A Model Business for Conservation
Growing up on his grandmother’s farm in Bloomsburg, Barry Kindt developed a great respect for the Earth, as well as the belief that all humans share responsibility for the environment. The lessons he learned on the farm have stayed with him throughout his life.
As president of SECCO, Inc., a company that provides commercial electrical construction, Kindt has found opportunities to focus on conservation both in the office and out in the field. “There’s so much to the green movement and sustainability, but I do my best to keep it simple and focus on the things that are really doable,” he says.
While SECCO provides typical commercial heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) services, as well as residential electrical, plumbing and carpentry services, the company also supports alternative energy options by offering installation and service for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.
Guided by Kindt’s simple living philosophy, SECCO maintains an elemental focus on office recycling and energy conservation. New employees are introduced to the extensive recycling program that SECCO has had in place for years—practices that handle even difficult items like batteries and fluorescent bulbs. Kindt notes that most people don’t think about the energy consumed by servers when they download emails, send text messages and watch videos on smartphones. He encourages employees to make energy-conserving choices.
A few years ago, SECCO made the commitment to recycle items on their jobsites, such as cardboard, metal fragments, copper and other scrap materials. The initiative required extra effort and meant creating some new habits, but Kindt says it has enhanced the company’s green reputation. “Not only do we know we are doing the right thing, but Dickinson College selected us to work on several sustainability projects, knowing our workers would do the right thing without their supervision.”
Taking their conservation message to their customers, SECCO offers high-efficiency lighting, heating and cooling systems whenever possible. Kindt notes that the costs associated with many lighting systems are being underwritten by utility company grants, making them a more accessible, affordable choice for consumers.
SECCO also helps customers save energy and money by repairing leaky or improperly installed duct systems. Because respiratory issues are often related to indoor air quality, the company offers planned maintenance programs to keep coils and ducts clean, and recommends HEPA-rated filtration devices to improve occupant comfort. Through HepaFilterSales.com, they offer filters of all shapes and sizes, providing a system that reminds customers when to change filters and helps them quickly and easily purchase the correct replacement filter for their system.
Kindt is also proud of SECCO’s alternative energy model. “Solar is so important to our energy independence,” he advises. “Since the Pennsylvania Sunshine Program has been established, many homeowners and businesses have utilized its financial incentives to install PV systems that generate electricity and have the potential to spin your electric meter backwards.”
SECCO recently installed 4,368 solar panels on six acres at Masser Potato Farms, in Schuylkill County. The ground-mounted array will provide one megawatt of electricity to power the farm’s processing plant a mile away. Kindt says that the farm’s ability to generate energy will lessen the area’s overall dependence on polluting fuels such as natural gas, wood and oil, thus reducing its carbon footprint.
In November 2010, Kindt founded The PA Energy Store to educate consumers about alternative forms of energy and to bring to life products and services that save energy and conserve resources. The store showcases solar hot water heaters and PV systems; high-efficiency ductless heating and air conditioning systems; and co-generation systems, also known as combined heat and power (CHP), which can simultaneously and efficiently produce heat and electricity from one fuel source. The store also sells foam insulation; water conserving devices; energy-saving window treatments; and eco-firebricks, which burn hotter and longer than traditional cordwood.
Kindt is proud and enthusiastic about the contributions made by SECCO and The PA Energy Store to promote alternative energy and resource conservation. You might say he’s “energized” about being a “conduit” for a sustainable environment for many generations to come.
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SECCO, Inc. is located at 1111 Primrose Ave., Camp Hill 17011. For information, call 717-737-2224 or visit SeccoInc.com. The PA Energy Store is located at 310 S. 10th St., Lemoyne 17043. For information, call 888-777-8283 or visit PAEnergyStore.com.