PLATINUM2024

GRID Alternatives Parent

Oakland, CA   |  www.gridalternatives.org
GuideStar Charity Check

GRID Alternatives

EIN: 26-0043353


Mission

Our mission is to make renewable energy technology and job training accessible to underserved communities. We bring together community partners, volunteers, and job trainees to implement solar power and energy efficiency for low-income families, providing energy cost savings, valuable hands-on experience, and a source of clean, local energy that benefits us all.

Ruling year info

2014

Co-Founder and CEO

Ms. Erica Mackie

Co-Founder and COO

Mr. Tim Sears

Main address

1171 Ocean Avenue Suite 200

Oakland, CA 94608 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

26-0043353

Subject area info

Education services

Energy resources

Job creation and workforce development

Community improvement

Population served info

Ethnic and racial groups

Economically disadvantaged people

NTEE code info

Energy Resources Conservation and Development (C35)

Community, Neighborhood Development, Improvement (S20)

Educational Services and Schools - Other (B90)

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

For generations, fossil fuel power has disproportionately impacted the health and well-being of low-income communities, particularly communities of color and indigenous communities. The urgency of global climate change requires engaging all communities in solutions that mitigate climate impacts while building a more equitable world. Populations most impacted by pollution, climate change and economic inequality should be among the first to benefit from investments in climate adaptation. Addressing climate change demands a rapid transition to a renewable energy-based economy nationally, which in turn requires building up a large-scale workforce with the capacity to execute this transition. There is a clear need to develop community-led partnerships with nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and private sector businesses to create solutions to ameliorate the rapidly degrading climate and provide a just transition to renewable energy.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Energy for All Solar Program

The nation’s largest nonprofit solar installer, GRID develops and implements solar projects that serve low-income households and communities. Through our unique, people-first model, we are putting money back into families’ pockets, reducing the energy cost burden for housing providers, and jumpstarting solar careers. We partner with affordable housing organizations, job training groups, government agencies, municipalities, utilities, tribes and local communities to make solar a win for everyone. Key program areas include:

Single-Family Solar: GRID reduces household electricity costs by up to 90% by providing no-cost solar systems to homeowners that qualify as low income. Each installation is also an opportunity for community members and job trainees to get hands-on experience with solar power. In California, GRID Alternatives is a statewide program administrator for the Single-Family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) program and the solar portion of the Low-Income Weatherization Program (LIWP).

Multi-Family Solar: Solar can reduce and stabilize energy costs for affordable housing providers, and reduce bills for their tenants. GRID is helping catalyze this sector by providing no-cost technical assistance and low-cost design and installation services for affordable housing owners and developers who provide housing and vital services to low-income renters. Our holistic model includes energy efficiency partnerships, community education and engagement, and job training opportunities for residents.

Community Solar: Community solar provides access to cost-saving solar power regardless of roof condition or home-ownership status. GRID Alternatives partners with cooperative, municipal and investor-owned utilities and other community groups to develop shared solar arrays that benefit their highest energy burdened customers, including individual subscribers and affordable housing off-takers.

Population(s) Served
Economically disadvantaged people

Training programs offer participants hands-on installation experience to develop their skills and increase their employment opportunities. GRID leverages our partnerships with leading local and national organizations to offer necessary employment readiness and soft skills that help trainees get the job and consistently contribute as a high-performing team member. The IBT program has two products (IBT 100 and IBT 200) that achieve the following results:

Provides an industry-vetted solar installation training program offering a comprehensive combination of interactive classroom learning and hands-on lab activities to slot into external partnership programs.
Expands and deepens pipeline of qualified solar candidates
Increases installation capacity by reducing hiring constraints
Delivers higher quality work from GRID installers, improving an employer’s brand value

Population(s) Served

GRID works with partner organizations implementing low-carbon transportation equity programs to provide access to homeowners and renters in environmental justice communities. These partnerships support community outreach and help qualified customers gain access to clean mobility options and charge electric vehicles with solar power. Including, but not limited to:

Residential EV charging infrastructure
Provides home Level 2 electric vehicle charging equipment to eligible California consumers, in partnership with the Beneficial State Foundation and Community Housing Development Corporation (CHDC), while providing employment and training opportunities for community members. The program is available to participants in the Clean Vehicle Assistance Program, Driving Clean Assistance Program, and other CARB-funded equity programs.
Provides income-qualified customers with a no-cost EV charger and covers up to $2,000 in related electrical work through PG&E’s Empower EV Program.

Population(s) Served
Ethnic and racial groups
Economically disadvantaged people

GRID Alternatives helps tribal communities achieve their clean energy goals while providing financial savings and job training opportunities to improve their members' quality of life.
GRID Alternatives’ National Tribal Program has worked since 2010 to help tribal communities across the United States achieve their renewable energy goals. Using a community-centric approach, we partner with Tribes to identify, develop, finance and implement solar power projects that meet community needs, including education, hands-on training, and energy cost reductions for tribal members.

Population(s) Served
Indigenous peoples

GRID Alternatives’ International Program works together with communities in Nicaragua, Nepal, and Mexico to address critical energy needs with solar and energy efficient technologies that provide residents with outcomes they seek. GRID’s focus on community involvement, training, and long-term relationships mean the systems we install meet real community needs, stay up and running over the long-term, and deliver maximum impact in people’s lives.

GRID's International Program installs solar electric systems to power homes, health centers, small businesses, water projects, orphanages and schools, and other mission-aligned organizations.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Awards

Champions of Change for Solar Deployment 2014

White House

Green California Leadership Award 2014

Green California

Clean Energy and Empowerment Award 2013

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

External assessments

Evaluated via the Impact Genome Project (2019)

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of individuals applying skills learned through the organization's training

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Ethnic and racial groups, Economically disadvantaged people, Incarcerated people, Veterans

Related Program

Installation Basic Training Program (IBT)

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

GRID Alternatives was founded in 2004 with a simple yet audacious vision: a transition to clean, renewable energy that includes everyone. GRID is advancing a clean energy future by ensuring communities and families who are usually left out of the conversation are leading the way. GRID Alternatives strives to increase equitable access to renewable energy in low-income communities and communities of color, while making meaningful contributions to climate change mitigation. By prioritizing equity as a driver for the growth of renewable energy, we can build a just energy system that gives all communities the opportunity to participate not just as consumers but as producers and owners. We can enable low-income families to invest in their own future rather than in rising and volatile energy bills, create good career opportunities that are localized for the greatest impact, and invest in communities to build shared wealth. GRID’s vision of a successful transition to clean energy that includes everyone will only be achieved within a framework of racial, economic and environmental justice. Our goal is to advance an equity agenda both within our organization and in the renewable energy industry and policy arenas by examining and addressing systemic inequities, seeking out and amplifying the voices of frontline communities, and expanding access to industry leadership opportunities

Headquartered in Oakland, CA we have eight affiliate offices across California, Colorado, and Mid-Atlantic region. Our International Program works in Nicaragua, Nepal and Mexico, andourTribal Program partners with Native Nations across the U.S. GRID develops and implements solar projects that serve low-income households and communities. Through our unique, people-first model, we are putting money back into families’ pockets, reducing the energy cost burden for housing providers, and jumpstarting solar careers. We partner with affordable housing organizations, job training groups, government agencies, municipalities, utilities and local communities to make solar a win for everyone. Key program areas include:
*No-cost solar and storage installations for households qualifying as low-income
*Hands-on solar training to connect people to clean energy jobs
*Technical assistance and solar installation for multifamily affordable housing providers
*Community/shared solar project development and implementation
*Low-income solar policy advocacy and program design and implementation
*Energy access projects internationally and in U.S. tribal communities
*Connecting low-income communities with electric vehicle programs
*Piloting solar-plus-storage initiatives

We focus on creating career pathways for underrepresented folks in renewable energy: women, people of color, tribal members and individuals impacted by the criminal justice system. We provide on the job training, paid internships through our SolarCorps program for emerging renewable energy leaders. GRID is a leading voice for renewable energy access, driving equitable renewable energy policies at the state and local levels and helping to design and implement low-income solar programs. Our policy efforts take place at the regional, state, and federal levels, and we are currently working on policy shifts in Illinois, Washington, D.C., Colorado, Washington State, Maryland, New Mexico, Missouri, and Georgia and California ,where we administer the state’s low-income solar incentive programs on single-family and multi-family housing. We advance our equity agenda both within our organization and in the renewable energy industry and policy arenas by examining and addressing systemic inequities, seeking out and amplifying the voices of frontline communities, and expanding access to industry leadership opportunities.

For over a decade, GRID Alternatives has been on the leading edge of creating equitable access to renewable energy technology. Our work has a catalytic effect on the market for solar technology and drives economic benefit in disadvantaged communities through the clean energy economy. We have a proven track-record of building and leveraging relationships, funding and policy to successfully create direct, immediate and long-term cost-savings for low-income residents of affordable housing. GRID Alternatives has developed a strong staff and board of directors who are expert in implementing our programs.
GRID is uniquely suited to deliver success in new integrated technology initiatives. GRID has a track-record of clean technology innovation in underserved communities. In Colorado, we developed the first dedicated low-income community solar arrays and the largest -- a 2MW solar project with Denver Housing Authority and Colorado Energy Office. GRID completed a 90 kW solar microgrid to provide battery-backed, resilient power for Chemeheuvi Tribe's community center in an effort to save lives during frequent power outages. GRID has completed work on the first net-zero energy affordable multifamily housing community for farmworkers in Northern California; this project received the prestigious United Nations World Habitat award. Strategic innovations help GRID provide solutions to critical needs today, while building self-sufficiency and resiliency to changing climate. Our leader, Erica Mackie co-founded GRID and has received numerous awards for her leadership including the CA Governor's Environmental and Economic Leadership Award, the New Leaders Council Energy Leadership Award, the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award, the US Green Building Council’s Green Building Super Hero Award and the Clean Energy and Empowerment Award from C3E. Ms. Mackie holds two bachelor’s degrees from Southern Illinois University, one in Mechanical Engineering and the other in Physics. Tim Sears co-founded GRID. In 2014 he was honored by the White House as a “Champion of Change” for Solar Key Staff . Tim is a graduate of Stanford University with a degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering, and before. Tim is also certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) as a Certified Solar PV Installer. Stan Greshner directed the country’s first low-income solar incentive program (California’s SASH Program), and works closely with policy makers, regulators, utilities, solar companies, and community organizations. Stan holds a bachelor’s degree in bio-mechanical engineering from Marquette University, and a master’s degree in philosophy and public policy from American University. Stan also has a professional background in mechanical engineering, contract manufacturing, and international development programming.

.To date, GRID has served 16,947 households, 136 community facilities (Multifamily affordable housing buildings, nonprofits and other service providers) resulting in $434,502,369 of lifetime savings. Our solar PV projects have generated 2,013,019,551 Kilowatt Hours, which has prevented 1,095,409 tons of greenhouse gas, the equivalent to take 209,652 cars off the road. We have engaged 32,378 people in hands-on training, and have spent 248,054 hours on job training. We are so pleased to have over 304 job training partners including schools, colleges, vocational programs, and community based organizations.

To date, GRID has partnered with community advocates to lead or influence more than 30 legislative bills, regulatory proceedings and program initiatives that represent more than $1.2 billion in public investments, which will deploy nearly 1 Gigawatt of solar power for the benefit of low-income households. GRID has partnered with over 45 Native American tribes across the U.S. to support them in meeting their renewable energy goals. In 2018 , GRID was selected to administer streamlined access to clean transportation incentives for income-qualified consumers across California. In 2019, GRID was awarded State of California grants to pilot the first two low-income community solar projects for the State

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is difficult to identify actionable feedback

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
NET GAIN/LOSS:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

0.41

Average of 0.64 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

0.7

Average of 1.4 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

20%

Average of 23% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

GRID Alternatives

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

GRID Alternatives

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

GRID Alternatives

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of GRID Alternatives’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

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Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation -$7,058,837 -$411,006 $1,755,348 -$531,325 -$2,156,695
As % of expenses -30.2% -1.9% 8.0% -1.9% -6.4%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation -$7,113,154 -$456,525 $1,703,511 -$583,689 -$2,209,620
As % of expenses -30.4% -2.1% 7.7% -2.1% -6.5%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $16,841,873 $16,530,975 $27,084,220 $37,598,833 $23,149,824
Total revenue, % change over prior year -44.7% -1.8% 63.8% 38.8% -38.4%
Program services revenue 26.3% 56.2% 30.1% 31.3% 35.1%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.0% 1.7% -0.9% 0.1% 0.2%
Government grants 16.9% 25.8% 21.7% 10.8% 23.0%
All other grants and contributions 56.5% 16.1% 49.0% 58.5% 42.1%
Other revenue 0.2% 0.2% 0.1% -0.6% -0.5%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $23,338,894 $21,237,730 $21,929,504 $28,030,903 $33,945,848
Total expenses, % change over prior year -12.9% -9.0% 3.3% 27.8% 21.1%
Personnel 44.3% 48.2% 48.0% 39.1% 41.4%
Professional fees 10.6% 17.3% 20.0% 16.2% 13.0%
Occupancy 2.1% 2.8% 3.0% 1.7% 1.1%
Interest 0.3% 1.4% 0.8% 0.0% 0.2%
Pass-through 2.1% 7.8% 7.4% 1.4% 10.6%
All other expenses 40.6% 22.5% 20.9% 41.6% 33.7%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $23,393,211 $21,283,249 $21,981,341 $28,083,267 $33,998,773
One month of savings $1,944,908 $1,769,811 $1,827,459 $2,335,909 $2,828,821
Debt principal payment $0 $0 $3,869,500 $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $55,485 $111,558 $0 $68,007
Total full costs (estimated) $25,338,119 $23,108,545 $27,789,858 $30,419,176 $36,895,601

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 1.1 0.5 1.9 1.3 0.7
Months of cash and investments 1.8 1.3 2.8 6.2 1.3
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets -1.1 -1.4 -0.5 -0.6 -1.3
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $2,200,199 $811,674 $3,446,222 $3,120,873 $1,889,288
Investments $1,298,303 $1,525,208 $1,607,872 $11,445,632 $1,774,540
Receivables $20,300,374 $20,651,279 $22,786,601 $22,021,335 $25,119,265
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $298,438 $353,923 $466,944 $310,805 $343,560
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 68.9% 71.0% 65.2% 55.3% 55.2%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 73.9% 92.2% 72.2% 55.9% 79.2%
Unrestricted net assets -$2,101,050 -$2,557,575 -$854,064 -$1,437,753 -$3,647,373
Temporarily restricted net assets $8,881,419 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $8,881,419 $4,585,670 $9,273,071 $19,477,813 $10,591,700
Total net assets $6,780,369 $2,028,095 $8,419,007 $18,040,060 $6,944,327

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Material data errors No No No No No

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Documents
Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Co-Founder and CEO

Ms. Erica Mackie

Erica has a professional background in social work and renewable energy and energy efficiency consulting and sales, and has overseen the installation of solar electric systems and energy efficiency retrofits ranging in construction costs from $10,000 to $1.7 million. She holds two bachelor's degrees from Southern Illinois University, one in Mechanical Engineering and the other in Physics.

Co-Founder and COO

Tim Sears

Tim is a graduate of Stanford University with a degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering, has a technical background in the design and installation of solar electric systems, wind turbines, micro-hydro systems, and bio-diesel reactors, and has managed consulting teams of engineers providing comprehensive energy efficiency retrofit recommendations and construction management of projects totaling over $3 million. Tim is also certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP) as a Certified Solar PV Installer.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

GRID Alternatives

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Compensation
Other
Related
Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

GRID Alternatives

Highest paid employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Compensation
Other
Related
Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of highest paid employee data for this organization

GRID Alternatives

Board of directors
as of 01/22/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Ben Passer

Pilar Thomas

Nolan Highbaugh

Melicia Charles

Hina Baloch

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 9/14/2023

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Contractors

Fiscal year ending
There are no fundraisers recorded for this organization.