About me

When I started this blog in 2010, I was a project manager with an interest in nature, the environment, and community.

In 2013, I made a career transition into clean energy, as Communications Director at a clean energy startup, Sunible — which was then acquired by another startup, MyDomino. We believed we could make a substantial, positive impact on the world by changing our energy sources from dirty fuels to clean energy. To do that, our energy savings concierges guided people down a simple path of clean energy actions, from home solar to LED lights. Our goal was to create 1 billion actions toward our clean energy future.

Sadly, MyDomino closed in June of 2017. Since September 2017, I’ve been Communications Director at a clean energy nonprofit, the Clean Coalition. We’re aiming to unleash the commercial-scale solar market in order to accelerate the transition to clean energy and a modern grid.

I’ve been the top individual fundraiser 9 years in a row for the SF Bay Area GRID Alternatives Solarthon, where I help install solar PV systems for low-income families. Back when I worked at Adobe Systems, I convinced Adobe to become a corporate sponsor for GRID, and as part of this, I organized an Adobe volunteer day.

Before high tech I worked in publishing, both as a freelancer and at various book publishers. At Harper San Francisco, I managed the production of titles in psychology, religion, self-help, and the environment—such as The Bottom Line of Green Is Black and Seeds of Change.

My editing skills allowed me to transition from publishing to high tech, and as a Program Manager, I realized that I’d been using both project management and communications skills all along. Those skills have served me well in subsequent positions. For more thoughts on these areas, see my blog posts.

— Rosana Francescato

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17 thoughts on “About me

  1. The biofuel station down the street is having a party to celebrate new ownership on 22 June. We’re going to be on vacation so won’t be able to make it, but being a “green” neighbor, you should check them out. The new owners run Incredible Adventures, a Tour Co. with an all biodiesel fleet of vans and small buses. Very cool.

    1. Hi Steve,

      I never made it to the party, as I had other plans that day. The station seems to be closed half the time I go by there–what’s the story with that?

      Rosana

  2. Hi Rosana, I just discovered your blog through your article on PM Hut. Reading it, it’s good to see that one can be PM AND Green (I’m a PM based in Brussels). I would like to start a similar move, but with solar energy.

    I’ve been once to Frisco and Sausalito; lucky you to leave in such a nice area.

    P.S. do you have spanish roots (like me) ?

    Greetings from Brussels :o)

    1. Hi Alain,

      Thanks for reading my blog! As you can see, I’m really into solar energy too. I’ll keep updating my blog with news about how that’s going for my condo.

      As for my background, my father is Italian and my mother is from Argentina, where I was born–we moved to the United States when I was just turning 3.

      This is indeed a nice area! I’ve been to Brussels, but so very long ago, as a child, that I don’t remember much about it.

      Best of luck going green!

      Rosana

  3. Rosana:

    I responded to your comment on Solar Nation’s article ‘Solar for Free’, as follows:

    Rodana:

    The problem with condos and, for that matter, any rented dwelling, is that you don’t own the roof you want to put the panels on! So your HOA is probably anticipating problems from other condo-owners who wonder why part of THEIR condo fee is going to finance YOUR clean electricity; (alternatively, what happens when you sell and the buyer doesn’t want the panels…..?)
    I don’t think PACE would impact your particular issue.
    An enlightened HOA could probably find ways around the issue, but on the other hand, how often do you see the words ‘enlightened’ and ‘HOA’ juxtaposed in a sentence? You may need to gather some support from the homeowners around you (and find an installer who will offer a discount for a guaranteed minimum number of installations).
    Re lease or PPAs, check out this article in SOLAR TODAY magazine:
    http://www.solartoday-digital.org/solartoday/20100809#pg44
    (lots of good stuff in that mag, by the way).
    Again, however, you still have the ‘roof ownership’ issue – it would, for example, be a lease arrangement with the HOA, not you (unless, as I say, you can get the HOA’s legal dept. to be creative!)

    1. Thanks so much for all the info, Chris! I think our best option will be a lease for a system for the common electricity, rather than for individual units. That would save us a lot of money, since the cost would be fixed for 25 years compared to the rising costs of PG&E. And there are no upfront costs. It’s less complicated than other options and easier for everyone to support.

  4. Rosana,

    Greetings from the East Coast.

    I found your blog while doing net research on solar options and other “greening” efforts for condominium communities.

    I live in a 6 building, 192 unit condo complex in New Jersey. Like your complex, ours is relatively new – five years – and we are starting a “green” movement, beginning with solar panels for our common areas, which currently run the HOA around $10,000 per month.

    It is great to see other like-minded souls, but disheartening to find so little concrete information for folks in our situation. It seems most “green” condos are new construction, or affordable housing initiatives tapping into stimulus funds. Not much out there in regards to “Best Practices” for existing communities, especially those not in need of major renovation.

    In addition to our efforts to go solar, which is still in the early stages, we are also looking to water conservation and irrigation. We are in the process of putting together a Green Committee but haven’t done so yet, and I will be launching a community blog by the end of the year which will include a section for “greening” the community. The HOA board members were actually the ones who started the push for solar. We have a good group there.

    I look forward to looking through your earlier posts and reading the article referenced about by Chris Stimpson.

    Regards,

    Jo Ann

    1. Hi Jo Ann,

      Thanks so much for writing! It is disheartening to see how little has been done in this area and how few resources there are–but that means we’ll have to be the trailblazers and get the info out there for others. I’m so glad to hear about your condo, and that your board is pushing for this. Please keep me posted on developments, and I will do the same. If we all share information, we can help one another and help others learn more about this, too. Best of luck!

      Rosana

  5. Tuesday, September 18th at 12:30pm on the steps of San Francisco City Hall there will be a rally and press conference with supporters of CleanPowerSF. The Board of Supervisors votes that afternoon on legislation that would allow the launch of the program in 2013. Run by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, CleanPowerSF will give San Francisco residents and businesses the choice of clean, renewable electricity and create competition to PG&E’s mix of largely fossil fuels and nuclear energy. Upon full implementation, the program will create local green jobs in renewable energy installation and energy efficiency.

    Please attend if you are able. Thanks!

  6. Hello Rosana, I came across your blog today and love it! I work for a renewable energy organization in WV that has deep roots in community development. We teach a community model during our weekend training workshops and offer panels for sale when available. Large solar companies that go out of business or those we meet at trade shows and some of our corporate solar partners often donate their panels to our nonprofit. This allows, in turn, for our social enterprise to bring more awareness to the 1.3 billion people that live without access to electricity. We fundraise to bring our solar LED light to villages and orphanages around the world. We are trying to light a village in Machakos right now.We also work with corporations on their CSR goals and if you would like to share our story or fundraising efforts, we would be most grateful. We were recently recognized by the UN Foundation for our efforts in cleaning up and lighting up the Kibera slum in Africa. Check out our website when you have a moment at http://www.nvre.org. If you ever make it out to West Virginia, please let us know. You would love our inventor who is in to biodiesel fuel production, solar powered water filtration systems, solar powered aquaponics, etc. Good luck with your endeavors! Pam

    1. Hello Pam! So sorry to just now be seeing your comment from almost two years ago. I have not been maintaining this site as I got busy with a career change (to solar!) and some family matters. Thanks so much for your comment, and it sounds like you’re doing great things. I hope you were able to light the village in Machakos.

  7. You’re a great writer! Does your condo already have solar or is that something you’re pursuing?

    1. Thank you Ben! I haven’t written anything here for a while … As for the condo, I’m moving now but will continue to follow what goes on there. We have gotten closer to getting solar every year. One of our issues has been that a new board is elected every year, and when we get a proposal near the end of the year the outgoing board doesn’t want to deal with it. My understanding is that something of this nature would need to be voted on by the whole HOA, but I’ve felt that would go better with support from the board. Now we have a new property manager who is very proactive, and at the request of the board he’s looking into solar options. Between that and the fact that there are more financing options, and more solar companies interested in working on this, I think it will happen.

      Note that we’re looking at solar for the common areas. Community solar options would still be needed for the individual units. Even with a fairly big roof, we don’t have space for both.

  8. Good to hear it’s moving along! If they go the community solar route, I’d love to help them start getting support and signing people up. We could set up a page like this: http://solarrenter.com/property/90kw-community-solar-garden-in-panaca-nv/

    They would just need some pictures of the proposed location, a video would also help.

    I strongly believe it’s best to start with the community when designing a shared solar program.

    Keep up all the great work!

    1. Thanks Ben! They would be community solar subscribers, not hosts. There is only enough room on the roof for part of the common electricity. So that’s what the roof would be used for. Then if people in individual units want solar for their units, they’d need to sign up for a green power option or to buy panels in a solar garden (or something along those lines). We’re still waiting to see what happens with the implementation of SB 43, the “shared renewables” law in California. I’m hoping that will give more good options to renters and condo dwellers. I’d love to hear about other options in California, if you know of any.

  9. How best can 2 residents (upper & lower unit) divide up the roof space for their individual panels? In my case, sun is fairly abundant and equal, but how do we decide who gets the top or bottom or L or R of our angled roof? (My HOA is in the process of writing these regulations and I’m asking for the Solar Committee). Thank you!

    1. Hi Paul, when I lived in a condo we were looking into solar to power the common areas, not individual units. So I’m not sure of the best way to write those regulations. Sorry I can’t be of more help, and best wishes in getting solar for your condo!

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