Concentration of CO2 in the Atmosphere

Meet Your Solar Installer: SunCommon

SunCommon customer and his dog in front of their newly solarized home in Waterbury, Vermont

George Harvey

SunCommon has appeared often enough in the pages of Green Energy Times that it feels like a well-known organization. It seems, however, that while we have mentioned SunCommon several times, we never properly presented SunCommon as the subject of an article. That said, there is no time like the present, because SunCommon is a very interesting company with a fascinating, rich history.

The original founders of SunCommon had already been active before its founding, and one thing they did was to lead a campaign to shut down Vermont Yankee. SunCommon was founded in December of 2012 as a Public Benefit Corporation and Certified B Corp, in Waterbury, Vermont. It had two founders, Duane Peterson and James Moore, though it also started with fourteen original employees. Over the following years, SunCommon built solar systems for 4,500 Vermont families and 25 community solar arrays. With all that work, it grew rather quickly, to the point that it had a hundred employees in 2018.

At that point, the company suddenly grew, taking on thirty more employees and a much larger territory as the result of a merger with Hudson Solar, a company founded in late 2002 and originally based in Rheinbeck, New York. In addition to thirty new employees, SunCommon took on fifteen years of experience from building 1,700 solar systems. The Hudson Valley branch of SunCommon now has its office in Kingston, New York, serving the New York Capital District and Hudson Valley.

SunCommon found new customers primarily through word-of-mouth. From the time of the merger, the number of employees grew to about 200 in just five years. SunCommon credits its growth to its efforts to provide excellent service and products, which arise from its dedication to the principles of a B Corp, with a triple bottom line supporting people, planet, and profit, equally.

The effects of its triple bottom line are clear. The employees voted SunCommon one of the best places to work. It is clear that the company’s commitments have spilled over into the attitudes of its workers. They have been active in their communities as individuals.

Jake C., a crew lead, explained what it is like to work with the other employees, saying, “The thing I like most about working at SunCommon [is] the people. When I go to work each day, it’s like hanging out with my buddies. It’s something you really can’t put a price tag on.”

Zoila S., a senior solar advisor, explained the attitude toward customers. “Engaging with customers gives me the joy of sharing our mutual passion for green energy, illustrating how easy and impactful the transition can be. Each conversation is an opportunity to build a community committed to a sustainable and greener future. It’s about more than business, it’s about taking meaningful steps together towards a cleaner planet.”

Close up of a SunCommon solar canopy with its bifacial solar panels and handcrafted timber frame. (Photos courtesy of SunCommon)

SunCommon speaks of its original intentions, principles from which it has not wavered, on a page of its web site, “Advocacy & Activism.” ( It says, “SunCommon was founded to address the climate crisis, and built on the pillars of community organizing and activism. It’s our mission to break down the barriers to renewable energy, but we know that our role goes beyond just installing solar panels. Creating a brighter future demands collective advocacy and action.”

We might ask an interested reader to imagine the implications of such dedication. The B Corp triple bottom line puts three values on equal footing. These are people, planet, and profit. This has a meaning that some customers might do well to think about. For one thing, it puts the customer at the same level of importance as profit.

Think of that! What would happen if all corporations were B-Corps? What would life be like if the fossil fuel interests put people and the environment at the same level of importance as profit? We might think it would benefit them as well as everyone else, because the path they are on is not sustainable.

SunCommon’s territory covers the majority of Vermont and the Capital District and Hudson Valley of New York. It provides services as a developer and contractor, along with engineering, procurement, and construction. Its customers are residential, farm, and commercial, along with municipal and non-profit.

The types of systems SunCommon can install include most of what people want, including ground-mounted, rooftop, and canopy installations. SunCommon can install battery back with systems, though it does not develop off-grid systems. With attention to the needs of individual customers, SunCommon can advise on incentives from the states of New York and Vermont, along with federal incentives.

SunCommon serves its customers in many ways. On its website, it says, “We take pride in tearing down the barriers to going solar by offering affordable solar financing with no upfront cost and low monthly payments.”

SunCommon’s ideals have led to numerous awards. In fact, it is one of only five solar companies to be designated “NYSERDA Platinum Quality Installer.” Its website is

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