Former pro bowler finds a new purpose in the solar industry

A career change is often a frightening thing to contemplate, maybe especially so when you’re in your 50s. But for Jeff Miller of Columbus, Ohio, age 54 was the perfect time to hop into solar. In his words, he had finally found his people.#solarenergy #solarpower #solarpanels #renewableenergy #cleanenergy #gogreen

, an educational training outfit. He signed up for a free online introduction to renewables course and immediately was hooked.

“I liked it a lot, and I felt like, this just fits everything I’d like to do,” Miller said。 He went all-in on a future in solar and signed up for the residential and commercial PV system program track that included a hands-on lab course on the SEI campus in Colorado。

斗地主达人“You picked three systems you wanted to put together and take apart。 I picked a pole mount, a ground mount and a roof mount,” Miller said。 “The people were great, instructors were great, students were great, even the locals。 I was convinced that this was definitely it。 We all had a similar shared idea of renewables and doing our part。 I told my wife that I found my kind of people。 It was magic。”

Miller went right on ahead and got NABCEP certified, took OSHA training and set out looking for a solar job in spring 2018. There weren’t any job postings, but Miller sent out an updated resume to two local solar installation companies and was working on a third when  () replied.

Jeff on a Ecohouse Solar project.

“He called us at a good time and let us know he had already been through a number of solar courses with Solar Energy International and had a mechanical engineering degree,” said Ecohouse founder and president Kevin Eigel。 “He was eager to start working in the solar industry and wanted to make a career change。 He has a great attitude, and he is gradually learning the details related to residential solar。”

Miller was officially hired as a salesperson, and his life experiences have helped him secure contracts in the few months he’s been on the job.

“I’ve been selling bowling balls for 16 years. It’s not something people need. I could sell them on the most expensive ball or I could see what they want,” he said. “I feel comfortable in the sales realm. My role is to provide the customer with all the relevant information they need to make the right decision.”

Eigel said he’s pleased with Ecohouse’s decision to hire Miller. The company’s other salespeople had some solar knowledge before starting, but Miller had a leg-up with his certificates. And his attitude and work ethic fit in well at Ecohouse.

“It is important for me to hire people whose values are aligned with mine, and I look for that when I am looking for people to work with us,” Eigel said。

Miller said it’s never too late to find your passion and go after it.

“I had a career change at age 54. Don’t be scared, seriously,” he said. “Hopefully this story will inspire someone to get in the PV industry. If it just inspires one person, then it was quite worth the time.”

This story was featured exclusively in our 2019 Top Solar Contractors issue. 


Kelly Pickerel

Kelly Pickerel is editor in chief of Solar Power World.


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