Spotlight on a Solar Pro: Hannah Elliott
This spotlight on a Solar Pro is Hannah Elliott. Renu Energy Solutions has many gifted and talented employees. Wander towards the back of our office and you will find the quiet, hard-working Hannah Elliott. Normally you’d see her with a phone glued to her ear checking on some utility paperwork or reminding a customer about an upcoming visit to their home, which is all in a day’s work for a senior solar project coordinator.
Hannah was born and raised in Connecticut. She only had to visit Charlotte once to realize she wanted to move here (the sunny Tar Heel State has that effect on people!)
That meant finding a full time gig, which in 2016 in a state with a booming solar market didn’t seem too hard for Hannah: She was already coming from an operations role at a major national solar installation company and ready to make a transfer to a firm on a more manageable scale.
After a little googling, she found the Renu team. She responded to Renu’s family-owned, close-knit feel and immediately saw herself as part of the organization. Welcomed into the motley Renu crew in fall 2016, she soon came to thrive in her current position.
Now interactions with Hannah are an integral part of the solar process for every Renu solar homeowner and commercial solar customer. “You get to see the project begin as a few pieces of paper with some utility figures and an address,” she says about the early stage of a solar project. “Then you work with a homeowner over the course of 4 to 6 weeks to bring the solar system to the point where it goes live. Not only do I get to be there at the starting line, I’m there helping get it to the finish.” From helping clients get system approval from local permit offices and homeowners’ associations, to completing utility company connection paperwork, Hannah and her department handle it all.
Hannah says she finds that where she really excels is helping communicate the customized installation process to ensure a seamless, streamlined integration of a Renu solar array for the customer’s home or business. She admits she enjoys getting to work so closely with Renu’s reps who handle solar sales, also known as energy consultants because there is so much deep inquiry involved in assessing how well solar will work for any customer (communication is crucial in Hannah’s world to help the customer to be comfortable and aware of exactly what to expect.) Plus she also is in constant coordination with Renu’s solar install technicians.
In her project-oriented role, Hannah often wears the hat of “problem-solver-in-chief” and when working through the thorniest, fine-tooth comb inspection-related issues, it’s easy to see that Hannah wants the customer to succeed and wants to see more high-quality clean energy deployed in our communities. She appreciates seeing more news coverage of solar and getting the sense that it’s talked about in the Carolinas more than ever. “I’m always talking solar after I leave work at night, with friends and random people I meet, when they find out I work in solar are always asking me questions, like ‘what’s going on in your field?’” she jokes.
“So I tell them, from my vantage point, there’s so much interest in going solar and more than ever, people who reach out to Renu thinking about solar end up going all the way through the process and winding up with a great solar array and being super happy,” she remarks. And she says she knows that with incentives like the 30% federal tax credit continuing this year and next, and exciting new programs and policies taking effect in the Carolinas to encourage solar, things won’t slow down much for a while. And that’s just how Hannah likes it, staying busy.