Joleen Jansen – Program Manager

Joleen lives south of Elkader near the Motor Mill. She and her husband, Jim are parents to three grown children. The couple owns a 9 kW solar array and heat and cools their home with a geothermal heat pump. Before installing their solar array they “reduced before they produced” by doing a total property LED transition and converted most of their appliances to electric.

Joleen created and manages Jansen Products, a local web development business.
In 1986, she earned a B.A. degree in General Science at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, and also graduated from St. Luke’s School of Medical Technology. After a few years of working in eastern Iowa hospital laboratories, as a medical technologist, Joleen began a career in public employment which included stints with the City of Dubuque and Winneshiek County, as an environmental sanitarian and zoning administrator.

Today, in addition to managing the Clayton County Energy District, Joleen has accepted the charge to work as the coordinating coach for new energy district startups in eastern Iowa.  She has always worked to build community as an active community volunteer.

Five or six years ago, Jim and I decided to “go solar” after attending a Winneshiek Energy District solar workshop. It was during that time I learned about the Energy District concept. I remember thinking I wonder if this idea could spread across county lines. One thing led to another and the opportunity to form an Energy District in Clayton County developed!
Working with the CCED, I have found it pretty easy teaching communities about the beauty of our “green meets green” philosophy. Everyone loves the “win win” scenario of emitting less carbon, and saving money on a utility bill.  The question begs, ‘why send hard earned dollars out of the community to pay for energy costs?’ Energy districts are showing people how to reduce energy consumption and paving the road for clean energy generation.
At the same time energy districts understand not everyone can afford roof top solar but that doesn’t mean they can’t save on their utility bill and emit less carbon. Everyone and anyone can create a more energy efficient living and working environment, and we are showing them how to do it. Regardless of socioeconomic status, energy districts prioritize fair access to clean and local energy. The ultimate dream is to have an Energy District in every county in the nation just like the extremely important soil and water conservation districts of America!”