Noah and I met at an energy event earlier this spring. Our talk reminded me of two important truths. First, he reminded me how important it is for the clean energy movement to have young, talented people working at utilities. Though utilities can sometimes be viewed as a barrier to clean energy integration, the answer is not to avoid them, but to fill them with young talented people who will fight for clean energy and energy efficiency (like Noah!). Second, the world of utilities can seem like a bit of a black box to outsiders, even to those who work in energy. If you want to gain unique experience, with unique expertise, you should consider looking at opportunities within utilities. Down the road, such experience will make you increasingly valuable to any clean energy company or organization because you will have information and a perspective they do not. Check out Noah’s thoughts on his experience below. Enjoy!
Name, Title and Organization
Noah Proser, On-Bill Finance Program Manager, PG&E
Educational Background (e.g., college, major, any graduate school or additional certifications)
B.A. in Environment, Economics, and Politics from Claremont McKenna College
How do you stay informed on your sector?
Greentech Media, Utility Dive, Investor Confidence Project updates, and other energy related blogs
What does a typical day look like in your current role? What are your primary responsibilities?
As a Program Manager, I am responsible for everything from budgeting and forecasting, regulatory filings and responses, program design and policy, training, and application review and approval. With that said, the part of my job that I enjoy the most is process improvement and IT product management.
Why did you first want to work in renewable energy / clean technologies?
To find creative solutions to environmental problems.
What are your two favorite aspects of your job?
I enjoy working on process improvements to make our application quicker and easier and working with channel partners on innovative energy efficiency projects.
If someone was interviewing for your role, or a role like yours, what would they need to demonstrate in the interview to give themselves an advantage?
The ability to understand complex policy and regulatory frameworks and translate them for a broader audience.
To perform your job well, what is the most necessary skill or personality characteristic, and why?
Strong communication and writing skills are essential since we deal with such a wide variety of stakeholders.
What is the one bit of advice you would offer a young person hoping to break into renewable energy / clean technologies?
Cleantech is just the sector – think about what work you enjoy doing so you know which roles to seek out. Think about honing specific skills (e.g. sales, project management, policy work) rather than just industry-specific experience.
What is something you have learned in your job that surprised you?
The complexity of energy efficiency policy in California.
Other than the focus of your work, which realm (technology, geography, or other) of renewable energy / clean technologies is particularly interesting to you right now and why?
Energy storage and electric vehicles have a lot of potential to transform the electric grid and help achieve our environmental goals.
If you could be compensated for your work with something other than a paycheck, what would it be?
Thanks Noah! Keep up the great work!