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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Sunwork Renewable Energy Projects

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Volunteering Oportunities

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

3 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

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.


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.


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.