Why I Do This Work: Rick Peters from Solar Energy Services

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 Rick Peters, President of Solar Energy Services, Inc. Read below on why he does this work to Save Our Solar.

“As a lover of the outdoors with mechanical engineering training, I’ve long been interested in the environment and energy.  In support of this, I began to explore the potential for solar adoption in our region back in 2006.  At the time, I had a comfortable executive position in a growing IT services firm, so leaving to join the solar industry was a bit of a scary proposition. I continued to monitor the industry for the next two years, trying to warm my cold feet.

In 2008 my father passed away rather suddenly.  This changed my perspective about the risks of changing careers.  I began to start thinking more about my legacy and the world I would leave behind someday.  After some discussions with my family I took the plunge in early September 2008, just a few weeks before the great recession went into full swing.  I found my business partner within a few months and became a clean energy entrepreneur.  It’s been quite a ride on the Solar Coaster ever since, at times remarkably challenging, but always very rewarding.

I do this work for several reasons.  I want to have a part in leaving the world a better place for the generations behind us.  I want to set an example for my children about following your passion, protecting the earth, and serving others.  I want to fight against the social injustice of dirty energy, which disproportionately impacts the poor and disadvantaged.  I want to help create good jobs for people of many backgrounds.  I want to help develop young people along their own meaningful and rewarding career paths.

Of all the reasons, the one that has been the most satisfying is job creation.  I’ve had the privilege of helping young men and women move into stable jobs with benefits and a future of advancement. There is a tremendous need for good paying work for young people that do not have college degrees.  Solar has been a vehicle for so many in our firm and many others in the region to build security for themselves and their families.  For me, this is truly the most rewarding part of running a solar company. All of that is why I do this work.”