2019— A Year in Review
As the year draws to a close, I have been reflecting on the celebratory moments and lessons learned from a successful first year for Su Casa Consulting. I’d like to share what I consider the four of the most significant moments in 2019, and I look forward to building upon this year of personal and professional growth in 2020.
Founding Su Casa Consulting
I began my new entrepreneurial lifestyle in January 2019 with the founding of Su Casa Energy Consulting. I have always dreamed of owning my own company, and I am proud to have realized that dream this year. There have been ups and downs during this first year of business: from slow and humble beginnings spending countless hours researching, testing metering products, and building business processes. Over the year, this hard work and determination have generated a working website, a growing client base, and an expanding network. Day by day, Su Casa Energy Consulting is growing into its niche in the energy services market.
In Late May of 2019, my girlfriend and I took a road trip of a lifetime from Atlanta, Georgia to Portland, Oregon, visiting several national parks along the southern route through the desert. While the days spent driving through the desert varied from enchanting to monotonous, the experience was unlike any other. Driving through Oklahoma, Texas, and California, I saw the engine that keeps America turning - the cattle farms and orchards that feed the coasts. The one-light towns that operate so differently from our home in Atlanta. And, most striking to me, the changing energy portfolio of our country. From the oil rigs in Oklahoma to wind farms in Texas and California, the trip west acted as a metaphor for the direction of energy in our country. While my work with Su Casa and Solar Plus, LLC (see below) may be novel for Georgia, the growth of renewable energy and efficient buildings that we discovered out West provides a glimpse into the future of how our state will generate and use energy in the future.
This realization hit me on our fourth day out on the open road. We had high spirits from a morning spent in the Grand Canyon, but after 7 hours of driving toward the same horizon, the unchanging nature of the desert became mind-numbing. But then, after a brief but necessary rest stop, it came into view. Hundreds of windmills on the Tehachapi Mountains of California. The Alta Wind Energy Center, the largest wind farm in the United States with 600 operational units, loomed over the horizon. It was an incredible sight filled with hope for a carbon-neutral future.
One of my proudest moments this year has been my work helping a church apply for the Power Wise Energy Efficiency Grant provided by Georgia Interfaith Power and Light (GIPL), a Decatur-based chapter of the parent nonprofit organization, Interfaith Power Light. GIPL provides grant funding to houses of worship in Georgia looking to implement energy efficiency projects on their buildings. After months of energy monitoring and analysis, LED lighting retrofits, a new HVAC controller, and many brainstorm sessions, the “GreenTeam” at the Methodist Church and I completed the Power Wise Energy Efficiency Grant application. Soon after, the Church received funding from GIPL to continue its progress into 2020.
SOLAR PV industry
In late August, I decided to dip my toes in the residential solar industry as a sales rep and project manager with Don Tonic at his company Solar Plus, LLC. After a few weeks, I soon learned the varied nature of a day for a project manager at a solar installation company. One minute you could be on a 40-foot boom lift installing rail, the next you’re discussing future Georgia energy policy with Bubba McDonald, a state public service commissioner.
The renewable industry is booming throughout the United States, and the south is not immune to the changes in the energy market I experienced while driving across the country. In the short time that I’ve been a project manager with Solar Plus, LLC, we have installed over 85 kW of residential PV systems and 50 kWh energy storage systems in Georgia. I’m proud to have joined a great team at Solar Plus and be part of the changing energy profile of our state, both in energy generation and energy efficiency.
2019 was a building year, and I am grateful to all of the entrepreneurs, energy policy advocates, and supporters who have made the first year of Su Casa such a success. 2020 will be a year of opportunities, and I look forward to helping others achieve energy independence, energy savings, and efficiency in the new year. I’m thrilled to be living out my passion and building something that I can be proud of, in 2020 and beyond.
Here's to a solar-powered and energy-efficient 2020!