Net Positive Communities – East Palo Alto Program

SSV’s Net Positive Bay Area 2050 energy goal is to create more renewable energy than we use. SSV’s first effort towards this goal is working in the City of East Palo Alto, where residents spend an average of almost 20% of their after tax income on energy costs. An important aspect of the Net Positive Communities – East Palo Alto Project is to engage stakeholders and apply technology in a way that can be replicated and scaled, then expanded to other low income communities. This project includes establishing protocols, metrics, and case studies to create a blueprint that can be used by other regions in the US and globally.


  • Identify homes for a comprehensive water and energy audit
  • Develop a comprehensive and repeatable audit program
  • Perform audits and educate residents
  • Follow up with residents with additional upgrades as applicable and as they become available
  • Measure and report energy and water savings
  • Develop a blueprint for wider adoption

SSV received a grant from the Mitsubishi Corporation to bring energy efficiency and solar to the Ecumenical Hunger Program (EHP), a longstanding nonprofit in the heart of the East Palo Alto community. This project started with a thorough energy audit for EHP’s campus which details energy usage and upgrades. The audit team identified solar energy as an appropriate option for EHP, which will be installed on their warehouse building. Solar energy is estimated to reduce EHP’s energy bill by 30%.

SSV’s work at EHP serves as an education showpiece for the community. SSV is creating an interactive hands-on display that will be housed at the EHP for students to learn about energy efficiency and solar.

SSV and Mitsubishi Corporation will participate in EHP’s Blockfest on August 13 to unveil the rooftop solar and the interactive display.

SSV received a grant from the Bay Area Air Quality Management District (BAAQMD) for an energy and water efficiency pilot project for 25 homes in East Palo Alto. The goal of this pilot project is to create a blueprint of how to bring efficiency, and solar when appropriate, to disadvantaged communities.

When working in a community, SSV has learned that partnerships are the key to success. SSV has formed alliances with:

  • City of East Palo Alto
  • Mitsubishi Corporation
  • Ecumenical Hunger Program
  • Church of St Francis of Assisi
  • Senior Center in East Palo Alto
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • El Concilio
  • ARUP
  • Rising Sun Energy Center
  • Grid Alternatives