#HeroesofFreeingEnergy: Wendy Philleo

One of my earliest memories is being on the shoulders of my father at a Jackson Browne concert, which was also an anti-nuke rally. A few years later, he took my three older brothers and me to a month-long course in Massachusetts on how to build your own solar home, which is something he wanted to do.

My father moved from the DC area across the country to a tiny, tiny, tiny town at the foot of these 14,000 foot peak mountains in the Rockies. He built his solar home there. For me as an early teen, it was my first time in the Rockies and I just fell in love with that ecosystem and fell in love with big nature and wilderness. It’s been, I think, the inspiration for all of my sustainability work from that day onwards.

I’m fascinated by how we humans organize ourselves and how we shape our living environment, how we govern, how we eat, how we interact and how we entertain ourselves. I don’t think that policy and technology alone are going to save us. If we want to speed up this transition, and we have to, we need to capture the hearts and minds of Americans. Widespread clean energy adoption, it’s going to require a massive cultural shift. Our mission at Generation 180 is about inspiring Americans and then equipping them to get engaged on clean energy.

Our theory of change is that Americans need to know that there are solutions out there. We are telling a new energy narrative around economic prosperity, around energy freedom, around resiliency and innovation. We’re trying to tell that new energy story. 

I say your energy matters. Your energy matters in all ways. It’s about getting informed. It’s about doing what you can do at the household level, installing solar if you can, buying a used or new EV or pledging to buy one when you’re going to get a new car, purchasing community solar or green power, speaking up in your community at your work, your university, voting for clean energy, volunteering, all of that. I think the thing to remember is that you have more influence than you realize to help speed up the clean energy transition.

Wendy Philleo, Executive Director of Generation 180, has been a guest of the Freeing Energy podcast. To read about heroes like Wendy, check out the “Freeing Energy: How innovators are using local-scale solar and batteries to disrupt the global energy industry from the outside in.”

Available today.

Learn more about Wendy from her Freeing Energy podcast with Bill Nussey.

You can see all the heroes (so far) and their stories here.

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