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February 23, 2012 - Image 46

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2012-02-23

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

I

ave

ith his infrared cam-
era in one hand and a
smoke stick in the other,
Adam Duke, 24, of Bloomfield
Hills is like an energy-saving
super-sleuth. The president and
co-founder of Go Green Energy
Consulting in Southfield moves
from room to room searching high
and low — around baseboards and
window ledges, in the wells of re-
cessed lighting and along ceilings —
for air leaks and other inefficiencies
that can wastefully boost a homeowner's
energy bills. His company, with nine
full-time employees, makes house calls all
over Southeastern Michigan performing
home energy audits and recommending
and installing upgrades like door and
window frame sealing, weather stripping,
door sweeps and spray foam insulation.
By making these simple changes, he says
most homeowners can save more than 20
percent on their energy bills.
"We take a look at the whole house as a
system," he says. "Most people are definite-
ly paying more than they need to."
Jonathon Koenigsberg of West Bloom-
field says he was one of them. He had Go
Green assess and make improvements
to his 2,900-square-foot house in West
Bloomfield, which was built in the early
1970s. While Koenigsberg did not offer
specifics, he's certain his Consumers En-
ergy bills have gone down.
"They sealed a bunch of different areas
and put in some insulation here and
there," Koenigsberg said. "This is the first
winter since the work was done, but I
believe it really did make a difference
Another customer, listed as "Tony D. of
Lathrup Village," posted this comment on
the company's website.

Southfield-
based energy
consultants make
house calls
to help lower
utility bills.

By Robin Schwartz

I

I

12 March 2012 I



RED MED

ree

"I have received our first electric bill
since your company's work on our home,"
it says. "Our electric bill was $220. At the
same time last year it ranged from $340-
$380."

FROM THE GROUND UP
Duke built the home energy evaluation
and upgrade company from the ground
up with his longtime friend, Jacob Smith,
23, of West Bloomfield. Both have busi-
ness degrees: Duke from Michigan State
University; Smith from the University
of Michigan's Ross School of Business,
where he focused on marketing and social
entrepreneurship. Duke also took courses
in alternative energy
engineering technol-
ogy at Lansing Com-
munity College and
is a certified home
energy specialist
through the Build-
ing Performance
Institute.
A family tragedy
actually got the ball
rolling on the green
business. In 2006,
on his first day of col-
lege, Duke's family's
house in Waterford
burned down in an
electrical fire. At
Adam Duke
the time, an MSU
professor introduced Duke to energy con-
servation, and he decided to incorporate
those principles in the construction and
rebuilding process.
"I helped my family build a green house,"
Duke says. "By implementing efficient
technologies, I knew I could save them
a substantial amount of money on their

energy bills. The project was extremely
successful."
He says he started Go Green Energy
Consulting to do the same thing for other
families, and Duke is right at home when
it comes to entrepreneurial endeavors. At
age 18, when he was senior class president
at Birmingham Groves High School (and
his school's homecoming king), he started
an out-of-state dance business teaching
dance classes to middle school students at
the Alfred and Adele Davis Academy, a Re-
form Jewish day school in Dunwoody, Ga.,
near Atlanta. For six weeks, he'd fly back
and forth between Detroit and Atlanta to
run the business. He says his passion shift-
ed from dance to working
with the environment and
helping boost Michigan's
economy.
"I've worked on a wide
range of jobs from solar
panel installation, electri-
cal supply distribution and
even public policy to help
write our state's Renew-
able Energy Policy," Duke
says. "Nearly all can drasti-
cally reduce their energy
use through basic energy
efficiency upgrades. This
also helps the environ-
ment by reducing consum-
er reliance on polluting
fossil fuels."

HIGH-TECH TESTS
Go Green Energy Consulting has a host
of high-tech equipment (some of which
looks like it belongs at a hazardous mate-
rial cleanup site), which it uses to evaluate
homes. One test, called the "blower door
test," involves sealing off an exterior door

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