EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


April 22, 2008

Focus: A new kind of greenhouse Local companies help makes home, office energy-efficient and eco-friendly


Solectria employ 15 people full-time while dozens more work for companies that supply Solectria with products needed to make the inverters.

"The economy is generally in tough shape, but this is one small thing to help it," said James Worden, 40. "We are booming."

Solectria has clients all over the country, but "California is the biggest market," Worden said.

The highest rooftop solar array on the planet is at 45 Rockefeller Center, and it uses Solectria's inverters to harness solar power for the 45-story building in Manhattan. Power from the inverters also lit up the famous Rockefeller Center Christmas tree last year.

ECM Energy: Skyscrapers turning green

Since 2003, ECM Energy Management Services of North Andover has been advising commercial clients like Time-Warner and Morgan Stanley on ways to reduce the carbon footprint of their buildings, many of them skyscrapers in the New York metro area.

"People are looking to save money," company president Eugene Garcia said, "but they are also concerned about the environment."

He uses a combination of tools to help his customers do that, noting, "a kilowatt not used is the best or greenest kilowatt."

Among the solutions are solar installations and thermal storage devices, which make ice at night when power is cheapest then use that ice to cool the building during the day.

But ECM also takes other, less glamorous steps for clients, such as helping them improve the operation of their buildings by putting lights on timers or simply buying more energy-efficient appliances.

"There are a whole bunch of things you can do," Garcia said, adding that big savings can also come from direct negotiations with the wholesale energy market to purchase energy. "You cut out the middle man and you can save 5 to 10 percent on your energy bills."

PowerHouse Enterprises: New homes unplugged

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