Join Our Community Advocacy Board & Speak Up For Your Community!
Hey there Neighbor!
As the person responsible for launching our original Customer Advocacy Board way back in 2019, I’m very proud to announce the great news that we are bringing it back as a new and improved Community Advocacy Board (CAB) this time (extra emphasis on community)!
Some of our longtime subscribers and supporters may recall the Customer Advocacy Board from a few years ago, but we’ve decided to kick it up a notch this time, so it may be hard to recognize. Before I tell you about the new and improved CAB, let’s take a minute to explore what a CAB is in the first place.
If you were to google “CAB” in the context of a business, you would see it described as a Customer Advisory Board. The main objective of a Customer Advisory Board is for customers to help test products before they are publicly released in the marketplace. This type of definition works for some companies, but we felt that it was too one-sided. With that reasoning in mind when we originally founded our own Customer Board, we called it an advocacy board rather than an advisory board, indicating that it was a space for customers to advocate for themselves and their communities so they could have the opportunity to tell us what they needed, rather than just serving as a sounding board for the company.
Of course, we were much smaller back then. At the time, our CAB was made up of about ten people from different parts of Maryland. Since we were all local, we were able to gather in person every three months or so to hold CAB meetings. During these meetings, we would give updates to the members before making them public and open the floor for people to ask our C.E.O. any question they might have face-to-face while they enjoyed a drink on Neighborhood Sun’s tab. It was all about connecting with our customers in person and understanding which matters were important to them or which questions they had, which would help us understand what our larger customer base needed and wanted as well. This was way back in 2019, but as many of you may recall, in-person meetings stopped in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so the CAB was put on hiatus. Today, we are back and ready to relaunch our CAB–but with a few changes in mind.
Most importantly, Neighborhood Sun is dedicated to creating more community, not more customers, so our board of community solar subscribers will be known as our Community Advocacy Board this time around. Our work helps people save money and reduce pollution rather than trying to convince individuals to spend more on things that create waste, so using the term customer just didn’t align with our vision. Due to the growth of our solar community these past few years, there is no way for us to meet in person anymore, unfortunately. We are now serving communities across 7 states, which is huge compared to where we were back in 2019. As much as we would love to see everyone’s faces in person, we also want to ensure that this opportunity is accessible to ALL our subscribers–regardless of where they live– so CAB meetings will now be held virtually every quarter, starting in the 4th quarter of 2023.
Not everything is different, though. The goal of the newly-minted CAB is the same: we want to hear from you! Any thought or concern, every question and complaint- it is the job of the members of the CAB to represent their community and bring it all to us, so we can take the time each quarter to evaluate how well we’re meeting the needs of the communities we serve and how we can continue to improve. We hope that we will be able to have each of the states and utilities we serve represented in our CAB, but that part is up to y’all because ALL community solar subscribers are welcome
The new CAB is ready and waiting for the most important piece- YOU!
Are you interested in playing a key role in the future of Neighborhood Sun and community solar? Even if you’re just curious and want to see what the first meeting is like, we would love to have you! You can come just to listen and learn or be as active as you’d like. We’re looking forward to hearing your thoughts and questions because what matters to you matters to us. All you have to do is enter your basic info below, and we’ll reach out as soon as we have details about the first meeting.
Thank you, as always, for being a part of our solar community!
Zachary Perkins, Longtime Team Member & Subscriber Advocate