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NH Company Helps Bring Power To Puerto Rico

ReVision Energy Partners with Amicus Solar Cooperative and Amurtel to Bring Solar Outreach Systems to Puerto Rico

BRENTWOOD, NH: Local solar installer ReVision Energy is partnering with Amicus Solar Cooperative, a nationwide purchasing cooperative of solar energy companies, and Amurtel, a non-profit working in disaster relief, to build Solar Outreach Systems (SOS) to bring dozens of desperately needed portable solar energy systems to power storm-ravaged areas in Puerto Rico.

Millions of Americans living in Puerto Rico (Boriqueñas) remain without power due to Hurricane Maria, many still without passable roads, access to clean drinking water, in need of basic supplies, and unable to receive the medical care they would otherwise have with functional electricity.

“We have already secured the solar panels that will enable us to build up to 100 portable emergency power units that will power communications systems, computers, laptops, cell phones and lighting for the hardest hit areas,” said Phil Coupe, co-founder of ReVision Energy and the company’s volunteer coordinator with Amicus and Amurtel. ReVision Energy is a founding member of Amicus Solar. ReVision Energy’s N. Andover, MA warehouse will be used as a staging area to begin construction on the first portable solar power units.

Located close to the equator where there is a powerful solar resource, Puerto Rico is an ideal geography for harnessing solar energy, but with so few solar energy systems in place right now, not many businesses or homes are able to take advantage of this abundant renewable energy. Having to depend on what’s left of the island’s power grid means that many Puerto Rican communities could be without power for up to a year. The Solar Outreach Systems, which are portable community-based communication and emergency power hubs, will immediately assist on-the-ground relief efforts.

The SOS units will be deployed by the Aireko Foundation, an offshoot of Aireko Energy Solutions, which is a Puerto Rico-based member of Amicus.  These units will be loaned to the communities for the duration of their need and then be redeployed to other disaster areas as needs and events dictate.  “The aftermath of Hurricane Maria has been as difficult and often even harder than the path of the storm itself, especially for those communities in the interior of the island.  After more than a month, reestablishment of electric power for those communities is still unknown, and the quality of water is not the best – for those communities that are lucky enough to have this service, which are very few.  Sadly, those communities are far from returning to their normal lives,” said Hector Rivera Russe of Aireko Energy Solutions. “I’m deeply touched by how my Amicus partners, alongside Amurtel, have jumped without hesitation, to putting their time, resources and effort to give relief to my people in Puerto Rico.  I will always be thankful to them.”

This Amicus-Amurtel SOS partnership is actively fundraising for the Power on Puerto Rico project to design, build, and deploy 10 initial portable, off grid solar systems for remote community centers where the public can charge cell phones, rechargeable lights, radios, and other low load, high value items that will offer immediate relief to disaster victims. A goal of 100 units will be deployed through this effort. Tax deductible donations of materials, services and cash contributions are being coordinated through http://www.amurtel.org/get-involved/donate/

AMURTEL is an international volunteer organization founded in 1975 that works to help improve the quality of life for people experiencing chronic poverty or acute stress from environmental, financial, or political distress. We encourage and enable individuals and communities to harness their own resources for securing the basic necessities of life and for gaining greater economic sustainability and social and spiritual fulfillment. It is the goal of Amurtel to assist communities in their recovery and development while honoring their customs, language, and religious beliefs. www.amurtel.org

Founded in 2011, AMICUS SOLAR COOPERATIVE, is the first purchasing cooperative in the U.S. solar industry. As a member-owned company, we share best practices with each other and pool our purchasing power to obtain lower pricing on both products and services allowing us to deliver better value to our customers. AMICUS is made up of 43 member-owners, each operating under their own brand with over 60 office/service locations in 29 states, Puerto Rico, and Canada. Amicus is equally owned and democratically governed by its membership of independent solar photovoltaic (PV) installation companies. More information can be found at www.amicussolar.com.

For more information contact: Phil Coupe, phil@revisionenergy.com or 207-232-6595. Please visit our webpage and Facebook page for updates as the project progresses.

REVISION ENERGY is certified B-Corp and employee-owned company that specializes in the design, installation and service of solar energy systems, battery storage, electric vehicle charging infrastructure, heat pumps and LED lighting. Our mission is to transition northern New England from a fossil fuel based economy to a sustainable, renewable energy based economy. In 2017 ReVision Energy was named the #1 Rooftop Solar Installer in New England by Solar Power Industry Magazine based on the company’s reputation for exceptional customer service and unrivaled technical competence gained through the course of more than 7,000 clean energy systems placed in service since 2003.

NH Workforce Development Leaders Mark National Apprenticeship Week at Local Clean Energy Company

Brentwood, NH – On Thursday, November 16th, ReVision Energy hosted a special Apprentice Appreciation event with state leaders in business, labor, and education, as well as local solar apprentices, at the company’s Brentwood, New Hampshire office and warehouse. The event came just in time for the U.S. Department of Labor’s third annual National Apprenticeship Week, a nationwide effort to promote a highly-skilled workforce that can meet the talent needs of employers across a wide range of industries.

Representatives of the U.S. Department of Labor, NH Departments of Education and Veterans Affairs, Electrical Contractors Business Association, International Association of Electrical Inspectors Local 490, Lakes Region Community College, and Dover Career Technical Center attended to show their support for the local apprentices and encourage more young people and businesses to take advantage of apprenticeship opportunities. In addition to formal presentations, the public event included tours of the ReVision Energy office and warehouse, and refreshments.

“Like many organizations and businesses across the country, ReVision Energy has faced a shortage of skilled workers to power the clean energy transition and bring down electricity costs for everyone,” said James Hasselbeck, Operations Manager for ReVision Energy. “Our apprenticeship program is a direct response to that challenge and we are seeing first-hand the unique value that apprentices bring to our industry and the larger workforce.”

Hasselbeck added that ReVision Energy’s state-registered apprenticeship program combines on-the-job training and classroom-based instruction toward certification in a valuable trade as an electrician or plumber. All costs associated with training and certification are covered by the employer and apprentices earn a paycheck throughout their four-year training process.

Several of ReVision Energy’s current and former apprentices spoke at the event alongside local business and community leaders. Carley Williams, a solar installer, project manager, and current electrical apprentice, said she strives to set an example for others, especially women interested in trade careers.

“It’s very important for people to see that it’s possible,” Williams said, noting that oftentimes profitable and meaningful careers like solar installation and electrical work are not necessarily promoted as an option for women.

“Unfortunately, many women and men don’t realize that these apprenticeship opportunities are out there,” added Nathan Poland, ReVision Energy’s Electrical Coordinator and former apprentice. Poland noted that the average electrical apprentice completes his or her program with a certification, a job, no college debt, and an average starting salary of $50,000 a year. Many apprentices also attend college before or after their program, which puts them in an even stronger position to grow in their career.

The US Department of Labor (DOL) reports that for every dollar spent on apprenticeship, employers get an average of $1.47 back in increased productivity. They also enjoy better recruitment rates and reduced turnover as apprentices have the opportunity to advance in their field. For their part, apprentices receive a debt-free education in valuable skills, and have a much higher rate of finding a job immediately after graduating.

In 2016, DOL reported that NH had 2,071 active apprentices in 213 registered programs, which can be sponsored by the government, institutions, or private businesses. ReVision Energy currently has 12 apprentices and has had over 20 since the start of their program in 2012.

Lauren Smith, the State Director of the Office of Apprenticeship of the DOL, said that demand for the programs is increasing, and they are expanding even beyond trades. She noted the Community College System of NH recently received a federal grant to expand their apprenticeship programs and praised local businesses for hiring apprentices and providing the necessary mentorship and support.

“When I hear the stories tonight, I am excited to hear that [the apprenticeship programs] are working,” Smith concluded.

For Heather Iworsky, ReVision Energy’s Brentwood Branch Manager, apprenticeships are part of the company’s DNA. “We are a local business committed to providing good jobs, a fun atmosphere, and great culture, and we want to celebrate our apprentices and show people in the community that you can ‘stay, work, and play’ right here in New Hampshire,” Iworsky said.

New England’s Leading Solar Company Converts to Employee Ownership

New England -based ReVision Energy, recently named the #1 rooftop solar contractor in the region, has converted to 100% ownership by an ESOP Trust.

ReVision Energy, a regional solar company that specializes in the design, installation and service of systems that reduce fossil fuel consumption and carbon pollution, has converted to 100% ESOP ownership. The company’s three co-founders chose the ESOP option after a rigorous three-year exploration of various strategies to ensure ReVision Energy’s long-term economic and environmental sustainability.

“We are investing the future of our company in the exceptional people who have worked hard all these years to build ReVision Energy into one of the best solar companies in the world,” said company co-founder Phil Coupe. “Converting to 100% ESOP means that every employee can financially benefit from the success of the business as we continue our mission to transition New England from a fossil fuel based economy to a sustainable, renewable energy based economy,” noted Coupe, who has spent a 25-year career focused on socially responsible business practices. “We believe this is the best future we can create for all our employees and for our commitment to sustainable energy.”

Historically, ReVision Energy has distinguished itself as a mission-driven, values-oriented company that takes excellent care of employees, clients, the broader community and the natural environment.  In 2015, ReVision Energy became a certified B-Corp, signifying that the company is operated with a goal of creating maximum positive impact rather than just focusing exclusively on maximizing shareholder returns. Other notable B-Corps include Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream, King Arthur Flour and Patagonia, which all share in common a ‘triple bottom line’ business philosophy of People, Planet and Profits.

Since 2003, the company has grown from two guys in a garage to more than 200 employees today operating out of five locations in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts. In addition to designing and installing solar electric systems and solar hot water systems, ReVision Energy also specializes in the complementary technologies of battery storage, electric vehicle charging stations, heat pumps and microgrids, thereby providing all the tools necessary to drastically reduce, if not eliminate, fossil fuels.

“Today we have robust, reliable renewable energy technology that is enabling people and businesses to make the transition to 100% clean energy, ensuring their long-term energy security and independence. And now we have established the strongest employee ownership model by transitioning to 100% ESOP ownership, ensuring the greatest resilience for our company and positioning ReVision Energy for the future,” said Coupe.

According to the ESOP Association, 84% of companies that convert to ESOP report higher levels of employee motivation and productivity. This overwhelmingly positive effect on the company creates broad-based ownership among all employees and fosters an environment in which everyone understands his or her role in helping the company achieve its triple bottom line. Research has proven that employee ownership builds successful, competitive companies and creates equitable wealth for employees. It has been shown that ESOP companies pay better benefits, have twice the retirement income for employees and pay higher wages than non-ESOP companies.

ReVision joins a growing list of successful and innovative businesses, across industries and sectors, that recognizes and captures both the social and the economic rewards of fair practices and commitment to long term sustainability.  ReVision is proud to achieve both 100% ESOP ownership and B-corp status, positioning itself for a lasting and influential role in New England’s energy future.

Nashua Soup Kitchen And Shelter Goes Solar To Save Money

“Do you want to pay for electricity or feed more hungry people?”


Nashua, NH – The Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter (NSKS), which provides food and shelter to thousands of people in need, is set to become the first solar-powered nonprofit in Nashua and one of the first solar-powered soup kitchens in the northeast. The NSKS Board recently contracted with ReVision Energy for the installation and operation of a 39.3-kilowatt solar array, augmenting its longstanding commitment to energy efficiency and sustainability while saving thousands of dollars in electricity costs per year.

“Do you want to pay for electricity or do we want to get more food to hungry people?” said NSKS Executive Director Michael Reinke. “Partnering with ReVision Energy, we will model sustainability and devote even more of our donor’s dollar to helping meet the most basic needs of our community. It’s a no brainer.”

Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter is expected to save roughly $176,282 over the life of the solar array, offsetting a significant share of its electric load. The 131 solar panels, mounted on both flat and pitched roof sections of the NSKS facility in downtown Nashua, are expected to produce approximately 43,080 kilowatt-hours of clean electricity per year, thereby reducing more than 45,000 pounds of carbon pollution annually. The panels come with a 25-year warranty and are expected to produce efficiently for at least 40 years. A web-based monitoring platform will allow NSKS to track the array’s performance in real time.

“ReVision Energy is honored to partner with such a vital nonprofit on the front lines of fighting hunger and homelessness in our community, and we are inspired by their longstanding commitment to sustainability,” said Dan Weeks, Director of Market Development at ReVision Energy. “As a Certified B Corporation, we consider it an integral part of our mission to make solar and other clean technologies accessible to nonprofits, thereby saving them thousands of dollars a year to do even more of the important work they do.”

ReVision Energy will own the system through a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) with NSKS. The agreement is an innovative financing tool that allows nonprofits to benefit from solar power on a cashflow-neutral basis and with no upfront cost. Under the terms, NSKS agrees to purchase electricity from ReVision Energy at a fixed rate below its current cost of electricity. At year seven of the agreement, the nonprofit will have the option to purchase the system at a significant discount, enabling it to generate free solar power for decades to come.

“The PPA arrangement gives NSKS the ability to leverage the economic and environmental benefits of solar power while allowing ReVision Energy to make community investments that align with its core values of creating positive change in the world,” Weeks added.

Reinke said NSKS has long been committed to being a good steward of the earth’s resources. After a $2.7 million capital campaign, NSKS completed renovations of a former VFW building in 2014 including comprehensive weatherization and other energy efficiency measures. Its food pantry and community kitchen provide a means to reduce food waste and encourage the consumption of healthy and nutritious food while setting an example for the larger community.

From a financial perspective, the solar array will also benefit the NSKS bottom line. Its current budget includes more than $20,000 a year in electric costs, which will be significantly reduced by solar. Although no upfront payment was required to go solar, the project received a $7,000 challenge grant from a donor-advised fund at the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.

“We feed the hungry and shelter those without a home. Our mission is possible only because our volunteers, our supporters, and, as an organization, we are able to direct the generous bounty of the earth to those in need,” Reinke said.

New Hampshire Taking Strides in Solar Amidst Policy Uncertainty

Image By Jonsowman FLICKR CC

Although New Hampshire lags far behind other New England states in solar policy, it has seen an explosion in the number of solar installers vying to lead the state’s clean energy transition. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), New Hampshire is home to some 85 solar companies that employ 1,184 people, spurring $155 million in solar investment in the state.

The emergence of a clean energy industry in New Hampshire corresponds to a rapid rise in the number of homeowners and businesses that have chosen to go solar instead of paying for imported fossil fuels.

Approximately 9,000 New Hampshire homes are currently powered by the sun, according to SEIA, and more than half of the 57 megawatts of total solar electricity in New Hampshire was installed last year alone.

According to ReVision Energy, the state’s largest solar company, the rapid rise in solar adoption is due to increasing awareness of the costs of climate change as well as homeowners’ desire to keep their energy dollars in state and save money in the process.

“The cost for solar panels has dropped by 64% over the past 5 years, making it practical for Granite Staters to invest in a technology that comes with a 25-year warranty and proven ability to perform well in our region,” said Phil Coupe, co-founder of ReVision Energy. “In fact, New Hampshire’s solar resource is equal to that of Houston, TX and only 10% less than Florida.”

Nevertheless, industry leaders say the decision by the state Public Utilities Commission to artificially reduce the value of solar electricity exported onto the grid through net metering – contrary to independent analyses that find solar electricity benefits all ratepayers by supplying maximum power at periods of peak demand – could hamper future growth.

Even more disconcerting to the solar industry is the current uncertainty around the future of state rebates for solar projects, which serve to level the playing field with heavily-subsidized fossil fuels and enable lower-income homeowners and nonprofits to reap the long-term rewards of a solar investment through lower up-front costs. With only 0.32% of New Hampshire’s electricity mix currently coming from solar, such modest incentives are considered by the industry to be an important ingredient in the state’s clean energy transition.

By contrast, Massachusetts currently generates roughly 6 percent of its electricity from solar with 30 times as many megawatts (1,592) of total solar installed, according to SEIA.

Uncertainties aside, ReVision Energy says it is not letting up on its goal of a 100% clean energy future for New Hampshire and the region. In addition to full-service solar installations, the company provides hyper-efficient heat pumps, electric vehicle charging, battery storage, and complementary technologies to support a solar-powered lifestyle. It was recently named #1 in New England by Solar Power World Magazine.

“The technology has arrived and the only question that remains is us whether policymakers will allow the burgeoning clean tech industry to truly take off in our state by leveling the playing field with heavily-subsidized fossil fuels,” said Dan Weeks, Director of Market Development at ReVision Energy. “The science is clear that solar and wind are now the cheapest sources of electricity on earth and essential for a sustainable future.”

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