Standard Energy Solutions
Standard Solar and Standard Energy Solutions have taken on the responsibility of litter pick-up along a stretch of Midcounty Highway near Woodfield Road – because we think a clean road is a better one to drive down, and we think we look great in reflective orange vests. In all seriousness, we are happy to pitch in to keep our corner of the world a safer and cleaner place.
We take our role in preserving our environment seriously – and adopting a road here in Montgomery County is one small way of doing that. Each piece of plastic we pick up is one fewer entering our waterways, one fewer that can negatively impact the animals and plants that make up our ecosystem.
Thanks to everyone here in our Rockville, MD headquarters who are participating in this program!
Standard Solar CEO Tony Clifford is in the running for a seat on the Board of Directors for SEIA, the Solar Energy Industries Association – obviously we think he would be a great candidate for the job, and we wanted to share his “stump speech” with all of you. The following are remarks Tony prepared for a recent podcast in order for SEIA voting members to get to know him and his ideas.
Voting is open to SEIA members through 1:00 pm eastern next Tuesday the 22nd, winners will be announced on Wednesday.
If elected, I’ll be coming to the SEIA board with the experience I’ve gained in the past five years growing Standard Solar from a three-person, local solar installer into a major regional developer and integrator with national aspirations. As CEO of Standard Solar and president of our regional SEIA chapter, MDV-SEIA, the bulk of my political/lobbying experience has been at the state and local levels. With this perspective, I think I can help national SEIA make more effective use of grass roots solar support to promote our national solar priorities.
As the cost of solar PV has dropped rapidly in the last few years, the pushback from our opponents has become quite visceral, especially in the past several months. Now that our industry is within striking distance of utility cost-competitiveness, solar is viewed as a real economic threat by the traditional purveyors of dirty energy. To combat our well-funded opponents, we are going to need an all out effort. To be successful we must re-energize solar’s traditional base of support – individual Americans and environmental groups. In growing Standard Solar, I gained a real appreciation for how to get “buzz” for our company — via traditional media, the Internet and social networking. As a board member I’ll work hard to get the SEIA message out, especially to the 80+ % of Americans the pollsters constantly tell us are supporters of solar energy. I’ll also use my “lessons learned” at the state and local level to promote more effective grass roots messaging of national SEIA priorities.
Both at Standard Solar and earlier in my career at Solarex Corporation (now BP Solar), I recognized that my company would not be successful unless it was part of a thriving industry. As such I have always viewed government relations and industry development as integral to my job. 2012 is going to be a make or break year for the US solar industry. With increasing uncertainty in Washington, we need to be sure that existing federal solar incentives are preserved if we are to maintain industry growth and spur the continued cost reduction we need to reach grid parity. I am the CEO of a profitable solar “success story” with no dependence on DOE loan guarantees or other federal support (beyond the ITC and Treasury Grant programs). As such I can be effective delivering the national SEIA message as a solar CEO who been there/done that – and done it right!
I’d appreciate your vote.
In the last installment of this multi-part series of blog posts, Dave Condon of Standard Energy Solutions explained some of the sealing and insulation problems he commonly encounters in attics when conducting home energy audits. In this post, Dave will explore attic ventilation and will explain how attic ductwork can negatively impact the efficiency of a home’s air conditioning system.
Inspect attic ductwork and air handler – In many homes, part of the HVAC system is in the attic where summer temperatures can soar well into the triple digits. The chilled air flowing through the system inevitably picks up some of the attic’s heat, forcing the system to work that much harder to keep the house cool.
Inspecting attic HVAC system – To make sure your HVAC system is operating as efficiently as possible, check the system for air and water leaks. All of the ductwork should be sealed and insulated against the attic’s temperature extremes and there should be no sign of condensation. If you can feel cold air leaking from the ductwork, or if any part of the system is cold to the touch, you probably need to have the ducts sealed and insulated.
Verify adequate ventilation – An attic vent fan can dramatically lower summer attic temperatures. Attic fans can be mounted behind a gable vent or through a dedicated hole in the roof. They can be wired into the home’s electrical system or powered by a small, dedicated solar cell on the roof. Some vent fans include thermostatic control and motorized vent covers to prevent heat loss in winter. Unless you are comfortable cutting holes in your roof and/or are an experienced electrician, professional installation is strongly recommended.
Attic vent fan – According to what we just told you about the benefits of an attic fan, it may seem like a no-brainer. But before you make an appointment to have one installed, make sure you won’t be replacing one problem with another. An attic fan can lower attic temperatures by forcing hot air out of the attic and drawing cooler outside air into the attic space. However, if your attic isn’t adequately sealed off from the living space, an attic fan may draw conditioned air into the attic and out of the house!
Dave Condon explaining proper attic ventilation
Call in a pro – Handy homeowners can tackle many of these jobs themselves, but there is no substitute for an experienced professional with the right tools and training. Standard Energy Solutions offers a comprehensive home energy audit that covers everything from overall air infiltration rates to HVAC efficiency. The audit concludes with a comprehensive report complete with infrared images of problem areas and a list of recommended improvements. From there, the homeowner can decide which, if any, improvements to make themselves or elect to have Standard Energy Solutions complete the recommended work.
Dave Condon describing audit process
Stay tuned for the next part of this series when we will come down from the attic to explore some of the ways outdoor temperatures may be getting into the main levels of your home.