Workers install solar panels on a north Long Beach home on Friday, May 17, 2013. This is the sixth family on this North Long Beach block to be assisted by
Workers install solar panels on a north Long Beach home on Friday, May 17, 2013. This is the sixth family on this North Long Beach block to be assisted by the Single-family Affordable Solar Homes Program. This installation will allow the homeowners to save up to 90% on their electricity bills. (Jeff Gritchen / Staff Photographer)

Photos: California Governor Jerry Brown Visits Solar Panel Home Installation in Long Beach


The battle against what Gov. Jerry Brown called "the pre-eminent threat to all humanity" continued Friday on a residential rooftop in North Long Beach.

Brown was in town to celebrate a solar power installation at the home of Maribel and Jose Mendoza and their four boys.

He said the threat of climate change isn't going away, that it's getting worse, and that green energy projects are the way to combat the threat.

"There's a whole philosophy that is dominating much of our politics, that these kinds of things are bad, (that) what is good is to get as many toys as you can and play with them, as opposed to investing in programs, public sector programs, like solar energy," Brown said.

Around 100 officials, residents and project workers attended the celebration in the 100 block of E. 69th St. in Long Beach

The installation is part of California's Single-family Affordable Solar Homes Program, and was completed by the nonprofit GRID Alternatives and a team of job trainees.

It is the sixth such installation on the block.

Erica Mackie, CEO and co-founder of GRID Alternatives, said the nonprofit has installed more than 3,000 similar systems statewide, exclusively for low-income families.

Mackie said that the Mendoza family and the job trainees from Los Angeles Trade Technical College "are proof that we can as a state build a clean economy that includes all of our communities. "

Officials said the Mendozas will save up to 90 percent on their electricity bill.

Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster said "we need to do things like this that demonstrate that it works. And we need to save people money. We need to reduce our carbon footprint and we need to be able to clean up the air. This is all part of that. "

Gov. Jerry Brown checks out a solar panel before speaking at a North Long Beach home during a solar installation on Friday, May 17, 2013.
Gov. Jerry Brown checks out a solar panel before speaking at a North Long Beach home during a solar installation on Friday, May 17, 2013. (Jeff Gritchen / Staff Photographer)

The SASH program is ratepayer-funded through the California Public Utilities Commission. It gives up-front rebates to help low-income homeowners gain solar power. GRID Alternatives manages the program.

Erik Mendoza, 19, said the family is looking forward to cutting their energy costs.

"But it's going to lower our carbon footprint," he said. "That's what I'm excited about."

Contact Josh Dulaney at 562-714-2150

josh.dulaney@presstelegram.com @JoshDulaney on Twitter