The Backstory

The year is 2020, the day is a Tuesday….

Micah Gold-Markel, founder of Solar States, reaches for his mobile (at the dinner table, no less – talk about bad manners…). A call. BuzzBuzz. Boy, does Micah not want to answer this one. It’s Jared – Micah’s wife and children know this from his deep sigh. His wife touches his shoulder, giving him strength. He answers.


The dinner was hot, but has just turned cold.


A text from Jael, “Don’t answer him!!!!!!!”


Skyler, “You won’t believe what it is tonight….”


Sebastian, “We’re in the circus business now? That….I need a raise.”


Jared jumps out of the phone, as he does. The children are frightened. His presence is felt ’round the neighborhood, and even beyond that. Curtains are lowered, top locks locked. An idea is proposed: a traveling circus that spreads the word of solar in far off lands. There will be lions, and elephants, and Micah cuts him off. “Let’s just do a podcast, Jared.” Jared howls. The children are frightened further more.


Micah takes a hammer to the End Call button, collapses to his broccoli. He will not speak again for a great many days. Even on dotted lines he signs his name, Curse You Jared. When he does speak again it’s at episode 1. There, he puts his back in to every word. The world simply must know all about solar, even if he has to carry the franchise on that already……seasoned* back.


*def. not young


Alas, what happened in time he did not expect. Jared excelled and, some might say so rather than not, t’was Jared’s back carried the franchise.


But not only that…


Against fierce underdog odds – we’re talking 16 vs. a 1, we’re talking never-been-done – a chemistry developed. Stockton to Malone. Streep to….let’s face it: Streep to anyone. How did this happen, you’re demanding to know? Nobody knows, scholars believe we never will. Without an explanation, we do what we do: ride the Cinderella ’til the wheels fall off.


On Yoooo Sun!!!, Micah, Jared, and sometimes a friend gather ’round a fire made warm by their mission: drop knowledge. If you listen, you will learn – that is the intention.


We think through the rumors, regulations, misconceptions, and important news, and present to you a neatly organized barrel of insights each week (no certain day, but once every 7 days or so). We reveal the faces, obstacles, and truth of solar so that you can each be empowered to create positive change in your immediate environment. If you’ve read this far, we believe you’re the person to create that kinda change.


Plus, it’s less a ‘listen with a notepad’ and more a ‘listen with a beer’ type show. Set the brain to cruise control. Heck, throw some music on behind us….

And NOW! If you would, find your seats, and kindly direct your attention to the stage. ‘Cause it’s…. YOOOO SUN!!!

(there are 4 o’s in the name, but you pronounce it with 50)


Episode Briefs

18. Going from “Me” to “We” Judy Wicks on building sustainable economies in PA and across the nation.

17. Reaching Consensus Finding middle ground with members of the Pennsylvania Conservative Energy Forum.

16. A Community Organizer’s Approach to Solar Solar States’ Jackson Kusiak on the approach that led to his 2021 groundbreaking solar pilot program for low and moderate income households in Philadelphia.

15. Solar from the Ground Up A masterclass on building efficient homes with Brian Osborne of Osborne Construction and Solar States client Alex Seldin.

14. A Black Man’s Path in Solar Cleo Anukam on his path through the Powercorps and Bright Solar Future Programs and job at Solar States.

13. A Sustainable Economy Executive Director of the Sustainable Business Network Anna Shipp on Philly’s transition to a more sustainable economy.

12. Solar and Community Gardens Pennsylvania Horticultural Society’s team discusses solar’s role in our local community gardens.

11. Solar for Schools Generation180’s team on the potential benefit of solar for schools across our region and America.

10. Solar & Real Estate Aragona & Associates CEO Matt Aragona on why he went solar and his perspective on solar as a real estate agent.

9. Philadelphia’s Homeowner’s Perspective Two homeowners discuss their experience going solar and share tips for others considering doing the same.

8. Philadelphia’s Green Collar Economy Councilmember Derek Green on the recent growth of Philly’s green sector.

7. The Philadelphia Energy Authority (PEA) All about the PEA’s solar initiatives, like Solarize Philadelphia and Solar Week 2020.

6. Solar as an Investment Thea Gudonis on solar from the practical investor’s perspective.

5. Solar as Community Solar States’ Head of Partnerships Todd Baylson on Solarize Campaigns and industry challenges.

4. Solar in Pennsylvania — All about PA’s renewable landscape.

3. Solar Policy & Incentives Overview of nationwide and local legislation.

2. Solar 101 Answering the FAQ we hear all the time.

1. The Early Days Jared & Micah recount the inspiration for Solar States.


Any questions? Ask us anything!

About Solar States

Solar States is a solar installer and educator based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. We are a certified B-Corp and Best for the World Nominee in both 2018 and 2019. We can install solar on any roofresidential or commercial – in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, or Maryland. If you have any questions about a transition to a sustainable energy system for your property, we can answer them.

Founded with a dual mission to install solar and educate the next generation.