Geothermal heat pumps, geothermal, ground-source heat pumps, ground-coupled heat pumps, GHP, GSHP, GeoExchange, Closed Loop, Open Loop, Direct Exchange, Standing Column Well

Designing a “Sellable” Solar (or Geothermal) Company – Part 2

In my last post, I wrote about my marketing plan for starting a renewable energy company that will be an offshoot of an existing construction company in the great state of Maine. Now, I’m going to discuss how we’ll be setting up the marketing and sales engine that will drive the businesses. Some have asked if I’m nervous about posting this information (as if I’m giving away some sort of “trade secrets”). My answer is absolutely not. Not only do I think it can help other solar and geothermal contractors dealing with similar issues but if anything it will help me more. Writing down the plan down forces me to focus the idea and ask myself if it makes sense.

In this article I will discuss how I plan on creating the processes and metrics necessary to optimize the marketing, sales, design and installation process of a new company that will sell geothermal, solar pv, solar thermal products. Read below for the full article and if you have any questions or comments on the article please feel free to leave them in the comment section, email me at or ask a question on HeatSpring’s facebook page: Enjoy!


August 22nd, 2011|Categories: Solar|Tags: , , , , , |

Universities Can be a Great Market for Geo and Solar

Recently, I spoke with Nathalie Assens at Project Manager at ZVI Construction. ZVI Construction is a medium size, three-decade old, design-build construction company that does a lot of work with universities around Boston as well as  internationally.   Nathalie enrolled in both HeatSpring’s geothermal and solar training programs because their clients were interested in saving money on energy. Since then, ZVI has completed more geothermal projects, including the first geothermal project at Boston University.

According to Assens, ZVI Construction finds the university market interesting and attractive for energy efficiency upgrades because they own their buildings forever, giving them a long-term view (and appreciation) on how to reduce energy costs.  Over time, those long-term relationships begin to feel more like a partnership.  Rather than merely selling systems, ZVI also performs other construction and maintenance work.

Though Nathalie has already realized a huge potential for geothermal applications, she also sees the opportunity for solar.  She attended HeatSpring’s solar PV boot camp to understand how to integrate solar into their systems and better advise clients. Although it’s not obvious because the technologies are different, she found that there is a huge overlap between clients that “get” geothermal and those who are interested in solar.  The challenge is finding the right person and organization that “gets” that combining solar and geothermal is a no-brainer.


August 16th, 2011|Categories: Solar|Tags: , , , , |

Geothermal Powers the Statue of Liberty, President Bush’s Ranch, and the Greenest Hotel in the World

Solar guys have been good at show-casing their best solar installations to the public and politicians – the geothermal industry needs to step up and begin to showcase our best installations as well. PR and customer awarnress are key; a recent report by Pike Research shows that while there is huge upside for geothermal, its currently only […]

VERY Basic Geothermal Training

Ground Source Heat Pumps, GeoExchange, Ground Coupled Heat Pumps…the list goes on.  The Geothermal Heat Pump industry has had a lot of names over the years.

In this three minute video, HeatSpring Instructor John Manning explains what Geothermal Heat Pumps are, and dispels some common misconceptions.  It’s a nice introduction for those just learning about the […]

How to Build a Renewable Energy Division in an Existing Building Company – PART 1

A lot of residential and light commercial renewable energy work is starting to be picked up by general contractors, like Jamie Leef of S+H Construction in Cambridge. Why? General contractors are in a unique position to pick up this work because they’re used to managing projects, sales, and it supplements their existing business.

Beginning in September, I am going to be working with one of my best friends in Maine to create their renewable energy division. My friend Gilbert took over his father’s residential construction company. It’s a small local company in coastal Maine that has a repuation for building high quality, energy efficient homes.

I’m going to keep a journal of the journey on Heatspring Magazine because many of the issues we’ll be dealing with are common for everyone in the industry. What am I going to be discussing? Everything that a small business must do to make money; establishing our marketing and sales strategies, performing site visits and creating sales proposals, applying for incentives, the design process and lastly, the installation process. My goal is to be 100% open and share everything we learn. I have absolutely no fear that me sharing this material will mean less business for us. In fact, I feel it will sharpen our business strategy, writing has a tendency to do this, and it will help other contractors like yourself. Read below to get this specifics.  If you like this idea, have any questions, or are working on a similar project, feel free to leave a comment or ask me on HeatSprings facebook page.