Why I Do This Work: Gary Skulnik from Neighborhood Sun

Every two weeks, the Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Campaign will ask key stakeholders and members of the community to weigh in on why environmental work like this is so important to them.

In line with this week’s theme, SOS: Save Our Solar, we’ll hear from Gary Skulnik, CEO and Founder of Neighborhood Sun. Read below on why he does this work to Save Our Solar.

“I started Neighborhood Sun because of the unique power community solar has to bring people together, fight climate change, produce local jobs, and keep our energy dollars right here in Maryland. The advent of community solar is a game-changing addition to the solar scene that can finally bring the promise of solar to everyone, not just the select few. It allows people to sign up for subscriptions to large solar projects in their utility area, without having to install any equipment on their roofs. But like the rest of the solar industry, harmful actions by the White House threaten our bright future unless Maryland takes decisive action by passing the Clean Energy Jobs Act.

I have been fighting for clean energy in Maryland since late 2000 and am proud of the progress we’ve made. As a state, we have a lot to lose from climate change considering our thousands of miles of vulnerable coastland. As a parent, I want to do everything I can to ensure that my children and future generations are given a chance to build lives free from the threats of destructive climate change. As an entrepreneur, I am convinced that business must play a significant role in this battle for a clean future. Non-profits and advocates are extremely important, but to make broader societal change we have to change the way companies do business. At Neighborhood Sun, we pride ourselves on the commitment to the highest degree of transparency, good governance, and community engagement that’s part of our B-Corp certification.  We don’t want to just be a solar company. We want to be a company that brings people together through community solar and changes the world, or at least our corner of it.

Passing the Clean Energy Jobs Act would enable us to continue to build on the momentum we’ve gathered as a community solar start-up. For the broader industry, it would save solar jobs, allow more people to access solar power, and protect the progress we’ve already made. We’d get thousands of new jobs and more companies setting up shop in our state. With this initiative, we’d be creating strong job-training programs, and clean energy investment opportunities for businesses run by women and people of color, which will bring so many benefits to Maryland. In order for this to happen, we need to go forward with more clean energy in our state. We need to adopt the Clean Energy Jobs Act now. That is why I do this work.”

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