Creating a Planet Run by the Sun

In high school I began to learn about the various environmental challenges that our earth is facing. At The Principia College I continued to study which factors are negatively influencing our planet and how we as humans can still be positive change agents, within my sustainability minor. I became most fascinated in mankind’s involvement in greenhouse gases such as coal, oil, and natural gas due to the impact they are having on our climate on a global scale. In college I had the great privilege of meeting a few climate scientists and attending some of the largest conferences in the nation that focused on waste, energy, water, and food that further developed my understanding of climate change. While I was attending an AASHE Conference (Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education) in 2015, Eban Goodstein, an environmentalist spoke about the climate challenges we face and how they make it the most exciting time to ever be alive. As I sat in my chair in a room of hundreds of other students, faculty, and environmentalists, I knew that somehow I wanted to dedicate my life to helping the world transition to clean energy.

Fast forward to now, I am pleased to be working for Sunrun, the largest residential solar provider in The United States, with a mission to “Create a planet run by the Sun”. Currently my role is a Retail Sales Advisor, in Denver CO. Within this position I primarily travel to all the Costco warehouses in the Denver area educating Costco members about solar and the benefits they can receive, determining if their home is qualified to go solar, and providing them with a free in home consultation with a Sunrun Consultant.

Within this position, I see about four to six thousand people a day. Unfortunately, many people are not able to go solar because of cost, location, certain utility providers, an unqualified roof, too much shade, they already have it, or they simply are not interested, therefore I hear a lot of no’s. Within this sales position there is a large amount of rejection, however it has taught me that that in order to create positive change fast it is crucial to have the humility to talk to everyone.

What I love most about working for Sunrun is the direct impact we have. It has been inspiring to see how many households have made the switch to renewable energy with us just this summer in Colorado. I hope to transition into the Solar Consultant role with Sunrun in the near future and continue to help “create a planet run by the sun”!

Jason McEntire is from Jamestown, New York and a graduate of Principia College and spent his years on staff at CLC running the Leadership Training program.