By Noah Swistak – 1/24/23
When did you start and what do you do at The Energy Co-op?
I’m pretty new to The Energy Co-op, having just started in early December 2022. I assist our Member Services Manager Noah Swistak with a lot of different things, from drafting our newsletter and member communications to helping with member inquiries and recruitment. I also assist with operations tasks, and handle service enrollments, switches, and drops for members.
Could you share more about your journey and your background that lead you here?
For sure! I studied political science and public policy at Temple University and did several political and nonprofit internships. Prior to joining The Energy Co-op, I worked as a legislative assistant for a member of the PA House of Representatives. My interest in government and politics is issue based, largely surrounding climate change and equity concerns, so I felt really drawn to a place like The Energy Co-op which values and enables sustainability, personal action, and environmental stewardship.
What have you enjoyed about the work you have done so far?
A big part of my training process has been a crash course on the renewable energy industry, and I found everything to be really fascinating, especially as things intersect with state, local, and federal energy policy. In my day to day, I’ve really liked fielding member inquiries and getting the chance to help folks to directly support their local clean energy economy.
What do you like (or dislike!) the most about living in Philly?
I live in South Philly, and I really love living in a walkable community. I grew up in a place where you have to drive to go pretty much anywhere, so to have grocery stores, restaurants, work, and friends all a short walk, bike ride, or Broad Street Line journey away is wonderful.
What song has been your JAM recently?
Blindsided by Hovvdy. I saw them play a show here in Philly recently and have had it on repeat ever since!
What does sustainability mean to you and how do you put it into practice day to day?
To me, sustainability means degrowth, learning how to use fewer natural resources, and replacing those we do use with renewable ones to the extent that we can. In my day-to-day life, I limit my carbon footprint by not owning a car, eating a vegetarian diet, and limiting my general consumption to the greatest degree that I am able to. Ultimately, I believe that personal action is no substitute for collective action, and the co-op movement is a powerful model for furthering collective sustainability goals in the absence of robust government action.
What are your goals for 2023?
At The Energy Co-op, I’m looking forward to getting a strong grasp of my new role and helping to implement new opportunities to expand our recruitment and member services. Personally, I want to increase my Italian speaking ability and build on the vocabulary and grammar I learned in 2022.
Tell us a very interesting fact about yourself that we don’t already know.
I don’t know about very interesting, but I play the banjo! I’ve been playing guitar for a long time, and I decided to try and supplement my guitar playing with another instrument during the worst of the pandemic. It’s been really fun so far.