A while back we introduced you to AltE, a Hudson, Massachusetts based online retailer of renewable energy goods and technical service. We were fortunate enough to speek to AltE's CEO Sascha Deri and even more fortunate for the opportunity to learn of his passion for alternative energy outreach and education. AltE University, the educational branch of Drei's successful AltE began offering classes on basic alternative energy training for professionals to do-it-yourselfers at their Hudson based operation in 2007. Since then they have educated over 500 people in multiple classes from basic introduction to renewable energy to advanced classes on installation of photo voltaic solar panel systems, both in Hudson and online via webinars. And now offering classes in Columbus, Ohio. Sascha Deri recently had this to say about the success and the future of AltE University.
“Being your friend in Renewable Energy is more than just taking a call and putting together a quote for a system. Every customer we work with is unique and has an interesting challenge and in order to make sure we get folks the right technology, we need to speak the same language. By offering education, online and in person, we develop that common ground – ensuring a positive experience for our customer from their first call through their installation and into the future,” explained Deri. “At first, we learned that we needed to empower our customers with real information about making their home more efficient and about the basics of renewable energy,” continued Deri. “The more customers we worked with, the more we saw the need for offering deeper and more comprehensive educational opportunities through classes and presentations. Folks come to us from all walks of life; we work with homeowners who want to make their homes more efficient and folks who want to live completely off grid. We developed AltE U to help anyone prepare for alternative energy and to then actually implement the solutions,” finished Deri.
It's obvious from the first week of President Obama's administration that alternative energy will play a huge role in his reshaping of America, and with services like AltE it will be easier for Americans to contribute to that reshaping. “We’ve learned a lot in our first two years of educating folks. It was becoming obvious that while the classes we offered were certainly worthwhile for both laypeople and professionals, if we wanted to take AltE University to the next level, we needed to tailor our classes more specifically for our different audiences,” explained Kristen Ferguson, Education Program Manager of AltE University.
In 2009, AltE University will be offering multiple tracks and opportunities for students. Tracks include, Basics of Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency, Solar Electricity (PV), Solar Thermal – Water and Air Heating and Wind Power Systems. “We’ve maintained the basic curriculum for our homeowners in all of our tracks so anyone that is curious about implementing solar thermal technology, solar electricity or wind power can come to one of our classes and leave as a well informed consumer. We’ve also added what we call the 300 series – PV301, 302 and 303 which are aimed at people who want to install photo voltaic systems professionally or who actually want to install systems themselves on their homes. These more advanced classes are to be held over multiple days and will involve labs and actual installations,” continued Ferguson. “We’re excited to grow AltE University in 2009 and look forward to doing an even better job for homeowners and contractors with our new strategy and organization.”