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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Sunwork Renewable Energy Projects

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Education, Energy Resources Conservation & Development, Environment, Philanthropy, Technology, Vocational & Technical Schools, Voluntarism Promotion

Mission: SunWork installs solar electricity systems on small-energy-footprint homes with the help of trained volunteers. SunWork's innovative model lets it deliver solar power to homeowners with already modest electricity use (and correspondingly low electricity bills) at a third less than the conventional cost, allowing more people to make the switch to solar and enabling broader adoption of this clean, safe, and renewable alternative to the sources of energy that contribute to climate change. SunWork also installs solar systems for other nonprofit organizations to help minimize energy costs and protect against rising energy bills. SunWork takes care of every aspect of a solar installation, from site analysis and system design, to permitting and rebate paperwork, to installation, inspection, and continued support. SunWork is deeply committed to creating a safe, energetic, enjoyable, and meaningful experience for its volunteers, and to achieving the highest standard of quality and convenience for its customers. SunWork pushes to change the shape of our energy landscape, and to change the pervasive feeling that the environmental problems humanity faces are too big to be within the power of individuals to meaningfully impact. SunWork also installs solar on small nonprofit buildings.

Results: Over 150 installations saving over 450 tons of CO2 pollution each year

Target demographics: the environment and provide solar job training

Direct beneficiaries per year: 120 home owners and 3 nonprofit organizations go solar

Geographic areas served: Santa Clara, San Mateo, San Francisco and Alameda counties in California

Programs: Solar Renewable Energy Projects: Serving the San Francisco Bay Area, SunWork's team train volunteers to help install solar electric systems, and work along side these volunteers to carry out installations for a minimal cost. By accomplishing these installations more economically, SunWork and the people who volunteer with it will allow more people to afford these systems, spreading this cleaner, renewable alternative to the sources of energy that contribute to climate change. SunWork installs system for home owners with a small electric bill where solar has a longer payback. We also install system for small nonprofit organizations.

Community Stories

14 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

This was the least stressful home improvement project in which I have ever been involved. I was also my own volunteer! The class was informative and a confidence builder. The lead installer was organized and good humored.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Sunwork for the past several weeks. After my first install, I couldn't wait to do another one. So far, I have volunteered in installing 5 systems and with every install, I learn something new.
This is a great organization with a wonderful team of people. Reuben is an amazing individual who goes out of his way to help volunteers learn the ins and outs of solar installation. He is extremely patient and has a warm personality that creates a fun learning environment while maintaining the highest quality of work. What a great role model
When it comes to work ethic, Reuben has raised the bar so high that it is truly difficult for others to match the standards he has set.
If you have any interest in learning about solar system, I strongly recommend you consider volunteering for this nonprofit organization.
Thank you Reuben and the Sunwork team;

Hamid

Ruben G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Been turned down for Solar because your electric bills a $150 or below? Seek Reuben Veek; his plan at Sunwork is to brighten that frown by taking your order that’s below that border while letting the Sun labor in your favor! Mr. Veek’s sustainable business plan is just waiting to happen across your New Year’s resolve to save money, the planet, and the air we breathe. His prices are right and his workers are trained to take their time and do it right the first time. As a Solar Advocate for Sunworks I enjoyed sharing his nonprofit footprint because he cares about the future of the Solar Industry.

Paul79

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a volunteer with SunWork, I have seen the role it plays in not only expanding the market for solar installations, but also in educating the public about the benefits of solar energy. Outtreach efforts such as public presentations, solar-home tours, and booths at relevant events have helped to promote a practical understanding of how solar can be an economic alternative in a wide range of situations.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Sunwork has contributed greatly to clean energy generation, training the green workforce, and spreading the word about improving energy efficiency as a prerequisite to installing solar PV. Staff and management are committed, educated, skilled, and passionate about the environment. Go Team!

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I'm impressed with the concept of SunWork. Because they use trained volunteers (under the supervision of an experienced professional), the cost of installation for the low enery homeowner is dramatically reduced. Likely the lower price attracts homeowners who would not otherwise consider solar. Meanwhile volunteers get hands-on experience to prepare for future work in the field-- good for the trainee, good for this important industry.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Before I was introduced to SunWork, I did solar workshops in the area. People would ask me if solar made sense with a low electric bill and at the time the answer was "it's a good choice for the environment, but economic payback is very long". However after I heard about SunWork and their nonprofit volunteer model that reduces the cost significantly, solar can have both an economic and environmental payback for people with small electric bills. I was so impressed that I joined the board. In addition, the volunteers learn valuable skills as well as contribute directly to reducing pollution and carbon emissions. Several volunteers have gone on to get jobs in the solar industry. And now SunWork is starting to help other nonprofits with solar installations so these nonprofits can reduce their energy costs as well as their environmental impact while delivering needed services.

1 Andrew38

Client Served

Rating: 4

I was very pleased with the system I received. The work was done well and it looks very professional. The permit was done and everything happened as it should have. I was coordinating putting a new roof on with the solar, so timing was a bit difficult, but ultimately, everything got done. I would definitely recommend Sunwork to anyone who might be installing solar

1 Gene S.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I attended a Sunwork training class and was impressed with Reuben's gift for providing practical explanations of solar energy and installation techniques, while at the same time, being able to answer any question related to the science and technology of solar systems. After participating in two rooftop installations, with Rueben, I went on to work as a Field Applications Engineer for a solar company that installed 40MW of solar in New Jersey. I currently work for a company that helps solar plants with capacities >1MW connect to CAISO's network in California.
Not only is Rueben a gifted instructor, his commitment to quality is unequaled in my solar experience.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

SunWork's Operations Director, Reuben, is compassionate about solar, an excellent teacher and an effective leader. I have been through the training and have helped on at least 4 jobs. Some of SunWorks volunteers come from Classes at Skyline College. This includes me and at least 3 or 4 others who went on to employment in the Solar industry. SunWork fills a void in the Solar Industry as a non-profit that focuses on helping low energy users and other non-profits go solar while promoting; Environmental Health, (by producing power from the sun vs coal or other non-sustainable fuels), and Economic prosperity along with Social Equity, (by providing hands-on training to individuals looking for a career in the Solar Industry. Tell your friends about SunWork!!

youness

Client Served

Rating: 5

SunWork is a stand-out nonprofit helping to expand the reach and impact of solar energy to homeowners and community centers that would otherwise be left in the dark. I have worked with SunWork for several months on a project to bring a solar energy system and energy savings to a great Redwood City, California nonprofit, their staff and Board have been great to work with every step of the way. First-hand experience has shown me that everyone in the organization cares deeply about their mission and the environment.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Under the supervision of a licensed contractor, SunWork trains volunteers to perform most of the solar installation labor. This brings solar power to low-energy-use homes, where other installers don't want to or can't compete, and brings hands-on training to people wanting to work in solar, or who want to understand solar power better. This is a win/win/win: Customers are happy, volunteers are educated, and more solar power is generated where it otherwise wouldn't be.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

SunWork is driven by the desire to make solar available to as many people as possible. Where certain markets are not served by for-profit businesses, SunWork finds ways to bring them solar energy. Where for-profit entities can serve the market SunWork trains the future installers, salespeople and all the roles in between that for-profits require. Further, SunWork provides a level of transparency to customers and the general public regarding what the real costs of a PV system are, helping to create a more informed market.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Sunwork is an incredible organization that is putting solar on rooftops and is also training people how to do this important work. Sunwork makes renewable energy work for those people and communities that aren't supported by traditional solar installers. Sunwork is doing a great job for the communities it serves.