First SolarSPARC customer leads by example

With the launch of SolarSPARCTM electricity still fresh on our minds, we decided to speak with the first customer to sign up for the 100% solar energy plan.

Barry Lefer has been a Green Mountain Energy customer since 2005. He not only supports renewable energy with his electricity choice, but he spreads the clean power message as Associate Professor of Atmospheric Science, Atmospheric Chemistry, at the University of Houston.

Read our Q&A with Lefer below:

GME: Why did you decide to sign-up with Green Mountain?
BL: “8.5 years ago my wife and I moved here from Colorado (she’s also in environmental studies). We were excited to see there was an option for wind energy. And it was essentially the same price. I also added $5 to be a Sun Club member to build solar at non-profits.”

GME: What’s it like being a professor in your field?
BL: “As a professor on climate change and energy, I always get the question: Is there really anything we can do to help the environment? … I have always answered and will continue to tell them, ‘Yes – the small actions really do make a difference.’”

GME: How important is it to you that solar is built locally in Texas?
BL: “I would like to see more locally, but it doesn’t really matter to me. Market forces will be there to create more solar locally. That said, I ask my students all the time where the energy comes from. They just point to the socket. Most people don’t know. Having a tangible example helps address that lack of understanding.”

GME: Is there anything else you’d like to add about being a Green Mountain customer?
BL: “It really is leadership by example. I want to be clear that I’m not getting any financial benefit from Green Mountain. When people ask me where I get my energy, I tell them to shop for wind. Now I can tell them to shop for wind or solar.”

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