John Hoffner
John Hoffner
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PEC Member; 32 years

Professional Career

After receiving a master’s degree in engineering from Trinity University, San Antonio in 1983, John joined Austin Energy, the municipal electric utility serving Austin. Over 14 years, John held multiple positions including Manager for a team of engineers in the Generation Planning Division. His focus was electric utility engineering as well as policy and regulatory issues. John initiated Austin’s ambitious renewable energy program to install large-scale wind and solar projects. John helped execute a contract for the City’s share of the first 35-megawatt (MW) wind power plant, the largest in the state in 1995. He also negotiated a contract for a highly successful low-cost 5 MW landfill gas project and led the team to design and install Austin Energy’s first two large-scale local solar power plants. John is a registered professional engineer in the state of Texas.

Following his work at Austin Energy, John joined Conservation Services Group (CSG), an energy services company. He served for 11 years as the Director of Technical Services responsible for installing, operating, and monitoring over 2 MW of distributed PV systems on schools, retail stores, and utility sites. From 1997 through 2002 John worked with Texas electric cooperatives through a contract with the state of Texas Energy Office to identify energy efficiency solutions for co-ops and their customers. As a result of the work, Southwest Texas Electric Cooperative (SWTEC) implemented a highly successful program to offer off-grid solar systems to its members, one of the first of its kind at a co-op. The program resulted in many West Texas ranchers installing solar systems to provide pumping power for cattle water tanks. John’s innovative problem solving helped ranchers and co-op operate more efficiently.

In 2007 John joined Jacobs Engineering (previously CH2M), an international engineering company providing sustainable and renewable energy solutions for its clients. In his present position (2023), John leads a global design team implementing utility-scale energy projects in the Asia, Canada, and the United States.

As an instructor in the continuing education department at Austin Community College (ACC), John developed and implemented curriculum for students to become certified Solar PV installers. He taught classes for entry and advanced level training over a five-year period (2004–2009).


MS in Engineering, specializing in energy and physics, Trinity University, San Antonio, TX, 1983
BS in Civil Engineering, environmental specialization, Tufts University, Medford, MA, 1977

Volunteer and Community Service

While growing up, John’s family emphasized the importance of community involvement and volunteering. He was taught that successful communities depend on their volunteers. As an Elder and Deacon at Hope Presbyterian Church, John led the implementation of a ministry to provide a cold-weather shelter for homeless men. He initiated a disaster relief program to help find temporary housing for hurricane refugees.

John is a volunteer producer at the community FM radio station KOOP in Austin. For fourteen years he hosted a green talk radio program called, “Shades of Green”. He now co-hosts a program called “The Austin Common Radio Hour”, which strives to encourage young people to get involved in civic and community initiatives.

John served on the City’s Resource Management Commission, an advisory to the Austin City Council for three years. He and fellow commissioners implemented the first Solar PV rebate incentive program that helped grow the industry in Austin.

Athletics and physical exercise have been a large part of his life. John was a competitive racquetball player in San Antonio, and later became a competitive master’s level cyclist, and participated in category 3 races throughout Texas from 1990 to 1995. Each year he rides fund raising cycling events such as the MS 150, a 2-day 150-mile event from Houston to Austin to raise money for multiple sclerosis.

John, with his wife Jill has raised a family of three, Kelly, James, and Kate. Together they have three grandchildren.