Employee Features

5 Questions for a Solar Designer

We’re featuring ReVision Employee-Owner Zach Nugent, a Solar Design Specialist in the South Portland branch. Our Solar Design team works with homeowners to discuss their energy goals and design systems to meet those needs. Part of the time Zach is on the road, meeting with homeowners and evaluating homes in Southern Maine. During the other parts of the week you’ll find Zach in our South Portland office or working from his home in Portland as he creates system designs and proposals to send to customers. 

If Zach’s job sounds up your alley, check out our Careers Page – we have a few open Designer positions.

If you're looking for help assessing different quotes or companies, check out our recent article on the different questions to ask a solar company.

As a Solar Design Specialist, what does your job entail?

I’m sure there’s an official HR description of the job out there that sounds different and more professional, but I’ll give my official description! A Solar Design Specialist is usually the first person from ReVision to visit a potential customer’s home. My goal during this visit is to evaluate the house for a number of things: solar, batteries, heat pumps, heat pump water heaters, and EV chargers — it can be a lot to juggle. I find the easiest way to navigate all these options is to start with a conversation with the homeowner. By talking through their goals and answering their questions, a plan usually starts to emerge.

I think of these meetings as educational opportunities; the goal isn’t necessarily to sell anything, but instead to talk about the bigger ideas of why transitioning energy use from fossil fuels to renewable energy can make a huge positive difference both financially for the homeowner and environmentally for their community — locally and beyond. And while those big ideas often seem too big to do anything about, my job is to design and propose simple, efficient, real-life solutions that actually really work and make a difference!

What brought you to ReVision Energy?

After spending my twenties mostly doing seasonal work all over the country, I really wanted to come back home to Maine. Ideally, I wanted to find a job that wouldn’t be sedentary, had a mission I could feel proud of, and actually made a difference in our little corner of the world. ReVision checked all those boxes and more. I’ve now been at ReVision for seven years.

What’s your favorite part of your job?

Being on the road doing home evaluations. I love driving around Maine, I love meeting Maine people (and their pets), and I love talking about what ReVision does because I truly believe what we do is helpful to our community.

What’s the most common misconception about solar energy that you encounter?

Unbranded-Bolt-Zach-Nugent-400x400.jpgThat it’s only for rich people. Sorry for the sales pitch, but more people should know: you can finance a solar project for no money down and your monthly solar payment will be less than what you’re currently paying your utility!

So, you swap out your electric bill for a solar bill — it’s really that simple. Plus, the solar bill is a fixed payment so you know exactly what your monthly payment will be.

What are your Earth Month celebration plans?

I’m not hardcore enough to bike all through the winter, but in April I usually start to drive less and bike more. I’ll be getting my container garden up and running on my deck as well. I’d also like to advocate for one of my favorite activities: going for a walk. Taking a moment to notice the Earth; the plants, the animals, the water, the bugs, the dirt, the smells, the sounds… all of it. Even if it’s just for a minute.

With all the distractions in the world, I think it’s important to stop and remember how absolutely insane it is that we live on this living, breathing rock in space. It gives us air and food. It can take care of us if we take care of it, too.