No Ordinary Roof

By Krista Van Tassel
December 21st, 2012


Dear Environmental Forum Readers, please join me in welcoming the newest member of our blog team, Pia Hahn!
Pia joined our Social Responsibility Communications team in September to help us share environmental stories across the company and in our communities as we continue to invest in environmental solutions in our communities.
Pia will share about some recent fun we had with GRID Alternatives, one of our nonprofit groups, in sunny California to help some very appreciative home owners enjoy solar power.

Hello, everyone!

I couldn’t be more excited to bring you my first post, because I get to share about our recent solar installations with GRID Alternatives. These guys have blown it out of the park again, and they truly make me want to High Five someone. The installation of these 20 new solar energy systems for deserving families just says to me:  Yes, we can do amazing things at a bank in collaboration with great nonprofits like GRID!

I had a chance to see for myself what went down at one of these events at the Los Angeles Solarthon on 11/20. Let me tell you, these guys are the real deal and they know how to combine the power of corporate investments, volunteers and solar technology to bring them to appreciative home owners who get this amazing gift of solar power. Read below to see what happened at three Wells Fargo volunteer installations in California. My favorite story is at the end. We love vets at Wells Fargo, and I am so glad that the Saxton brothers received solar energy systems!

Central Coast Solarthon
The first team convened in Oceano, Calif., on Oct. 20 to install eight solar electric systems totaling 18.9 kWh of clean, renewable energy, which will generate $177,000 for these families, while also eliminating 557 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

South Los Angeles Solarthon
Then, on Saturday, Nov. 10, members of the Wells Fargo Long Beach Green Team helped install 10 solar electric systems (31kW), saving families nearly $300,000 and preventing 900 tons of greenhouse gas emissions (the equivalent of planting over 20,000 trees) in South Los Angeles. This is the event I went to and the smoggy L.A. basin thanks you very much! Check it out some video highlights here.

The very next day, on Sunday, Nov. 11, Veteran’s Day, more Wells Fargo volunteers installed solar electric systems for twin brothers – both vets – in Jurupa Valley. The Saxton brothers, both long-time residents of Riverside County, are next door neighbors and have been raising their families together in homes built by Habitat for Humanity Riverside. The Saxtons can expect to save 75 percent or more on their monthly energy bills. Now that’s a great way to spend Veteran’s Day, wouldn’t you say?

The Saxtons are two of the more than 2,600 California families to benefit from GRID Alternatives’ Solar Affordable Housing Program, which brings solar power and solar job training to low-income communities. GRID also has worked with veteran’s groups to help unemployed vets get experience to find jobs in the industry.

These three installations furthered Wells Fargo’s $2 million pledge to help GRID expand nationwide. Since 2007, our Wells Fargo Green Teams have sweat more than 1,200 volunteer hours to build solar electric systems with GRID Alternatives. Thanks guys & thank you GRID.

Krista Van Tassel

Krista Van Tassel

As Community and Team Member Engagement manager for Wells Fargo’s Environmental Affairs Team, Krista supports the company’s 70+ Green Teams, recognizing and promoting environmental innovator best practices, and engaging and educating team members about their role in helping the company’s sustainability efforts. She also manages Wells Fargo’s Environmental Solutions for Communities’ $3 million annual nonprofit grant program focused on helping make long-term sustainable economic investments in local communities where its customers and 264,000 team members work and live. Prior to joining Wells Fargo in 2009, Krista worked in a variety of sustainability and marketing positions in both the nonprofit and for profit sectors. Krista earned her MBA in International Business at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

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