounded very familiar and after some quick iPhone stalking, I discovered they’re connected to Homeboy Industries. About a month prior I had met with Youness Scally, executive director for Everybody Solar. During our meeting, he mentioned that his company was doing a project for Homeboy Industries in LA.
San Francisco - July 19, 2013
Award-winning Solar Non-profit Turns on Solar Project for Bay Area Charity.
Everybody Solar announced today that it has completed its inaugural solar project – a 21.5 kW system on the roof of Rebuilding Together Peninsula (RTP). More than 40 community members, including State Senator Jerry Hill and San Mateo County Supervisor Warren Slocum, were on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the solar array which will save RTP over $8,000 annually.
“The savings that we get from this will be directly driven back into our programs,” said Spence Leslie, Chairman of RTP. “By eliminating RTP’s electric bill, (we) are able to dedicate more resources to (our) mission.”
“$8,000 a year is going to go right back in the community. We don’t have to pay utility bills anymore thanks to Everybody Solar and JinkoSolar,” said RTP Executive Director Seana O'Shaughnessy.
August 5, 2013
Los Angeles-based band Trapdoor Social, the Sierra Club and energy leaders Everybody Solar and GRID Alternatives team up to provide Solar Panels for non-profit Homeboy Industries.
Appreciating that social responsibility is one of the benefits of playing popular music, Los Angeles-based band Trapdoor Social has teamed up with two outstanding energy leaders, Everybody Solar and GRID Alternatives, to install solar panels on a Los Angeles inner-city, Homeboy Industries building. Funding for this unique and socially responsible project will be raised through the online crowdsourcing site www.pledgemusic.com.
“Our goal is to use our band as a vessel for communication and to convey the urgency of environmental responsibility,” noted lead singers of Trapdoor Social Merritt Graves and Skylar Funk.
Renewable Energy World - July 12th, 2013
In developed nations, we see solar power as an alternative to conventional energy and a way to fight climate change. But in poor countries solar reveals itself as even more — as a way out of some of the world's darkest humanitarian problems.
For those of us who live in communities traversed by power lines, it's hard to imagine life without electricity. But large swaths of the globe remain without this modern necessity. About one-fifth of the world, or 1.3 to 1.6 billion people, live in energy poverty, mostly in sub-Sahara Africa and parts of Asia, and to a smaller extent in Latin America and the Middle East.
Solar Mosaic - June 27th, 2013
What does it take to cook up a community solar project? A dash of crowdfunding, a pinch of grassroots outreach, and a generous helping of persistence.
That’s the word from San Francisco nonprofits RE-volv and Everybody Solar, who have shown with their first projects that they have viable recipes for crowdfunded solar installations. Founders Andreas Karelas and Youness Scally joined me in this video to talk about their successful launches.
Sustainable Industries - May 8th, 2013
Everybody Solar is breaking ground this week on its inaugural solar installation, a 21.5 kW project for Rebuilding Together Peninsula (RTP). The project was born from a successful fundraising effort that kicked off in May of last year and attracted over 100 individual and corporate donors. The installation will help power RTP’s Redwood City headquarters, saving the nonprofit over $150,000 throughout the system’s 25-year lifetime.
The solar energy revolution is sweeping through California, and homeowners and businesses are leveraging solar to improve their budgets and produce energy locally. Nonprofits – as non-taxable entities that do not qualify for tax credits – have traditionally been precluded from benefiting from solar incentives and shut out from solar leasing provisions. Through crowd-funding, Everybody Solar enables non-profits to get the same benefits from solar that homeowners and businesses get, allowing them to save money on their energy bill and thus them give more support to their communities.
- JinkoSolar Donates Solar Modules to Everybody Solar’s Non-profit Flagship Solar Project in Redwood City
- Everybody Solar helping nonprofits go green... for free
- Everybody Solar to Kick Off Flagship Solar Project for Rebuilding Together Peninsula
- Everybody Solar Honored As 2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit
- Solar Crowdfunding in California - Part 2 - Everybody Solar
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