As we bring community solar to new markets and customers throughout the country, questions inevitably arise about the nuances of solar credits, utility bill integration, contract terms and a host of other program elements. Even as programs become simpler and more mainstream, sometimes a personal touch is still needed to help customers complete their community solar applications.
That’s where Jessica Berger, BlueWave’s Community Solar Outreach Coordinator, comes in. If you’re a BlueWave customer or have thought about signing up for community solar with BlueWave, you probably already know Jessica. You’ve probably talked on the phone or received an email from her explaining the sign-up process or walking you through some commonly asked questions. Jessica and our team of experts are key to making solar more accessible. Using personal touchpoints and an amazing breadth of knowledge of community solar programs, our support team gives customers the tools and understanding they need to make smart decisions about their energy.
We sat down with Jessica to learn more about her and to better understand the critical role she plays in helping homeowners, renters, business owners, and municipalities navigate the world of community solar.
What does BlueWave’s mission mean to you personally?
I’m very passionate about sustainability, environmental conservation, and climate justice. Most upsetting to me is that those who have contributed the least to climate change will be the most affected by climate change. I was drawn to BlueWave because of its mission to break down barriers of access, such as affordability, allowing more individuals to support and benefit from solar energy. With community solar, individuals such as myself, are empowered with the choice to support solar energy. BlueWave offers simple, powerful solar solutions that make it easy for people of all different socio-economic backgrounds to take action to combat climate change, collectively greening the electrical grid while supporting their local community and saving money compared to their regular electric bills.
What are you currently working on that’s exciting for you?
Talking to people about their energy needs and introducing them to the exciting opportunity that is community solar. Community solar is a new concept for many people and I look forward to the moments in my day when I get to teach them about it. I think a lot of people are unaware they have the option to help support clean energy production or they think that it will cost them a lot of money. I enjoy helping people understand they can take action towards a better, greener future, and can even save money in the process.
How would you describe community solar to a five-year-old?
That’s a tricky one! But I think it could go something like this: the sun produces energy which is captured by something called a solar panel. That energy helps create the electricity used to power your home. When you put a lot of solar panels together it is called a solar farm. A community solar farm generates a lot of energy which can help power a lot of homes. Solar energy is better for the environment, and because of this, the people that support the creation of community solar farms receive credits. Credits are like tokens in an arcade that can be turned into prizes. The prize, in this case, is saving money on your electricity bill.
What’s your favorite thing about working at BlueWave?
I love working with a group of extremely talented and smart people who are all committed to making the world a better place. Mitigating climate change is multifaceted and can often feel demoralizing with each new report about the worsening state of our planet. It can feel like you are alone in your actions. My co-workers inspire me each day with their dedication to the environment and eagerness to learn and do more. They bring expertise from all different aspects of the solar industry and challenge each other to think critically and creatively to make our vision of a cleaner energy future a reality.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I enjoy being a part of the active community that exists here in Boston. I serve as an ambassador for a local running group called Boston Road Runners, leading their weekly track practices and their annual trail running retreat. I am currently training for a 70.3 mile Iron Man and a marathon at the end of the summer. Anytime spent on my bike whether on the trails, scenic roads, or commuting the busy streets of Boston, is time well spent for me. I’m fortunate that I don’t have to look far for partners on my adventures as many of my co-workers have similar interests.
I’m also passionate about giving back to the community as much as possible. I’m lucky that with BlueWave’s commitment to volunteerism, flexibility, and work-life balance I can be so involved. I volunteer weekly at two local nonprofits, the International Institute of New England (IINE) and Enroot. At IINE, I am currently a volunteer teaching assistant for English Second Language (ESL) learners who are recent immigrants and refugees. At Enroot, I volunteer as a subject tutor for ESL high school students. Over the past two years, I have helped tutor the same student who feels like a younger sister to me. I am very proud of her development and am excited to say that she will be attending university in the fall on full scholarship.
Through BlueWave community solar, we are making solar energy more accessible to more people. At every turn we are identifying opportunities to simplify the process to make it easier for residents and businesses to choose solar and support a clean energy future. We’re rolling out new technologies to make the sign-up process more straightforward, we’re working with new partners to expand where and how we offer community solar subscriptions, and we’re hiring more community solar experts, people like Jessica, to provide top-notch service and answer questions if/when they arise. Want to be part of this growing movement to revolutionize energy? Check out our careers page. We’d love to meet you!