About Solar United Neighbors of Pennsylvania
We’re transitioning our energy system to one that creates wealth for all Pennsylvanians with locally produced power and a growing industry. We’re making solar the keystone of our energy system.
We envision a clean, equitable energy system that directs control and benefits back to local communities, with solar on every roof and money in every pocket.
We’re a community of people building a new energy system and rooftop solar is the cornerstone. We help people go solar, join together, and fight for their energy rights.
We work with amazing partners to spread the solar word. Our partner organizations range from nonprofits to municipal governments, universities to community organizations, and individual “super volunteers” to houses of worship.
We are just getting started in Pennsylvania, so check back soon to learn about our partners!
Pennsylvania advisory board
Our Pennsylvania advisory board provides strategic guidance to our work. Members do not have fiduciary oversight but provide strategic direction to the program. They are members of successful solar co-ops, solar champions, and leaders in the community.
Attilia Shumaker taught biology, nature studies, and environmental science for 39 years in Southwestern Pennsylvania. She chairs the Wheeling Creek Watershed Conservancy, belongs to various other environmental groups, and is active in mission work, both nationally and internationally. These experiences and interests have made Attilia very aware of the value of renewable energy, especially solar power, because it doesn’t cause destruction of the environment. “God gave us the sun,” she says, “Use it effectively. Make Mr. Sun your Number One – he won’t run down or ruin your ground. He’s here for me and shines for free!”
Bill is the president and owner of TruTechTools.com, a web store for high-tech tools used to ensure energy efficiency in homes and buildings. Using his background as a mechanical engineer and his leadership role in the HVAC and building performance industries, he regularly teaches and writes on technically complex topics including the applications of testing and measurement instrumentation in building science, healthy homes, indoor air quality, weatherization, and HVACR. Bill hosts the Building HVAC Science Podcast as part of the BlueCollarRoots.com media network and the RESTalk podcast for RESNET.us, the Home Energy Rating organization. As part of his efforts to get consumers to better understand their choices with respect to the responsible use of energy, he recently joined with neighbors to host a local event. It was there that he learned of Solar United Neighbors. He and his wife plan to build a high-performance, modular home in 2019 and solar will play a big role their energy plan.
Deshirl Yesenosky is a retired member of the United Mine Workers of America and is a passionate solar advocate. As the coal industry declines in Western Pennsylvania, Deshirl hopes to see solar emerge as the energy source that provides good-paying jobs that take care of families. In addition to its economic benefits, Deshirl enjoys the natural aspect of acquiring energy from the sun. A resident of Washington County, Deshirl is active in her local Lions Club and was a participant in the Upper Ohio Valley Solar Co-op.
Dr. Jonathan Warnock is an assistant professor in the Department of Geoscience and Co-Director of Sustainability Studies at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. A native Chicagoan, Jonathan moved to Pennsylvania after graduate school. Professionally, he is a marine micropaleontologist, using fossil algae to understand ice/ocean interactions in Antarctic coastal waters and the Baltic Sea over the past 25 million years. A ‘dinosaur kid’ his whole life, Jonathan also researches late-Jurassic ecology at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry in central Utah. He lives with his partner Alex, and avid gardener and aspiring urban farmer. Jonathan and Alex went solar as participants of the Indiana County Solar Co-op.
Rick Bloom is a retired high school science teacher. He holds a master’s degree in biology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Rick is an avid canoeist, bicyclist, hiker, hunter and amateur naturalist. As a science teacher, Rick has educated his students on practical ways to help our environment and save money. In an effort to reduce their carbon footprint a decade ago, Rick and his wife decided to give up their original oil furnace and switch to a ground sourced heat pump. Then, about seven years ago, as they watched the price of solar panels fall and net metering spread, they decided that the next practical step was to install a solar array on their small barn. Both systems have worked extremely well. Rick and his wife are proud of these accomplishments and try to educate others on the practical benefits of saving energy and using solar generated electricity.
Sue is a retired professor emeritus of biology, having taught at Saint Francis University for the last 24 years. She was the coordinator for the marine biology program and worked with many students on environmental issues involving the aquatic system. With global warming causing so much damage to the coral reefs, Sue stressed the need to find ecosystem-friendly energy solutions to all her students. Solar power is definitely one of the solutions.
Besides teaching occasionally as an adjunct, Sue is an avid scuba diver and diving instructor. She was honored for her long tenure as a diver with initiation into the Women Divers Hall of Fame in 2000. She has traveled around the world surveying reef systems. She previously owned a dive store, and realizes the potential for solar power in benefiting both businesses and private home owners.