ReVision is Building a More Sustainable Energy Future
By Beth Lamontagne Hall | Courtesy Photos
Fighting climate change can seem like a daunting global challenge too big for just one person or one community to tackle, but ReVision Energy, an employee-owned solar company, is attempting to chip away at this problem one rooftop at a time.
For more than a decade, ReVision has been building solar panel installations across northern New England for private homeowners, nonprofits, communities and schools, thus reducing reliance on fossil fuels while investing in the sustainability of the region. With offices in Concord and Brentwood, as well as Maine and Massachusetts, ReVision Energy has built more than 7,000 solar installations, while also earning awards and recognition for being among the best companies and places to work in New Hampshire and Maine.
“Our company is a mission-driven one, to accelerate the clean-energy transition from fossil fuels to solar and other clean energy sources,” said Dan Weeks, ReVision Energy’s director of marketing development. “We also are all too aware of the imperative for broader society and community to be engaged in individual acts of fossil fuel resistance, if you will, and by creating policy that gives us a fighting chance to address climate change.”
ReVision Energy’s mission of sustainability goes beyond its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as evidenced in Revision’s certification as a B Corporation, which denotes that a business has committed itself to a defined set of nontraditional business practices that benefit employees, customers and the broader community. Through this classification, ReVision Energy is legally required to consider the impact of its decisions on employees, consumers, the community and the environment, as well as shareholders with the goal of creating a positive impact on society and the environment.
One of the ways ReVision Energy strives toward this goal is by donating equipment and labor to help the region’s nonprofits access solar power. ReVision has also provided thousands of in-kind hours working with nonprofits on grants for solar projects.
New England’s energy prices are higher than the national average, and this cost impacts the operations of nonprofits. ReVision Energy’s unique “power purchase agreement” program is another way to make solar power more accessible to nonprofits by helping to defray upfront costs and unlocking solar power incentives in the tax code, said Weeks.
To date, ReVision Energy has helped more than 100 nonprofits install solar equipment. This year, ReVision Energy has been working with local investors to extend this benefit further with its ReVision Solar Impact Partners program.
“We have limits in terms of our own ability to finance these projects on our balance sheet, especially since we’ve changed to a 100 percent employee-owned company,” said Weeks. “This is a way to take this solar for nonprofits program to scale.”
By bringing in local investors willing to lend below market rates, he said, ReVision is able to serve more nonprofits.
“In the coming years, this will be a way to serve not just a couple dozen nonprofits a year, but many dozen nonprofits could really benefit,” said Weeks.
Also announced this fall is a joint initiative with the League of Conservation Voters to help its members access more affordable solar arrays for their homes while also funding the League’s greater mission. ReVision Energy is offering League of Conservation Voters a $250 discount on solar installation and will make a matching $250 donation to support the League’s work for climate solutions. Available until June 30, 2019, ReVision is helping environmentally minded residents better put their dollars into action.
Weeks, like many ReVision Energy employees, comes from an environmental advocacy background and had crossed paths with League of Conservation Voters State Director Rob Werner in the past. It was this relationship that helped the two groups develop the collaboration.
“In conversations with myself and Rob Werner, we just thought, ‘could we take it a step further?’” said Weeks. “We believe in this idea of voting on Election Day, but also voting every day with our dollars and taking individual actions to address climate change.” Werner said the funds from ReVision Energy will go to the group’s mission of developing clean energy solutions and to “advance policies that would lead to clean energy development and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
ReVision Energy employees have a real stake not only in the success of the company, but in enacting change to better the community, said Werner.
“They are looking at the bigger picture,” he said.