Talking green at the energy conference

(Photo by Julie Ray)  Tom Trentlage, left, is the owner of Neighborhood Pro Builders and has an interest in energy efficiency. Bob D’Orso, right, says that Trentlage gets results.

The “Reality of Green” conference hosted by Smith and Nephew drew attendees interested in sustainable energy efficiency.  The speakers, some from Team Green Zone, an energy efficiency, corporate sustainability and building operations resource initiated out of the Bartlett Area Chamber of Commerce, made presentations regarding creating efficient buildings to not only promote clean energy but also to improve the bottom line for businesses.

Neighborhood Pro Builders owner, Tom D. Trentlage attended the conference.  Trentlage is a front-runner in recycling buildings and using less expensive energy.

“What our company does is take existing homes and buildings and make them more energy efficient.  Energy efficiency isn’t just for new construction,” explains Trentlage. “We have a client right now with an older home who was losing energy through cracks in doors and windows.  By showing the homeowner some basic insulating procedures, we were able to cut his utility bill in half.”

Trentlage says that “green” stands for “get residential energy efficiency now.”  And he practices what he preaches by experimenting on his own home first.

“I used my home a model in 2009.  By using my own home I was able to create basic ways of saving energy that were practical and cost efficient,” said Trentlage.

Many large corporations sent representatives as well, such as Fed Ex and Bartlett’s own Kele, a leading supplier in building automation products. Senator Mark Norris and Mayor Mark Luttrell also spoke to the crowd along with Walt Tunnessen, the national program director for the Environmental Protection Agency and Dr. Kathleen Hogan with the Department of Energy, deputy assistant secretary for energy efficiency.

The fundamental goal of this conference and others like it is to have residential and corporate entities make a commitment to energy efficiency, assess performance and set goals.  By creating, implementing and evaluating an action plan and the progress, these entities will continually recognize achievements and re-assess. This goal works hand in hand with Team Green Zone’s core business structure, which is derived from the very first step in DOE and Energy start energy efficiency guidelines. This first step is building audit and adjustment or facility benchmark.  Energy audits and facility benchmarking are crucial because it will clearly define the status of a building now, improvement potential in the future and how to implement building and energy efficiency focused upgrades successfully.