Going Solar in Underhill, Vermont — Nicole’s Canopy

20190809_Homeowner_Canopy_Nicole_Bourassa_Underhill_Vermont_VT_Dog_Summer_Garden_254A9673

Meet Nicole Bourassa

Nicole is a SunCommon employee who just went solar. This is her story.

I’ve been fortunate to have traveled a lot. Around the world, I’ve seen incredible environmental degradation of all kinds— lack of infrastructure for proper waste disposal, no access to clean water or reliable electricity, burning trash and fossil fuel pollution from ancient vehicles.

While I’m not in a position to make systemic change in these places, I knew that back home my actions could  have an impact.


When I returned home, I looked for a mission-driven organization, which is how I started working for SunCommon in March 2015.

Soon after, I became a member of one of their community solar arrays. I wanted my own panels someday, but in the meantime, I was supporting renewable energy and saved a bit on my electric costs too!

So how did I end up choosing the canopy?

Could I have found a cheaper renewable energy solution with another company? Perhaps. As a working single mom I certainly don’t have a disposable income.

Nicole's New Underhill Solar Canopy

I’ve been fortunate to have traveled a lot. Around the world, I’ve seen incredible environmental degradation of all kinds— lack of infrastructure for proper waste disposal, no access to clean water or reliable electricity, burning trash and fossil fuel pollution from ancient vehicles.

While I’m not in a position to make systemic change in these places, I knew that back home my actions could  have an impact.


When I returned home, I looked for a mission-driven organization, which is how I started working for SunCommon in March 2015.

Soon after, I became a member of one of their community solar arrays. I wanted my own panels someday, but in the meantime, being a community solar member felt like a great way to support renewable energy, and hey, I saved a bit on my electric costs too!

Nicole's New Underhill Solar Canopy

SunCommon is all about accessibility.

The layout of my property and the forest behind my home, meant I couldn’t put solar on my roof or in the yard. However, my driveway and parking area had the best sun exposure.

Because of the numbers of trees I would need to cut down to go solar on my roof, I asked to see the numbers on the canopy; with the Federal ITC, and my decision to finance on my own (score another 8% cash discount!) my solar production from a canopy added up to significant savings.

I have instantly increased my property value. That investment alone is worth it. 

SunCommon is all about accessibility.

The layout of my property and the forest behind my home, meant I couldn’t put solar on my roof or in the yard. However, my driveway and parking area had the best sun exposure.

Because of the numbers of trees I would need to cut down to go solar on my roof, I asked to see the numbers on the canopy; with the Federal ITC, and my decision to finance on my own (score another 8% cash discount!) my solar production from a canopy added up to a significant savings.

I have instantly increased my property value. That investment alone is worth it. 

Underhill VT Solar Canopy

Plus, working with a company for my solar installation that is committed to being socially and environmentally responsible, was important to me.

As a Benefit Corporation and Certified B Corp, SunCommon aligns with my personal values and in ways that I want to move through the world.

Underhill VT Solar Canopy

I’m actually looking forward to winter this year, knowing my car will be more protected from the elements.

Being a community solar member was great, but producing clean energy right at home feels even better! More importantly, my daughter loves it too, given the context of climate change. She is used to me talking—okay, maybe preaching—about how important it is that we follow our values through with real actions.

We are both thrilled now to be doing even more, right here at home.

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