From jigsaw puzzles to challenges on Survivor (his favorite TV show) to business-building, Patrick loves problem solving.
Patrick’s Position: Solar Designs Manager
Fun Fact: Patrick is a semi-pro jigsaw puzzler. Or, at least, he loves them enough that his girlfriend invested in a jigsaw roll-up mat to keep the coffee table puzzle-free.
Patrick would tell someone who is thinking about going solar: “It’s not really about buying something new, it’s about buying your electricity differently.”
Patrick Crowley, Solar Designs Manager at Pick My Solar, heads the team running the numbers for you. They analyze your energy needs, size your solar system, gather bids from installers, and look at financing options and ways to take advantage of incentives and rebates.
He also manages Pick My Solar’s internal databases to keep the whole marketplace system working.
Task Execution Versus Big Picture
Making his team’s processes more efficient and scalable are some of his top big-picture aspirations. He’s always working to create systems supporting growth.
He’s on the lookout to solve problems in a way that helps not just the operations department but the entire company:
“Because if we build something that works for us, but it throws a wrench into things for our Energy Advisors or installers, then we haven’t really made it more efficient, we’ve just transferred the inefficiency.”
What Motivates Him
“What’s motivating for me is that, with all of the struggles that come with running a business, I can fix them. I can help build our way through it. Everything is within our reach.”
Patrick values having a say on any obstacles that arise, big or small.
“I think that maybe there’s some corollary between how much I love puzzles and how much I love figuring [business] stuff out.”
There are no barriers to approaching anyone within the company with ideas for improving things and executing them.
“For me, it’s the challenge of building something.” The company’s growth over Patrick’s two years is a testament to the open and collaborative culture at Pick My Solar, where team members feel heard and effectual.
What He Does for Fun
When he makes time for fun, Patrick:
- Solves jigsaw puzzles
- Plays soccer and golf (separately)
- Watches Survivor (Pro Tip: Patrick recommends watching three episodes at the beginning of any season to see if you like it. “You’ve gotta understand the characters and the dynamics. It’s surprisingly fascinating.”)
What Trends He’s Seeing in the Market
Patrick has noticed people are more conscious of what energy they’re using, how they’re using it, and how they can use it more effectively. He also sees homeowners more educated as far as wanting certain efficiencies, equipment or warranties for their solar project.
“It’s really about understanding electricity. Understanding where it comes from, understanding that you’re gonna pay for it regardless, and understanding that solar, over the course of its lifetime, is going to be a far, far cheaper option than relying on the grid in most markets.”
What’s Most Challenging About Working in Solar
Breaking the stigma of early solar companies who (because the knowledge wasn't there yet) may have sold people systems that proved to be bad decisions.
“If my neighbor tells me that he went solar and after 10 years it was the worst decision he ever made, the chances of me going solar are pretty small.”
Breaking that stigma and showing people that the old model didn't work, but this model does, is a worthy challenge. The most powerful part is showing what the old model did wrong and how this new model is different.
What Does He Hope to See Happen in the Solar Industry?
His biggest hope is to see solar perceived as less of a luxury item.
“I think it’s a good investment for people who can afford to pay cash. But I think it’s most valuable to the middle-class families who are saving $60-70,000 over 20 years to help pay for their kids going to college. I would like to see the market shift towards those people.”
He adds that he’d like the perception of solar to change, because it can benefit literally anyone.
“Once you understand electricity, you also understand you can lower your bills.”