Tanner Creek Energy expands into efficiency services
By Christina Williams, Sustainable Business Oreogn
Sustainable Business Oreogn
Tanner Creek Energy, which made a name for itself installing solar arrays for high-profile Oregon clients, announced Tuesday that it will expand its services to include energy efficiency advice and technology in addition to renewable energy.
Portland-based Tanner Creek, working with partners, will continue to sell on-site renewable energy such as solar systems but has added expertise in energy efficiency improvements in lighting, HVAC, refrigeration, pumps, motors, compressed air, irrigation and energy monitoring.
Alan Hickenbottom, president and founder of Tanner Creek, said the company started edging into efficiency work earlier this year.
"Our pipeline is more and more looking like efficiency," he said.
Tanner Creek installed solar systems for clients including Columbia Sportswear, Les Schwab, OMSI and Sokol Blosser Winery, leveraging the state's incentives for its customers. But business slowed when new limits were applied to the Oregon Business Energy Tax Credit.
Hickenbottom has been vocal about the disarray of the Oregon BETC and the damage it inflicted on businesses in the solar industry. He said now there is every indication from Salem that the program will effectively end next summer if there's not the political will to revive it. Once the BETC is gone, Hickenbottom said, it will be difficult for any commercial solar industry to survive.
"You have to wonder if in 18 months we'll be doing any solar at all," he said.
By expanding into efficiency services, Tanner Creek diversifies into a growing area. The Northwest Power and Conservation Council expects up to 85 percent of the region's future energy needs to be met by efficiency. The company will also help clients tap efficiency incentives and tax credits.
Tanner Creek has seven employees and specializes in providing turnkey services for mid-sized business. The company's 2009 revenues were just shy of $2 million.
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