Solar Access: A Conversation with Natalie Jones
November 14, 2018
Natalie Jones, Mattapan MA
BAEC: How did you originally become interested in solar?
Natalie Jones: Early on, reading about how a family can get energy from the sun was so fascinating to me. Now that I finally have solar, I feel so blessed to be a part of the clean energy movement. Solar is really a goal of my life. For some people they climb mountains, run marathons or go on cruises. For me, it was having solar panels.
How did you go about trying to reach that goal?
NJ: Years ago I started looking into going solar, I sat down with lots of different solar groups. It never worked out because either they lacked the follow through, or they couldn’t answer my questions about quality or guarantees. It just felt like a one size fits all way of doing business.
So, how did you find out about Resonant Energy?
NJ: Eventually, after going to lots of community events, I ended up meeting Resonant, and learned about them through the Codman Square goes Solar Campaign [Now called Boston Affordable Energy Coalition].
I was drawn to Resonant because they had a program that was about access, not just solar power. They had actually thought about the barriers that families have. They had taken the time to figure out how to design a program to help people living in this community, communities of color, and of various income levels, gain access to something that protects the environment and actually supports everyone.
I get that we live in a capitalist society, but solar and clean energy have to be available to everyone. Resonant and the Mass Solar Loan is the one program that really offered it.
How was the process navigating the Mass Solar loan?
NJ: There are so many programs that are supposed to help people but they filter more people out than they invite in. This program was clearly designed to invite people in and offer them real solutions. The requirements were flexible and open enough to enable me to actually own solar.
The Mass Solar Loan, was a program that actually wants to create benefits for your family, and will actually work with your income. You always know what’s going on, and what stage you’re at.
The loan officer was flexible, I was a student and working full time. And they worked with me to make deadlines that would work for me.
What felt different about working with Resonant compared with your previous experience with solar?
NJ: When you see Resonant at events with your community and with your family, it makes a huge difference. By being a part of the program I felt like I was serving my community in different ways, and they were serving me.
It just speaks to the quality of Resonant; they tailor programs to your needs, and they know the different options inside and out. They know quality installers with good products. This just speaks to the way that Resonant is unique, and makes you feel comfortable.
What do you think is important for other people to know before going solar?
NJ: You really have to go with an open mind in order to find what option works best for you and your family. But it’s like any other thing; we have to invest time and energy to do better for future generations.
It’s important to be flexible and not give up. The important thing to remember is the sun
is here and constant! It is shining on us!
Are there any last words you want to tell people?
NJ: When we think about solutions climate change, we have to recognize that people of color and people with low incomes are the most vulnerable. It’s obvious with the natural disasters that are currently happening that the water is coming and the wind is coming. In order to support people that are already vulnerable, giving them more access to options and solutions to climate change will make a big impact across the board.
Natalie’s Solar Array!