Solar United Neighbors seeks Pennsylvania director

By Ben Delman on October 6, 2017

Update: This position has been filled.

Solar United Neighbors is seeking a Pennsylvania Program Director to manage and grow our new state program in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania program will launch in late fall 2017 (pending grant funding).

Solar United Neighbors of Pennsylvania, the newest state program of Solar United Neighbors, will be dedicated to making solar accessible and affordable to every resident of Pennsylvania. In each of our state programs, we help homeowners form solar co-ops to become owners, investors, and stakeholders in their state solar economy. Solar United Neighbors of Pennsylvania will ensure that all Pennsylvanians have equal access to solar programs and technologies for economic development. Solar United Neighbors is dedicated to the vision that if a large and diverse number of people have a financial stake in the clean energy economy, they will fight for it. By building, demonstrating, promoting, and advocating for ways for people to financially benefit from clean energy, we build a broad new constituency for change.

In addition to our upcoming work in Pennsylvania, Solar United Neighbors implements state programs in Washington, D.C, Virginia, Maryland, West Virginia, Florida, Ohio, Minnesota, and New Jersey. A core component of our state programs is to facilitate neighborhood solar co-ops. The basic approach is to gather homeowners and businesses together and to help them go solar as a group. By forming a group, participants can save off the cost of the installation. We support co-op members through the decision-making process, creating a group dynamic that helps more people go solar, and we engage in policy work that improves and strengthens the solar market for everybody.

In October 2017, Solar United Neighbors launched a new state-based membership program to run in tandem with our solar co-ops. Membership will bring new constituencies into our organization (beyond solar co-op participants) and further expand our base of solar supporters into a strong, diverse political force. Members will receive a suite of services, including a real-time Solar Help desk and robust advocacy materials.

About the Position

The Pennsylvania Program Director will implement solar co-op programs across the state and conduct extensive communications, outreach, press, and trainings around creating an accessible and affordable solar market in Pennsylvania. We believe in a distributed model of leadership and work to train and empower many local leaders, with the Program Director supporting these efforts.

Focus areas include:

  • Develop, implement solar co-ops in communities across the state (primarily in western and central Pennsylvania), working to ensure solar access for all Pennsylvanians.
  • Provide technical assistance to residents and organizations interested in going solar.
  • Work with Solar United Neighbors staff to organize an annual Solar Congress, open to all interested Pennsylvania residents.
  • Closely follow and contribute to emerging distributed energy policy/regulatory initiatives in the state, including (but not limited to) Pennsylvania’s renewable portfolio standards, state solar incentives (particularly, the pending issue of closing the state’s SREC borders), low-income solar access, community solar, and other solar-related policy issues.
  • Work with Solar United Neighbors advocacy team to translate above policy/regulatory work into strategic calls to action for members.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with community partners and stakeholders across the state.
  • Develop and engage a citizen-led board for Solar United Neighbors of Pennsylvania programming.
  • Represent Solar United Neighbors of Pennsylvania at wide variety of stakeholder meetings and community engagement opportunities across the state (and activate our state network to do so in tandem).
  • Collaborate with Solar United Neighbors’ engagement staff to design and implement a volunteer engagement program for Solar United Neighbors of Pennsylvania.
  • Support ongoing fundraising and donor engagement efforts.
  • Maintain online web infrastructure for the Pennsylvania section of our website to include in-depth information on solar basics, authoring timely content on solar-related topics, as well as serve as an invaluable resource for citizen engagement.
  • Strategically follow and document trends in the Pennsylvania residential solar market, to be shared with fellow staff and our larger Pennsylvania network.

Applicant Requirements

Solar United Neighbors seeks a full-time Program Director to implement the above work. Solar United Neighbors will provide strategic oversight and guidance, including supporting the use of our organization-wide Salesforce contact management database and shared materials. The Program Director will function as part of the Solar United Neighbors team to deploy the solar co-ops and guide state policy and advocacy work.  The Program Director will collaborate closely with back-office co-op coordinators (based in our D.C. headquarters) on the day-to-day implementation of co-ops, and with Solar United Neighbors’ cross-cutting communications, engagement, membership, and advocacy teams where appropriate. The Program Director will be responsible for hosting information meetings and meeting with co-op members, including a number of evening meetings and travel throughout the state.

Qualified applicants will have at least five years work experience, a strong understanding of effective organizing techniques, an ability to develop relationships with community members and organizations, and a strong motivation to help grow this program. Strong writing and verbal presentation skills essential. Interest in working collaboratively in a team environment required. Experience with online CRMs, solar basics, and solar project development a plus.

The majority of the Pennsylvania program’s work will be focused on western and central Pennsylvania. Preference will be given to applicants based in those parts of the state.

Applicants should send a resume and cover letter to Emma Rodvien at: