What drives your interest in working on solar energy issues?

I live in Florida, which is known as the Sunshine State. However, less than 2% of electricity across the state comes from renewable energy. I want to have a hand in changing that, and I believe this change needs to starts at the local level with city and county governments supporting good solar programs and best practices.

What impact do you feel the SolSmart program will have on the communities with which you will work?

Overwhelmingly, mayors and other local elected officials support clean energy for their cities because of the economic and social benefits it can bring. Through partnership with SolSmart, cities and municipalities can develop streamlined permitting and inspection procedures while educating residents about the benefits of solar.  This will send a message to the solar installer and development community that their city or county is open for business, and it will give residents easy and economical options for going solar.

What aspects of your work plan are you most excited about? 

I am excited to have a hand in the grassroots push for energy freedom in Florida and helping to create good programs and practices that can serve as a model to other municipalities in the state.

What do you hope to gain from this experience?

I look forward to gaining a better understanding of municipal governments and understanding how they can best deploy solar within their various departments.

About Jennifer

Jennifer Barenholtz is a SolSmart Advisor serving communities in Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe Counties, FL, a region of over four million people.