PG&E Grant Supports Solar Job Training, Community Vitality

          PG&E Grant Supports Solar Job Training, Community Vitality

Graduate of Training Program Leads Volunteers Installing Rooftop Solar Panels
in Oakland

PR Newswire

OAKLAND, Calif., Dec. 17, 2012

OAKLAND, Calif., Dec. 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --Courtney Dittmar was thrust
into a tough Bay Area job market in 2009 when she lost her job of nine years
at a university library. After two years of unemployment, a friend connected
her with the nonprofit GRID Alternatives, which runs a Solar Intern Program
funded by a $120,000 grant from Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E).

Now, Dittmar is a graduate of the program and recently led a team of
volunteers from PG&E and GRID Alternatives in completing a rooftop-solar
installation on an Oakland home. The 1.6-kilowatt system, made possible
through GRID Alternatives' Solar Affordable Housing Program, will save the
homeowner an estimated $15,000 in energy costs over the system's 30-year
expected lifetime.

Dittmar said her internship has opened a wealth of career opportunities at
just the right time. "The internship has given me a whole new skill set, and
as someone changing careers in mid-life, that's really handy," said Dittmar.
"I definitely have more options now!"

The Solar Intern Program is a three-month paid internship that provides job
training for people seeking careers in the solar industry. PG&E's grant funds
the program for four highly qualified trainees, who will receive job placement
support from GRID Alternatives and PG&E after graduation. The other three
internships will be in Fresno, Chico and Atascadero in 2013.

Before being selected as the first PG&E solar intern, Dittmar completed nearly
300 volunteer hours with GRID Alternatives, commuting by bus, train and
bicycle from her home in Mountain View to solar installations throughout the
Bay Area. Dittmar is also taking free classes at PG&E's Pacific Energy Center
in San Francisco to supplement her field experience. She has applied for a few
solar jobs recently and said she is convinced the training is making her more
competitive.

Since 2006, PG&E has contributed more than $520,000 to GRID Alternatives'
Solar Affordable Housing Program to support green job training, financial
benefits for income-qualified families and a reduction in carbon for the
broader community. In addition, GRID Alternatives has installed nearly all of
the solar electric systems funded under the PG&E Solar Habitat program, a
partnership between the utility and Habitat for Humanity.

"PG&E is proud to support the economic and community vitality that GRID
Alternatives fosters," said Ezra Garrett, vice president of community
relations and chief sustainability officer for PG&E. "Not only does GRID
Alternatives provide career development in the critical solar energy sector,
it also makes solar possible for members of our communities who otherwise
wouldn't have access to this environmentally friendly, money-saving
technology."

GRID Alternatives is a nonprofit organization that brings the benefits of
solar technology to low-income communities. Using a barn-raising model, GRID
Alternatives leads teams of volunteers and job trainees to install solar power
on qualifying homes—providing savings for families struggling to make ends
meet, preparing workers for jobs in the fast-growing solar industry, and
cleaning our air. More than 2,800 California families have benefitted from the
program, saving an estimated $77 million in lifetime electricity costs. More
than 11,000 people have received hands-on solar installation experience. For
more information about the Solar Intern Program, contact GRID Alternatives.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG),
is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the
United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company
delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern
and Central California. For more information, visit
http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/ and www.pgecurrents.com.

SOURCE Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)

Website: http://www.pge.com
Contact: PG&E External Communications, +1-415-973-5930
 
Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.