Mayor Newsom Highlights Solar Job Training

(October 1, 2008)

Applications for new solar installations have nearly quadrupled since program's launch in July

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--Today Mayor Gavin Newsom announced that applications for new solar installations have quadrupled since GoSolarSF, San Francisco's groundbreaking solar rebate program, was launched in July.

"Today, we have proof that if you give people the incentives to install solar panels on their home or business, they will do it," said Mayor Newsom. "And not only does this mean we're sending energy back into the grid, it means we're also creating the green-collar jobs that this country desperately needs to eliminate our dependence on foreign oil."

San Francisco averaged 16 applications for the California Solar Incentive (CSI) each month over the past 18 months, but in the first three months after GoSolarSF was launched, the city received 63 applications in July, 61 in August, and 58 in September. That's an average of 60 per month, or a 375% increase over the previous average before the program began.

Because of GoSolarSF, 16 solar installation companies have hired or will hire graduates of local workforce development programs for solar installation jobs. Therefore, businesses and homeowners have the opportunity to receive the maximum $6,000 rebate provided through GoSolarSF. In addition, 8 individuals already have real, permanent jobs through this initiative. These individuals come from throughout the City: 3 from Western Addition, 2 from the Bayview, 2 from the Sunset, and 1 from Haight Ashbury.

GoSolarSF is a 10-year solar rebate program in San Francisco, funded between $2-5M each year from Hetch Hetchy Power Revenues. (Actual annual funding is determined through the regular budget approval process and $3M is currently allocated in this fiscal year's budget)

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Details on Green Collar Job Program within GoSolarSF

Sixteen solar installation companies have hired or will hire graduates of workforce development programs for solar installation jobs and can therefore offer the $6,000 rebate to local homeowners.

These companies have been certified by the Office of Economic and Workforce Development. In order for a solar installer to qualify to offer the $6,000 rebate, they must:

Hire one or more referred workers from an approved workforce program.
Have Referred Workers complete no less than twenty-five (25%) of all of the total Project Hours of all the Qualifying Installations.

Ensure that some work at all Qualifying Installation worksites will be completed by a Referred Worker.

Ensure that all Referred Workers perform Skilled Work and/or receive ongoing training to perform skilled work through the duration of their employment.

Ensure that all Referred Workers are employed no less than 80% of full time as calculated by a 40 hour week and that all Referred Worker(s) receive a wage of no less than $15.00 per hour.

Seven local workforce development programs have been approved by the OEWD for placing individuals into solar companies. These agencies include:

Young Community Developers (YCD)
Visitacion Valley Community Development Center
Charity Cultural Center
San Francisco Conservation Corps

Asian Neighborhood Design
Mission Hiring Hall
Chinese for Affirmative Action

Five companies have been fully certified because they have already hired graduates of workforce training programs. These companies deserve credit for stepping up early to ensure that GoSolarSF creates green collar jobs.

Borrego Solar
Luminalt
Solar City
Sun Light & Power

Sungevity

11 other companies are Provisionally Certified Installers, as they have not yet hired workforce program graduates but are planning to. Their certification will be reviewed by the Office of Economic and Workforce Development.

Alter Systems
Akeena Solar
Energy Efficiency Solar
NextEnergy Solar
Occidental Power
Real Goods Marin Solar

Petersen Dean Roofing & Solar
Pro Solar Systems
J&J Owens Electric, Inc.
Dancon Corp
Fresco Solar

Eight workers have been hired to date, and we expect the number to triple in the next month as provisionally certified installers hire workers. These individuals come from throughout the City: 3 from Western Addition, 2 from Bayview, 2 from the Sunset, and 1 from Haight Ashbury.