Eco-decorators for your home

Want to go green but don't know how? A year-old startup promises to help you pick the right mix of alternative technologies for your home. Business 2.0 reports.

By Erick Schonfeld, Business 2.0 Magazine editor-at-large

(Business 2.0 Magazine) -- OK, so you want to cut your energy bill and help save the planet. But how?

Will a wind turbine provide more wattage in your neighborhood than a roof full of solar panels? What about installation costs, state rebates, and federal tax credits? How about just better insulation?

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It's enough to make any potential customer's head spin.

That's where Standard Renewable Energy comes in. The year-old startup is rolling out a nationwide service that figures out what combination of green technologies makes the most sense in a given location. The company will audit you for free and then bid to install what it recommends.

Price: roughly $30,000 for homes and $200,000 for businesses. "We sort through the chaos for the consumer," says John Berger, a former Enron energy trader who founded Standard Renewable.

There's plenty of chaos to thrive on.

In Austin, for example, putting solar panels on your roof nets out to about $9,500; in Sag Harbor, N.Y., thanks to more generous local rebates, you can put in both wind and solar systems for that same price.

U.S. consumers and businesses spent $1.2 billion on such installations in 2006, a number set to rise to $2.2 billion in 2008.

Berger thinks he can make $8 million in 2007, with service in six states by the end of the year; in 2008 he expects revenue of $52 million from 15 states.

In the unlikely event that it doesn't work out, Berger has a backup plan: Standard Renewable is also building massive biodiesel refineries with Chevron (Charts, Fortune 500). Top of page

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