Manager of Residential Solar Projects – VT

Job Description


Residential Project Management (RPM) is where dreams become reality in the solar process for customers. Through effective leadership, the Manager of Residential Solar Projects helps to drive SunCommon’s success by overseeing the installation pipeline and schedule, ensuring all jobs are handled efficiently, and creating a joyful experience for our customers.

We seek an experienced professional with a proven track record leading a process-driven team to reach goals while maintaining an engaging and supportive work environment. The Manager of Residential Solar Projects is responsible for forecasting our installation capacity and schedule, providing customers with the highest quality service, and reporting and analyzing results. This position requires a high level of operational and customer service experience and the ability to coach these skills in others. Priorities can shift quickly at SunCommon – we call it the Solar Coaster – so adaptability and openness to change are essential.

The Manager of Residential Solar Projects works across departments to delight our customers, while acting as the primary Operations hub for subcontractors, utilities, permitting authorities, and other key partner-contacts. Excellent written and verbal communication skills are required.


Reporting to the Field Operations Manager, the Manager of Residential Solar Projects is responsible for:

  • Management of the Residential Project Management team, including supervising employees, managing installation pipeline data, maintaining metrics and meeting quantitative goals.
  • Operations Team Leadership.  We expect significant growth and development of our operations program in the coming years, driven by a strong team of leaders working together to identify and meet the opportunities in front of us.
  • Tracking and Analysis.  Developing systems that provide for effective tracking and staff accountability in achieving goals. Ensuring team goals are met, installation calendars are filled effectively and customers are moving through the post-sale pipeline efficiently and with an appropriate level of communication. Accurately projecting installation capacity, job durations, identification of pinch points and backlogs and development of solutions to keep the installation pipeline moving.
  • Customer Service. Handle elevated customer situations with grace, compassion and an eye toward business sustainability. Identify areas where customer expectations can be clarified and tools to make this a reality.
  • Program Development.  Participate in the process of innovation that will continue to keep our business steps ahead of the rest of the solar industry. Imagining and implementing the new.  The solar industry is constantly evolving – we call it the SolarCoaster – and our work has to evolve with it.
  • Collaboration Across Teams. The RPM team works closely with several teams, including Solar Home Advisors, Designers, Customer Support, Warehouse, Procurement and Installers. Effective communication across departments is essential to the team’s success.
  • Hiring and Training.  Providing on-boarding training as well as ongoing feedback. Creating and maintaining training materials. A considerable amount of time is spent coaching for performance.
  • Staff and Team Development. Facilitating regular 1-1 and team meetings to provide group training and individual growth. Offering support and knocking down barriers to success by providing timely, thoughtful feedback and performance reviews. Helping staff identify strengths and opportunities for development on their career path.
  • External Relationships. Manages relationships with subcontractors, utilities, permitting authorities, inspectors to ensure strong partnerships and efficient workflow.
  • Subcontractor Partnerships. Work with subcontracted partners to ensure customer expectations are met and facilitate resolutions for incomplete work. Review and approve invoices from subcontractors.
  • Maintain accurate and timely records in Salesforce, Google Calendars and other systems.


We are looking for a strong, energetic Manager of Residential Solar Projects to bring these attributes:

  • Demonstrated management and leadership skills.  Ideal candidate will have managed staff/led teams with a focus on coaching to achieve goals and maintain high level of customer service.
  • 5+ years experience effectively managing others in operations/logistics.
  • Goal-oriented.  Attuned to key metrics and driven to deliver.
  • Proven organizational skills, including the ability to effectively handle multiple priorities at any given time, and to establish priorities for others.
  • Strong and professional communication skills are needed. This includes the ability to speak clearly and articulately on the phone, and to write and edit clear and efficient emails.
  • Focused attention to detail.
  • Enthusiastic about improving customer experience and developing process improvements.
  • Proficiency in using IT hardware (iPhone, MacBook), and software (MSOffice, Excel, CRM and file management) Salesforce/CRM experience a plus, but not required.
  • Experience in solar construction and installation preferred.
  • An infectious passion for re-energizing our communities with renewable power.
  • Four year college degree and/or up to five years related experience.
  • Ability to work in our open office environment, comfortable with the proximity of colleagues engages in similar volumes of work.
  • Demonstrated commitment to social change

Meet Hilary Hatch: Violinist, Cat Lover, and Solar Heat Pump Homeowner

What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about the planet. I’m passionate about seeing what’s good in people and trying to realize that fundamentally we are all the same being—from the tiniest thing in the world to the universe. We are all made of the same stuff, we all came from the same place, and we’re all fundamentally part of one another. It’s important to keep that in mind.

Tell me about your cats!

Bonnie and Clyde! Bonnie is eleven years old, and they came together. They were rescued from some place down south. In the early morning hours of the day that I was going to have to bury my husband, my son from New Jersey and his wife who were then fostering cats brought me these two—and that day I woke up to two kittens in the house and that was life instead of death, and they’ve been my pals since then…and they’re just as much trouble as their names imply. B Roll Selects Still 29 B Roll Selects Still 17

When did you meet Jeff?

I met Jeff back in in 1981, and we were married 26 years. We both made each other the best possible human beings we could be – it was unlike any other relationship I could imagine. He’s still here around me – he shows up in the form of bluebirds and songs in my head that are speaking to me.

So you play violin for the Vermont Symphony Orchestra?

I’ve played violin since I was 10, and I’m still trying to do it right. My greatest joy is playing with other musicians and spending time on the road taking music to all 4 corners of the state.

Did Jeff play an instrument?

B Roll Selects Still 6No! Which was fine with me—he thought everything I did was wonderful! He used to brag that he played the radio. He wasn’t crazy about classical music, but he was always supportive, and when I became a nurse at 50 he was always there for me.

So tell me about the decision process to go solar?

When you’re in the garden you have the illusion of control but the only constant in life is change and it’s usually not at your behest. I like the Quaker hymn lyrics “Tis a gift to be simple Tis a gift to be free, Tis a gift to come down where you ought to be.” And I feel that is what has happened in a large part of my life—Jeff and I certainly had that feeling when we found this house. And then for whatever reason the whole solar thing started to happen without my pursuing it—the neighbor next door mentioned SunCommon and I thought, “well that’s worth looking into, “ and then another friend mentioned heat pumps, and I thought “gee that sounds really bright.” B Roll Selects Still 12I know how much money I spend on energy, there’s no way around spending money keeping a place warm during a Vermont winter—but I’m also aware of its toll on the planet when it’s taken from certain resources, and I just hate supporting that. So, the more I got involved in SunCommon the more I realized this was a great option.  I’m going to be spending money, I might as well spend it in a kinder and gentler way and get what I need without doing damage to the planet and without doing damage to my bank account. How can you lose? And then, once I started to work with SunCommon—the people there just made it obvious that this was supposed to happen. Everything fell into place, and they helped it fall into place. I mean literally, it was just happening around me. It took so little effort on my part, and everything ended up exactly where I would have put it in terms of aesthetic considerations—where the panels went, where the heat pump went, it just happened, and everything is where it ought to be, and I just couldn’t be more thrilled.

Why did you decide to get solar heat as well?

I decided to do the solar heat pump because it was sort of part and parcel of an intelligent approach to what is one of the biggest energy expenses in Vermont, and certainly in this house – which is oil. And it was not very expensive for what I was going to get out of it in terms of heat in the winter and cooling in the summer. I don’t have windows in this house that actually work with air conditioners, so the house can be cool if I keep it shut up, but some days it was just fan city, so the idea of a house being cool- great! And all with solar power – better! So, it’s terrific.

How does the heat pump work?

I know exactly how it works! It’s magic! There’s a unit that sits outside that’s not very large, and it does some sort of magic with the ambient temperature toB Roll Selects Still 24 produce either more degrees or fewer degrees in the house, whichever you desire, it’s magic – works for me.

Is the system loud?

As a musician, bizarre noises, background noises of any kind really can make me crazy. If there is a sound in the car—something jiggling, I will stop the car and find it because I can’t deal with it. SunCommon told me the solar heat pump would be quiet,  and I said “oh, ok, quiet is relative,” and you know what – it’s just barely there! Birds are louder than the heat pump is.

What is maintenance like?

The only maintenance that was discussed was maybe once a year changing the filter in there, and I don’t need a new filter I just have to wash off the old filter, and that’s it—this is a maintenance free solar and heat pump system. And when you are a person like me who doesn’t have all the skills in the world when it comes to keeping a house standing or running – that’s what I want to hear – especially when you’re dealing with magic!

Construction Begins on Adam’s Berry Farm!

Adam's Berry FarmKat and Denise went and visited Adam Hausmann of Adam’s Berry Farm in Charlotte today – what a stunningly beautiful spot!

Adam moved his farm from the Intervale in 2012 after one too many floods, and with help from the VT Land Trust, relocated to a farm with sweeping views of the Adirondacks.

With 2 poles already in progress, today the 20 panel roof installation began on Adam’s recently constructed, awesome barn, which will serve as a farm stand, storage and refrigeration. Adam also has an adorable black lab pup named Mason.

Berry picking season starts soon, so get out there!

SunCommon runs Vermont’s 31st Corporate Cup

Corporate Cup The SunCommon team joined the many other businesses, agencies, and nonprofit organizations at Vermont’s 31st Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness & Sports Corporate Cup & State Agency Race.

The 5-kilometer race is held annually in Montpelier on the third Thursday in May, in conjunction with National Employees Health and Fitness Day.

All proceeds from the event benefit the programs of the Vermont Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

SunCommon Receives 2014 EPA: Environmental Merit Award!

2014: Environmental Merit Award

Our co-founder, Duane Peterson, accepting the award on behalf of SunCommon.

For more than thirty years, EPA New England has honored those who have made outstanding contributions on behalf of our region’s environment. EPA’s Environmental Merit Awards program has honored teachers, citizen activists, business leaders, scientists, public officials and others who have made outstanding contributions on behalf of the region’s public health and natural environment.The Environmental Merit Awards recognize outstanding accomplishments during the past year or over a lifetime.

To see a list of all of the recipients, click here.

Business, Industry, Trade or Professional

Duane Peterson and James Moore, co-Presidents

It all started with a pilot project within the Vermont Public Interest Research Group. VPIRG Energy was created to make it easy and affordable for Vermonters yearning for sustainable energy sources for themselves. Within a year they helped 300 families to go solar. They knew they had a business model that worked but also realized that to scale it up to serve many more Vermonters they would need a separate entity and investment capital, and do SunCommon was born in early 2012. Their mission: to tear down the barriers that made renewable energy inaccessible and repower Vermont communities, one home, school and business at a time.

epa-logo_edited-1In two short years SunCommon has grown to become Vermont’s largest residential solar business, helping over 700 Vermont homeowners to go solar. SunCommon’s commitment to positive environmental impact runs throughout is business process. Its headquarters are in The Energy Mill, Vermont’s largest “net zero” office building. SunCommon is also a pioneering Benefit Corporation, with a legal charter that directs them to attend the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit. Benefit Corporations put their investors, employees, and neighbors on notice that while they intend to make a profit so that they can grow their business, they also will do right by their workers, the communities in which they operate and the habitats that sustain them.

Recently, 92 companies worldwide were recognized for creating the most positive overall social and environmental impact by the nonprofit B Lab with the release of the third annual B Corp Best for the World list. The list honors businesses that earned an overall score in the top 10% of all Certified B Corporations on the B Impact Assessment, a rigorous and comprehensive assessment of a company’s impact on its workers, community and the environment.




Featured House Party: The Evans’

Maureen Evans showing her guests how much money she's saved since going solar with us!

Maureen Evans showing her guests how much money she’s saved since going solar with us!

On Monday, SunCommon threw a house party at the Evans’ home in Essex Junction.

With the help of Jess and Kate, delicious food, and sunny weather, we shared our mission with a wonderful group of friends and homeowners eager to learn how they too can go solar.  Thank you to the Evans’ for the warm hospitality and for helping us spread the word!

We will soon be posting all of our events on a calendar to be featured on our home page, so keep an eye out for house parties near you!

Meet Denise Dean

IMG_9199When Denise ran into an old friend who mentioned she was going solar with SunCommon, Denise needed to hear the whole story.  By the next day, Denise made a call to SunCommon and within a week, a SunCommon Advisor was on her doorstep.  Next came installation and flipping the switch to solar energy!  The process was so easy and enjoyable that Denise pursued the company to get a piece of the action and help other Vermonters go solar.  From happy customer to SunCommon employee in just a few short, rewarding months!

What made you want to become SunCommon’s Chief Solar Guide?

I love working with people and I love the simple, clean nature of solar energy.  It was the perfect fit!  Combining my passion with my profession was an opportunity I couldn’t possibly pass up.

What is a typical day like for a solar guide?

Very busy!  Solar Guides work with homeowners from the time they decide to go solar until their system is installed so we spend a lot of time staying in touch with them via phone and email.  Homeowners are assigned a specific Guide to work with them through the entire process which helps build great relationships.  A typical day might involve guiding them through a little bit of paperwork, answering questions about how the system works, letting them know what to expect during the installation and generally making sure their customer experience is awesome!

What excites you most about what we are doing as a company?

That SunCommon is really making a difference.  We are offering an easy and affordable model for homeowners and the number of homes that have gone solar with us in just 2 years shows that it works.  I am really excited to see what the Vermont solar landscape will look like 5 years from now!

What do you do when you are not at work?

I moved to Vermont to enjoy all it has to offer so I spend a lot of time outdoors skiing, hiking, running, gardening, biking and enjoying anything to do with snow!   I’ve also tapped into Vermont’s amazing musical community and play a lot of music as well as see as much live music as possible.

What’s your favorite device to power?

My brain and my body!  I try to lead a simple life with few devices but admit to loving my iPad.

Valley Reporter: Crossett Brook Middle School solar system comes online

Tom-Drake,-CBMS-principalSolar developers, state and local officials and 260 middle-schoolers gathered on December 12 to flip the switch and energize the largest school solar system in Vermont. Crossett Brook Middle School in Duxbury is now the home of two solar arrays, replacing over one-third of the school’s total electricity demand with solar power.

“This is one more example of Vermont’s leadership in developing our renewable energy resources and in driving math and science education in our schools,” said Governor Shumlin. “Moving forward, we’ll be working to strengthen Vermont’s solar programs so that every Vermont school can follow Crossett Brook’s lead.”


WAMC Northeast Public Radio: VT’s Largest School Solar Array Online

Crossett Brook Middle School in Duxbury now has Vermont’s largest school solar array.

Governor Peter Shumlin and others threw the switch on the 157-kilowatt solar array Thursday. It is the largest such system at a school in Vermont.

Shumlin was joined by state and local officials and representatives of the solar power company that installed the array, SunCommon, and Green Mountain Power, Vermont’s largest electric utility.

The 480-panel array can produce enough electricity for about 30 homes and it’s expected to save the school thousands of dollars in electricity costs.



Vermont Business Magazine: Governor flips switch on largest school solar energy system

Shumlin Duxbury school solar Dec 2013Solar developers, state and local officials, and 260 middle schoolers gathered Thursday to flip the switch and energize the largest school solar system in Vermont. Crossett Brook Middle School in Duxbury is now the home of two solar arrays, replacing over one-third of the school’s total electricity demand with solar power.

“This is one more example of Vermont’s leadership in developing our renewable energy resources and in driving math and science education in our schools,” said Governor Shumlin. “Moving forward, we’ll be working to strengthen Vermont’s solar programs so that every Vermont school can follow Crossett Brook’s lead.”