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?


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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