Partnering to Bring Solar Outreach Systems to Puerto Rico

SunCommon, along with our solar cooperative, Amicus, and Amurtel, are partnering to bring dozens of portable Solar Outreach Systems to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

To support this important effort, please give through Amurtel at

Power On Puerto Rico Logo

Why Puerto Rico?

Six months after Hurricane Maria, hundreds of thousands of Americans in Puerto Rico are still without power or access to clean water. Based on the electric infrastructure on the island, reports are saying many will be without power for up to one year.

Who are Amicus and Amurtel?

Amicus is a cooperative of small to mid-sized solar companies across the US, Puerto Rico, and Canada. SunCommon has been a member since 2012. Amurtel is a non-profit working internationally to bring aid to those affected by disasters.

What are Solar Outreach Systems? (SOS)

Each SOS contains a full solar setup in order to power floodlights to create a community gathering space once the sun has set and charging stations consisting of 15 lockers, each with two USB ports and an electrical outlet, allowing families to bring cell phones, laptops, even small appliances to be charged. Clean water is another huge need in these communities, so each SOS includes a 5-gallon water filter that can clean 500 gallons per day.

How can you support?

The goal of the partnership is to deliver 100 SOS units to Puerto Rico. To build the first 10 units, we’re working to raise $200,000 in monetary and equipment donations.

If moved to do so, we encourage you to support this work with a donation no matter how large or small:

What have we done so far?

The building of these trailers is well underway – over three weekends, members of the SunCommon team took trips down to Boston to work with other solar companies on these trailers.

Here’s what Maggie Twitchell-Wood, our Solar Goddess, had to say about her experience helping build SOS trailers,


Working on these trailers for Puerto Rico was a tangible and purpose-filled experience. I know these solar-powered trailers will make a meaningful impact on many lives, so seeing the impact of my help was fulfilling. Working alongside other Amicus folks also connected me to the larger movement that we’re a part of – working to make the world a healthier and happier place.” 

After Puerto Rico, what happens to the trailers?

Unfortunately, we predict that with climate change, hurricanes like Maria will continue to hit island and coastal nations so when power is restored in Puerto Rico and these SOS trailers are no longer needed, Amurtel will transport them to the next communities in need.

The Alchemist Goes Solar, Donates Excess Power to Waterbury Senior Center

The Alchemist goes solar (and they’re donating power to the Waterbury Senior Center!)

In February 2018, The Alchemist flipped the switch on a solar array on their cannery shed in Waterbury. This 112-solar panel array combined with an existing membership in a Community Solar Array will bring that location to 100% solar-powered and they have excess to share.

For The Alchemist, focusing on making good beer and building community has been integral to their business since the beginning. They have been donating money to the Waterbury Senior Center for a long time, and sharing solar power is a new way of donating to the organization in support of their work providing food and creating opportunities for the community.

Watch the WPTZ Story Here:

WPTZ Video Link for Alchemist Solar Cannery Story

“This could be a great way for lots of businesses to not only invest in solar, but to give back to their communities. It’s a great way to do donations, and they can count on what they’re getting throughout the year,” said Jen Kimmich about why they chose to support the Senior Center this way. Jen and her husband John are co-founders of The Alchemist.

The Alchemist Brewery Logo

About The Alchemist

The Alchemist is a family run brewery specializing in fresh, unfiltered IPA. John and Jen Kimmich originally opened The Alchemist as a 60-seat brew pub in the village of Waterbury in 2003. Afer eight years of success and growing popularity, they decided to open a small production brewery. Today The Alchemist currently operates two breweries in Vermont and handles all local distribution. For more information, go to

“We’re committed to our customers not only to brew the best quality beers we can, but to take leadership in addressing our climate challenges, too.  Going solar was a natural step. We chose SunCommon as our solar partner because we wanted to work with a company who is invested in our community, and who shares our BCorp values. It has been an absolute pleasure working with them.”  —Jen Kimmich

About the Installation

  • Installed in early 2018
  • Solar array size is 39 kW
  • 112 solar panels on the cannery shed in Waterbury
The Alchemist Cannery with the delivery van out front

Waterbury Business, S.T. Paving, is Sharing Excess Solar with Employees.

Congratulations, S.T. Paving, on going solar!

A longtime Waterbury business, S.T. Paving, worked with SunCommon to fill the company’s roof with solar. Providing more power than the business needed, owner, John Reynolds, decided to share the excess with his own home and that of four of the company’s long-time employees. For Reynolds, the decision to go solar was primarily financial, but it’s the environmental impact and sharing aspect that has him most excited now.

“I give my employees bonuses, why not give them solar?” said Reynolds.

Reynolds’ granddaughter, Cassidy Berry, whose mother works at S.T. Paving and whose home is one of the beneficiaries of the solar generation said she’s excited to see her grandfather investing in solar. As a 7th grader at Crossett Brook Middle School, she’s in her second year of sustainability curriculum and this is the year they’re focusing on energy. Berry said, “My Grandpa uses a lot of fossil fuels for his work, so his shop being a bit more sustainable is pretty cool.” She’s learning about solar and how it compares with other energy sources and she’s happy that her grandfather is potentially influencing his employees to be more sustainable by sharing his solar with them.

ST Paving Inc Logo

About S.T. Paving, Inc

S.T. Paving, founded in 1970 by John Reynolds, has been paving central Vermont roads and driveways for more than 45 years.

About the Installation

  • Solar array size 42.9 kW
  • Total number of solar panels 156
  • Installed in two parts in 2017

Staff Accountant – VT


We are looking for a skilled individual to provide financial support to our Accounting team while we implement a new accounting system. This position will be the ultimate team player, pitching in on both Accounts Receivable and Payables.

This role is expected to be full time for six months, and is not benefits eligible given the temporary nature of the role. 


  • Prepares and mails invoices to customers
  • Records checks and deposits incoming cash and checks
  • Posts payments to customer accounts
  • Enters accounts payable invoices and reconciles statements
  • Records bank transfers and general ledger transactions
  • Prepares reports on delinquent accounts
  • Ensure that accounts payable are paid in a timely manner
  • Complete journal entries for month-end process
  • Ensure that balance sheet account reconciliations are completed on a monthly basis
  • Files paper records to validate electronic data
  • Performs data entry to help flow of information between different system platforms
  • Performs other duties as required to support the Accounting Department
  • Strong and confident team player with a positive attitude


  • At least one year of experience in an accounting field, and Associate degree in accounting or equivalent experience of education and experience
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality is essential
  • Attention to detail is a must
  • Effective communication, organization and time management skills
  • Possesses strong analytical skills
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Demonstrated commitment to social change

How SunCommon and GMP Partnered to Remove Even More Barriers to Solar

SunCommon is committed to serving all Vermonters. That’s why we created a Community Solar Program that removes even more barriers to entry.

In 2017, we launched a Low- to Moderate-Income (LMI) Community Solar Program and we aim to do more in 2018. The first array was in partnership with Green Mountain Power (GMP) and was built on their Service Center Roof in Middlebury. Fifty percent of that array was reserved for Vermonters at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Level. (For a family of four, that’s a monthly income of $4,100.)


According to Efficiency Vermont’s white paper, Mapping Total Energy Burden (July 2016) “a substantial number of Vermont households live in fuel poverty or are in danger of falling into such poverty […] In Vermont, high electric burdens are most often borne by households with low incomes. Many low-income Vermonters with high energy burdens may find energy costs competing with other necessities like housing, food, and medicine.”


To make our already accessible Community Solar Program more appropriate for LMI Vermonters, we removed even more barriers to entry. The only qualification for these customers was that they have good bill payment history with GMP. There was no minimum credit score required and as always with SunCommon, no down payment. Community Solar members will receive a 7% discount on all of the power they receive from their membership.


There was great response to this program and SunCommon had dozens of signups within days of launching. The Community Solar Array was filled quickly and through this program, 15 LMI households are now taking advantage of the financial savings of solar and getting to boast their support of clean, renewable energy. We are actively working to create more LMI opportunities in Green Mountain Power territory and for the other utilities.

If you are interested, sign up on our waitlist.

Want to know more about Community Solar?

Solar Home Advisor – VT

Job Description


SunCommon Solar Home Advisors are outgoing folks who love meeting new people and have a strong work ethic.

Our Solar Home Advisors take a consultative approach to educating customers on the growing role that solar is playing in our clean energy future and how individual homeowners can participate. Solar Home Advisors spend much of their time visiting with homeowners helping them reach their solar goals. Most of our customer visits happen during normal work hoursMonday-Friday, but we are there for our customers to follow up when they need us — nights, weekends, rain or shine.

Our Solar Home Advisors are the face of SunCommon for our customers and are expected to carry themselves in the utmost professional manner. This position requires tact, adaptability, confidence (without arrogance), and a high degree of customer service and professionalism.

Solar Home Advisors are also required to have a strong technical grasp of how solar energy works to inform the design done by our engineers who design the systems. SunCommon provides all essential training. 


  • Close sales – not by taking customer orders but by gathering information and building the relationship to understand the customer’s needs and fashion options to meet those needs.
  • Finalize deals and sign contracts at customers’ homes.
  • Exhibit positive, enthusiastic personality – this is absolutely key.
  • Conduct basic site evaluations, to determine the technical suitability of our customers’ homes to host a productive solar electric system, cold climate heat pumps and electrical storage systems.
  • Determine customer’s current and projected electrical usage and solar savings.
  • Convey clear understanding of our sales process and contract agreements — and be able to explain and review agreements to close sales with ourcustomers.
  • Generate referrals from the new customers you sign up for our products as well as through other contacts within our service areas.
  • Maintain mobility to climb stairs, inspect attics, and traverse uneven topography.
  • Log all communications with customers in CRM contact database
  • Manage time effectively.
  • Operate in collaborative, team atmosphere – giving and taking feedback to improve your personal performance as well of that of your team and the entire business.


  • Personality and experience. Do you revel in customer interaction and sales? You might be the newest SunCommon Solar Home Advisor.
  • Solar industry experience is a plus but not required.
  • Handiness, meaning familiarity with basic building construction.
  • Proficiency in using IT hardware (iPhone, MacBook, iPad) and software (MSOffice, CRM and file management).
  • Desire to stay on the leading edge of the solar and renewable energies industry.
  • Strong and confident team player with solid relationship building skills.
  • Articulate in person and by phone, clear and efficient writing ability for emails.
  • Ability to drive a car, clean driving record and maintenance of that clean driving record.
  • Demonstrated commitment to social change.

Solar Media Maven – VT

Job Description


The Solar Media Maven is responsible for spreading the good works of our values-led Benefit Corporation by capturing our many inspiring stories and sharing them across the variety of traditional and digital (bloggers, social influencers, etc.) earned media. The Solar Media Maven turns the stories of our business into post- and press-worthy events and content. The position requires professional writing, interviewing and pitching skills, and the curiosity of a reporter. Understanding the changing media landscape is essential to this position as the Solar Media Maven will act as an expert, partner and trusted resource in this space. This position is expected to be 20 hours a week, and the benefits of associated with this part-time role are outlined below.


The Solar Media Maven will:

  • Manage, plan and oversee PR execution of product launches, marketing campaigns and social mission/political advocacy endeavors.
  •  Act as an official spokesperson for SunCommon.
  • Provide copy-writing expertise to the SunCommon Marketing team in the form of press releases, digital/blog content and marketing collateral support.
  • Build relationships with internal and external audiences, including but not limited to media, customers, key partners, influencers, and other internal and external contacts necessary to create and pitch our newsworthy content.
  • Brainstorm and execute opportunistic news-jacking opportunities when they present themselves.
  • Deliver effective PR editorial plan to meet the business objectives.
  • Through PR initiatives, build and maintain SunCommon’s standing within the industry and media landscape as a leader and resource.
  • Juggle the development of multiple stories in various stages with a commitment to get them out the door on schedule.
  • Advise marketing and sales leadership on message development.
  • Strong understanding of mission and brand so content is consistent with our brand voice, style and tone.
  • Actively deliver the SunCommon Customer Experience: Easy, Efficient Joyful Engagement; Above & Beyond Service; Part of Something Bigger.
  • Contribute joy and a good work ethic to support the wellbeing of our community.



The ideal candidate for this position will have:

  • Commitment to SunCommon’s purpose and vision
  • Demonstrated high performance in the public relations field. Five or more years experience.
  • Excellent public speaker with the ability to offer thoughtful, on-message reporter interviews.
  • Strong writer, able to adopt the SunCommon voice for marketing and PR copy needs.
  • Demonstrated ability to translate an internal message into external soundbites.
  • Excellent self-organization and time management skills. Ability to work on tight and moving deadlines.
  • Willingness to pick up the phone and go get the story.
  • Excels at enthusiastic and effective communication skills in person, over the phone, and in writing.
  • Demonstrated ability to work as a member and leader of a team.
  • Editorial mindset that seeks to understand what audiences consume and how to create it.
  • Ability to present ideas to executive level.
  • Entrepreneurial thinker and doer who sees opportunity in ambiguity and is energized by the prospect of joining the SunCommon “solar coaster”.
  • Demonstrated commitment to social change.

Accounting Internship – VT

Job Description

SunCommon is looking for a 20-hour per week Accounting Intern to support our efforts and in-office accounting support. Primary job responsibilities will include support of Account Payable and Accounts Receivable functions.

This individual will support the team in:

  • processing invoices
  • account reconciliations
  • bank deposits
  • general ledger transactions
  • filing
  • Accounts Receivable mailings


Ideal candidates will have demonstrated experience and proficiency in Excel, Quickbooks, and Google apps.  Needs to have attention to detail!

Marketing Support Intern – VT

Job Description


The Marketing Support Internship is a 6-month opportunity with a potential for full time work, reporting to the Community Outreach Manager. The core of this position is in providing digital and collateral support to our community and grassroots organizers. Their work is focused around attending and hosting various events throughout the state to educate Vermonters about the changing landscape of solar power options available to home and business owners.

The Marketing Support Intern will gain valuable experience with both digital and traditional marketing tactics as a tool to both drive online engagement and support the efforts of our field marketing staff out in the field. This position requires strong organization skills. It requires creativity to repurpose existing content for our social media accounts and planning to ensure that event postings, emails and collateral are created on time and sent out. Time management, collaboration and ability to independently problem solve are essential for this role. 

ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS (including, but not limited to):

  • Preparing and sending emails that correspond with Organizer events, including work in Pardot and Salesforce to create email lists.
  • Posting events on the website and creating Facebook events. Creating Google forms or similar for RSVPs.
  • Printing, cutting, and prepping physical materials for Organizer events.


  • Understanding of basic digital marketing preferred.
  • Experience with any of the following is a plus but not required: Google Business Solutions, WordPress, PHP, HTML/CSS, Tracking and Analytics Tools, Marketing Automation Software, Salesforce or similar CRMs and Social Media used for marketing purposes.
  • Digitally savvy candidates are strongly encouraged to apply
  • Must have excellent organizational skills, attention to detail, and the ability to prioritize in a changing environment
  • Must have excellent interpersonal skills and follow-up skills
  • Proactive problem solver, ability to understand context and given framework, then make informed decisions.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, Internet, and Outlook required
  • Ability to learn other software programs
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills required
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team

Solar Tax Here Today; Solar Industry Here For Good

So, it happened. Late on January 22nd, President Trump created a 30% import tax on solar panels. This is a step in the wrong direction, but a tax can’t stop the solar movement. We’ll get past this.

This is bad policy.

This tax is intended to make American solar more competitive, but the majority of the U.S. solar industry is in installation, with only around 10% of the 260,000 American jobs in manufacturing. With the tariff raising prices on imported panels, solar adoption overall will slow, and the installation sector will be severely impacted. There are better ways to support U.S. manufacturing of solar panels that don’t include the loss of thousand of U.S. jobs in solar installation.

More fundamentally, however, we need to be reducing our dependence on oil, coal, and other dirty fuels, not taxing solar. You wouldn’t turn away a firefighter when your home is burning, and we shouldn’t be slowing the solar industry when climate change is accelerating.

But we prepared for this.

Since last summer, SunCommon staff worked hard to let folks know this tax might be coming, and we’re proud to say we have helped hundreds of Vermonters go solar before the tax hit. And because we knew prices might go up, we filled our warehouse to the brim with solar panels — enough to help another 150 households go solar at pre-tax prices!

SunCommon warehouse full of stacked solar panels - buying with our values

Bottom line: the tax won’t stop us.

This tax is a bump in the road to be sure — an artificial price inflation created by bad policy. Thankfully, it would take much more to halt an industry with the strength and experience the US solar industry has achieved.

The tax will increase pricing on residential solar systems by about 5%, a similar order of magnitude to the 10% incentive drop that Vermont installers faced this time last year. We’ll weather this, just as we have each drop on the solar-coaster, drawing on our trademark innovation, creativity, and hard work.

At SunCommon, we believe that everyone has the right to a healthy environment and brighter future — and renewable energy is where it starts. The President may have put some speed bumps in front of us, but he can’t stop our momentum. We’re here for the long haul. This is what we do.