Real World Solar: Notes from Living Off Grid

Jan 18, 2018


Meet Sandy Philpott

Byers Solar Project Administrator

Byers Solar - Sandy Philpott
Sandy Philpott was one of Byers Solar’s earliest team members. Sandy is surrounded by solar energy at her organic farm, with her solar professional spouse and now in her day to day work at Byers Solar. All this makes Sandy very happy.

“Solar is something positive we can do for ourselves and the environment. It feels good to help this process along in my daily work. I have lived off the grid for ten years.  We built our sustainable home from the ground up. Even this process was kind of amazing to watch. By putting in solar first, all our construction came together so easily. We had constant electricity very early in the construction process. I really believe strongly in living sustainably and so everything that my husband and I do on our twenty-acre farm is about living organically — growing organic food, having chickens and living in harmony with the land and the environment. My whole background is about sustainable lifestyles. Solar energy is an amazing, free, readily available resource.”

Asked how Sandy found Byers Solar, she remembers seeing a tiny ad on Before going to the interview, she went through her home and found all the products Byers offers — like SolaTube lighting, the whole-house fan and of course, the solar system. “I laughed because basically, we lived everyday endorsing products that Byers offers!” Sandy recalls. Byers Solar was delighted to find someone who so thoroughly knew and understood the value and importance of sustainable living.

As Project Administrator, Sandy is responsible for initiating all the permits for each of Byers Solar installations.  Almost every Byers Solar client will at some point talk to Sandy. Byers has a dedicated project manager and an in-house designer, as well as a dedicated material procurement desk. Sandy supports the project manager and the rest of the team with critical paperwork. The utility interconnections and request for power turn-on, which Sandy manages, are vital to completing projects in an efficient manner. “The interconnections are critical. Everything must be very precise. ” Sandy notes.

Sandy was transplanted from the Bay Area as a child and was raised in a community on the San Juan Ridge. There, she attended a small school and also was part of the ongoing farm activities, such as milking goats and helping to harvest organic fruit. She returned to the Bay Area for college, but always felt Nevada County was home, so in 2001, took the opportunity to move back, which evolved into meeting her future husband and building their home.

Sandy’s spouse, Jeffrey Philpott is an accomplished Solar Energy professional who has contributed to the evolution of Solar Energy for two decades. Jeffrey Philpott worked for 10 years as a member of a multinational organization with a global reach that provided a view of both US and European renewable energy strategies.

Asked about her work at Byers, Sandy is quick with an enthusiastic and sincere response,

“Byers Solar is now at a very exciting place. We have built a great team and are taking on more commercial responsibilities while keeping our residential crew busy. I love the people here. It’s just a great environment to work in, with everyone pulling together. It’s really great to help people move to solar energy and know that they are saving money while doing something good for the environment. We can be independent and get all of our energy from the sun. We do not not have to be so reliant on utility companies.  Energy rates are skyrocketing every day and causing people hardship. It’s great to part of a solution that lightens the load on peoples’ budgets  and our planet.”

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