Saturday, June 30, 2007

Summer Solstice Potluck

The article in today's Mountain View Voice about the Summer Solstice Potluck reminded me that I haven't posted anything here in almost a month. That's because my new job as Community Programs Marketing Manager at SolarCity has been keeping me really busy. This is my first job with a start-up, and the pace is as hectic as I've heard it would be.

Community programs like Mountain View's have become incredibly popular, and we now have them running in Berkeley/Rockridge, Castro Valley, Rocklin, San Carlos, Menlo Park/Atherton, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, and the Willow Glen/Cambrian Park/Rose Garden neighborhoods of San Jose. Oh, and there's also the Stanford program, which covers not only houses on Stanford land but also the homes of all Stanford faculty and staff within a 15 mile drive of Hoover Tower. And more to come soon! You'll find the complete list at

Getting back to the subject of the potluck picnic -- it was really a wonderful evening and a great way for new solar system owners to share shop talk and ask questions of each other as well as the SolarCity employees who were there. About half a dozen installers were there along with an equal number from the marketing and management team.

Our own experience as solar owners has been going very well. We've had outstanding sunny mild weather for the last two months which is ideal for solar power production. Our 2.1 kW AC system is generating about 14.5 kWh per day, and we're only using about 10.2 kWh. The rest is being "banked" for our wintertime use, and my guess is that we will truly find a year from now that we have lowered our electricity bill to zero (except, of course, for the $5 or 6/month that PG&E charges for reading our meter and providing us with a connection to the grid).

It's a great feeling to know that our home's power is provided by free range organic photons streaming in from the sun. Instead of just heating up our shingles, they're powering our home! ;)

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

My New Job at SolarCity

The post below is something I have sent to everyone on the MVSolar Yahoo!Group:

Organizing the MV Solar Buyers Group was one of the most fulfilling things I've ever done. Once the sign-up period ended on April 30, I just didn't want to stop.

So, in mid-May I approached SolarCity about joining them as a Marketing Manager for their community programs. My goal is to take what I had learned in Mountain View and share it with Solar Champions in other cities and neighborhoods. It seemed to me that this would combine my passion for community work and the environment with my professional background in marketing and knowledge management.

I'm pleased to let you all know that SolarCity liked the idea and I have joined them as an employee. Today was my first day.

I want to continue to channel your feedback to SolarCity as I have been doing for the past four months. As an employee, I hope I will be even more effective in that role.

Sometime soon I will also be asking for your help in spreading the word about Community Purchase Programs to your friends in other communities where we have or soon will start programs. These include: Berkeley, Rockridge, Castro Valley, Stanford, Menlo Park, Atherton, San Carlos, Santa Monica and the Rose Garden, Cambrian Park and Willow Glen neighborhoods of San Jose.