The Bridge – SunCommon One-year Anniversary

SunCommon of Waterbury celebrated its one-year anniversary at the home of Liberty Street resident Johannes Otter (left) Monday. Speakers included (left to right) SunCommon copresident Duane Peterson, Central Vermont Economic Development chairman Peter Hood, Governor Peter Shumlin, Peck Electric president Jeff Peck and South Burlington homeowner Joanne Heidkamp. SunCommon installed 248 residential solar systems its first year, has a goal of installing 500 its second year and intends to expand its program to farms. The firm employs 53, uses components from local vendors and is a benefit corporation, meaning it has a “triple bottom line” (people, planet, profit).

Peterson attributed the firm’s growth to its attractive financing model, which requires no initial installation expense to homeowners. Otter lived in Germany during Chernobyl and his wife was then pregnant. Heidkamp’s system delivered half her needs in midwinter, all she needed in March, and her meter now runs backward. The event publicized the state’s Clean Energy Fund, currently expected to run out of money this summer.

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