Applying the Lessons of Politics to Green Power

Over the years, Tom Matzzie — by working as a political operative on John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign and on building the antiwar movement that helped usher President Obama into office — became convinced that the key to creating change was to make it easy for people to participate.

But it was not until 2010, as he navigated the complexities of buying and installing solar panels on his home here, that he thought to apply those lessons to renewable energy. That idea would become part of an effort to help it reach a scale sufficient to slow global warming.

“The vision is to find an easy way that we can give people to make a difference in the energy space — and easy is the operative word,” Mr. Matzzie said over lunch near his office in Georgetown. “A big part of our value proposition is you don’t have to have a construction project on your roof to make an impact.”

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