Letter from the Founder,
I’ve been interested in sustainable energy since the 60’s. In college I helped to organize the first Earth Day in Boston, I also helped build several solar greenhouses. After grad school where I studied environmental science, I taught high school science, and like any good American teacher, I needed a second job.
My interests led me to energy, and I became the second ‘certified’ energy auditor in New Hampshire, and opened up my own business called Warm Homes. We did energy auditing and retrofits, built solar greenhouses and installed solar hot water systems.
Back in 1980, Sears began selling Solar Hot Water, and for a while selling for them I worked. In those days calculators were a big thing, and they offered ‘free’ solar calculators for listening to my schpiel…..
Sears sold really good quality solar hot water systems some of which are still operating today 40 years later. When Reagan was elected, he removed the solar panels from the White House and cut the tax credits for energy conservation and solar. Instead, of displaying leadership, setting a positive example, and taking what would have been the first true steps against climate change, Reagan built an overwhelming military presence in the mid-east. He propped up the house of Sand, and Sadam Hussein both petrodictators, in power because of US not indigenous support. This had the intended effect, at least temporarily bring the price of oil down, and the sustainable energy industry to its knees. It also set in motion the rebellion against US domination we continue to see today.
Since that time we’ve seen a similar pattern. When there is a Democratic administration, there is interest, when the republicans are in, not so much. We see this in the extreme today with an administration which denies the existence of climate change and is rolling back most of the environmental progress made by the last administration.
Hence the name of this essay, “Solar Coaster”.
Skip forward 30 years, I’m directing the first sustainable energy degree program in the Northeast, my interest in energy has turned into obsession. I did a deep energy retrofit on my house which cut my energy consumption, and added solar (PV) to the roof which generates about 90% of my electricity needs. Somewhere around this time my obsession became obvious to my students who began calling me The Energy Geek, the name as you can see stuck.
If you’re interested in more details regarding my experience. You’ll find them below.
Thanks for visiting my website. I hope you find it useful.
The Energy Geek
Career History in Sustainability
- Coordinated group purchase of solar for Solar Up
- Increased sales by over 400%
- Organized Deerfield Energy Committee 2006-2012
- Retrofitted library
- Recommended efficiency work on town offices resulting in:
- Improved Cost to Heat- 45%
- Greenhouse Gas Emission 57%
- Electricity Consumption up 15%
- Overall Return on Investment- up 13.3%
- Lighting Return on Investment up 55.3%
Professor/Program Coordinator at Lakes Region Community College in Laconia, New Hampshire with the Energy Services Technology Program Developed and launched a two year Associate’s Degree program in Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
- Awarded grant from the “Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education” (FIPSE).
- Course development and delivery in college level Environmental Science.
- Developed, launched, and educated multimedia on-line courses in Energy programs.
- Responsible for Public Relations and Community Outreach using but not limited to multimedia.
- awarded the Distinguished Merit Award from the New England Board of Higher Education.
- Recipient of Commendation from the New Hampshire State Senate for my Energy work. .
Energy Conservation Coordinator for the Public Utilities Commission in Concord, New Hampshire
- Coordinated and implemented statewide education, technical assistance and outreach to builders, architects, engineers and city/town building departments.
- Administered New Hampshire state-wide energy codes
- Assisted in ongoing supervision of utility statewide energy efficiency programs.
- Wrote grant and developed ‘Code Consultant’ (circuit rider) program placing mentors in the field with builders and code officials.
- Wrote grant to write and publish field guides in energy efficient residential and commercial construction techniques.
- Represented the PUC in establishing appliance, lighting, residential retrofit programs.
- Worked with NH Legislature, on energy efficiency and renewable energy legislation.
- Developed first in the nation Online Energy Code application.
Professor of Environmental Science at Northern Essex Community College in Haverhill, Massachusetts
- Taught environmental course titled, “Energy, Environment, and the Future” for 25 years
Owner/Founder of Warm Homes in Windham, New Hampshire
- Energy efficiency and renewable energy sales and service with residential and small commercial business