Vacaville Site: Work Hard and Play Hard, Too

By Nawid, Vacaville Site, LIFT (Leader-In-Field-Training)

There’s a quote that they say “All work, no play.” Here in Vacaville, we are all about working hard and playing hard, too. We don’t just meet goals, but we exceed expectations and set new ones that are even higher. Last week we welcomed our Energy Specialist’s and the Drivers to the California Youth Energy Services program, Vacaville site. It’s been great and we’ve gotten to know each other very well.  Since this isn’t my first year with Rising Sun, one question that I like to ask the youth is “Why is this program important to you, and what made you want to become a part of Rising Sun?” Everyone had great things to say about the program, but one response stood out the most.

Nawid blog pics

“This job is important because it’s an escape. If I’m having a bad day, going to Rising Sun is a whole different energy. It’s happier and comforting, and I forget why I was upset in the first place. This job makes me feel like I’m doing something important. I normally don’t feel like what I do matters, but here I feel differently. Making people more aware of their actions and giving them energy tips so they can help save the environment makes me feel better. With this job I think we can make a huge difference in our cities and help everyone become more energy efficient.”
Kiara, 17, Energy Specialist

Nawid blog pics 2

Oakland Site: Off to a Great Start

By Rosie, Oakland Site, LIFT (Leader-In-Field-Training)

This summer, the Oakland site began the 2015 California Youth Energy Services (CYES) program with a bang!

Most of our incoming 2015 Energy Specialists (ES’) are new to CYES; yet, they have already shown immense enthusiasm and dedication to making our program a success. Notably, the site has already completed four Green House Calls (GHCs) within the first week of training! Although CYES has just begun, we’ve witnessed great enthusiasm from Oakland residents eager to receive GHCs and refer others to the program, serving as a testament to the power of Rising Sun’s mission and the beauty of the program.

Rosie - Oakland Blog Pics

CYES also places a strong emphasis on youth development.  In our site, this is seen through what we call the “fam bam.” Not only do the Energy Specialists receive professional guidance from the site’s managers, but the ES’ have also taken it upon themselves to mentor and openly share their experiences with each other about topics concerning the youth today. So far, our discussions have ranged from college to professionalism.

Overall, our unique experience can be summed up in one Energy Specialist’s view of the program thus far. “This is my first real job and I am really enjoying it. I am getting paid to do what I love to do best– serve my community, while helping the environment.” It’s going to be a fantastic Oakland Summer.

Rosie - Oakland Blog Pics 2

NO-COST Energy and Water Assessments for Bay Area and Central Valley Residents


This summer, Rising Sun Energy Center’s California Youth Energy Services (CYES) program will provide Bay Area and Central Valley residents with no-cost energy and water conservation services through a partnership with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), local municipalities, and local water districts.

Since 2000, Rising Sun has provided no-cost energy and water conservation services to over 28,000 residents throughout the Bay Area. Last year CYES serviced 4,444 Bay Area households, helping residents achieve the savings of nearly 25 million gallons of water annually. This summer, Rising Sun aims to serve 5,000 households. CYES trains, employs and empowers local youth ages 15 to 22 to become Energy Specialists who provide their city’s residents with Green House Calls (GHC).

At each Green House Call, Energy Specialists:

  • perform an energy and water efficiency assessment,
  • install energy-efficient lighting, water-efficient showerheads and faucet aerators,
  • perform a toilet leak detection test,
  • provide e-waste pick-up and recycling,
  • offer tips on recycling and energy and water conservation to save money on utility bills, and
  • give an energy-conscious gift from Rising Sun Energy Center

—all at no cost to residents.

CYES provides services to all community members regardless of income, with a focus on serving hard-to-reach residents, including renters, low-to-moderate income households, seniors, and non-English speaking households.  The program helps communities reach their Climate Action Plan targets and do their part to address California’s drought.

Our clients rave about their Green House Calls:

“Love the program! Thank you [for] helping to educate and make our home more energy and water efficient.”

“The two youth represented your organization in the most professional manner. They were courteous and respectful. They were very knowledgeable and answered all questions we had.”

This year CYES will serve more residents than ever before, reaching households in Antioch, Dublin, Fairfield, Fremont, Hayward, Lafayette-Moraga-Orinda, Manteca, Marin County, Martinez, Oakland, Richmond, Santa Rosa, South Stockton-Lathrop-French Camp, Stockton, Suisun, Tracy, Vacaville, Vallejo and Walnut Creek.

Green House Calls will begin June 30 and run through August 6, and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Reserve your spot now. Contact us today and start saving on your energy and water bills!

Call 510.665.1501 ext. 5 to schedule your Green House Call, or sign up online at

For more information about Rising Sun and its programs, visit

Media Contact:

Marrion Johnson

510.665.1501 ext. 106

PGE logo with words

California consumers are not obligated to purchase any full fee service or other service not funded by this program. This program is funded by California utility customers and administered by PG&E under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission.

Los consumidores en California no están obligados a comprar servicios completos o adicionales que no esten cubiertos bajo este Programa. Estas ofertas son financiadas por los consumidores de servicios públicos de California y administradas por PG&E bajo los auspicios de la Comisión de Servicios Públicos de California.

Rising Sun Celebrates GETS Spring Core Cohort Graduation

On Friday, May 15, 2015 Rising Sun Energy Center proudly hosted the graduation of its Green Energy Training Services (GETS) Spring Core Cohort. Ten graduates were acknowledged, celebrating the completion of a nine-week intensive training program. The ceremony was attended by approximately 50 guests, including family, friends, program funders, and Bay Area employers.

Graduating class and Rising Sun Staff

GETS Core provides free training for green careers, case management, and job placement support to low-income adults, empowering them to achieve economic sustainability for themselves and their families, while having a positive impact on the environment. Graduates received powerful words of encouragement from Rising Sun’s Executive Director, Jodi Pincus, Director of Adult Programs, Elena Foshay, and Board Members, Patrick Brown and Tyi Johnson, a former GETS participant, herself.

Keynote address from Patrick Brown

Elfren Aranas, the cohort’s class speaker, spoke passionately about the skills he mastered during the nine-week training intensive, bonds he forged with fellow participants, and the need of energy efficiency education and resources provided throughout the community. Aranas announced his own entrepreneurial venture, The Greywater Guys, a company he is founding, aimed at providing efficient installations of grey water systems in homes.

Elena Foshay, Elfren Aranas, Patrick Brown
Elena Foshay, Elfren Aranas, Patrick Brown

The end of the GETS Core cohort also marks the beginning of a two week elective on solar photovoltaic installation offered to adults looking to pursue a career in the solar industry. Class participants will receive in introduction to Solar PV Systems, hands-on training in solar installation, and guidance on pursuing employment in the industry.


About Rising Sun Energy Center

Rising Sun Energy Center is a 501c3 non-profit organization headquartered in Berkeley, California, operating throughout California, in Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Joaquin, Solano, and Sonoma counties. Rising Sun is a workforce development organization focusing on training, employment, and green career pathways for both youth and adults. Rising Sun Energy Center’s mission is to empower individuals to achieve environmental and economic sustainability for themselves and their communities. For information regarding Rising Sun Energy Center, please visit our website at

Bright Night 2015 – A Huge Success!

We at Rising Sun pride ourselves on working diligently to educate members of the public on useful ways to be most efficient at home and in their daily lives, and by also celebrating the hard work that our organization puts forth on a regular basis. Bright Night 2015 was an example of our effort to take a step back and honor Rising Sun’s commitment to creating sustainable communities within the Bay Area and beyond.

On Thursday, May 7, 2015, Rising Sun hosted our annual fundraising event, Bright Night, at the Ed Roberts campus in Berkeley, California. It was a wonderful celebration, presented by Pacific Gas & Electric Company, where we welcomed elected officials, corporate partners, community organizers, and individual supporters to join us in celebrating Rising Sun and raising funds for the organization, allowing us to deepen our work within the community.


The event was attended by approximately 200 guests, and boasted over 80 amazing auction items, beautiful and tasty hors d’oeuvres catered by Work of Art Catering, a certified green business, beer and wine donated by Bear Republic Brewery and Barefoot Wine and Bubbly, delicious cupcakes donated by Teacake Bakeshop, and the smooth sounds of Latin Jazz band Jeff McNish and the Viento y Marea All Stars.


Executive Director, Jodi Pincus-Cabrera, presented a powerful keynote address urging attendees to think critically about their roles in empowering and supporting communities of need, and was followed by the inspiring words of former program participants Faith Ndama and Cornel Martin, Eunice Garcia of Pacific Gas & Electric Company, and Rising Sun Board Members Mikhal Bouganim and Michael Balster.


Bright Night was a wonderful success, providing Rising Sun the opportunity to start the conversation about ways we can better serve our community and build relations with community leaders already doing the important work of creating a more sustainable world.

Check out some pictures below!





Corporate Sponsors: Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Barbara and Gerson Bakar, Cooperative Center Federal Credit Union, SunRun, Bright Plain Renewable Energy, Business Professional Insurance Associates, Inc., Comerica Bank, Community Energy Services Corporation, Compass Financial Communications, The Greenlining Institute, Lance Reynolds, Sheet Metal Workers Local Union No. 104, Skeo Solutions, SunPower, and The Urban Farmer Store.