May 14th, 2010

Top 10 Boston Clean Tech Companies Killing It on Twitter

BOSTON -

Recently, I’ve been getting asked more and more who and what companies to follow on twitter. So, I’ve decided to put together some lists.

BEWARE, if you’re not familiar with twitter you may have no idea what I’m talking about.

Today, I did my first #FollowFriday for my favorite green people around Boston. It went something like this:

@GreenLDistrikt: My first #FF for #Boston’s #green scene @hollyfowler @asheen @morganmm @CleanPursuits @goodnaturegirl @mangojess @renewacycle

Those focused on my favorite people but these are the companies that are using twitter the best in and around Boston, and sometimes New England area in no particular order.

@firstwind – Although First Wind does HUGE wind development and thus their customers probably are not on twitter, they provide great news, information and resources to the twitter community interested in wind.

@millvillegreen + @millvillegreen2 : Laura and Helen are doing some great work with green strategic marketing and program implementation and are great at using their twitter feeds to communicate what’s happening in the are and nation.

@greencollarguy – Kevin Gulley has created the largest B2b Green Directory on the web, an impressive feet. The directory will allow companies to research and find the most profitable ways to become green.

@newgenenergy – New Generation Energy kicks butt in the twitterverse, always providing great information. They provide innovative financial tools that help people invest in greening their communities. Keep an eye on these guys, I think they’ll be national one day.

@HarvestPower – Harvest Power’s customers are not twitter per se, but I feel like their presence on twitter is in large demand. Organics recycling is something most Americans don’t have a clue about so any and all education on the subject is much appreciated.

@energycircle – Peter Troast is the energy efficiency man as far as I’m concerned. I’ve never seen a better site that educates homeowners better on energy efficiency, hands down. Also see @energycrclgoods for some deals on good stuff

@Jeff_groSolar – Jeff the CEO of groSolar has had a twitter feed for sometime now. It’s amazing to me that more solar CEOs don’t have twitter accounts especially if they’re selling to residential because homeowners are on twitter. I like hearing Jeff’s tweets, they’re a good mix of business, pleasure, news and life.

@emergentenergy – Emergent Energy Group doesn’t have the most active twitter account at the moment, but usually have some good info on on renewables and community development.

@evcast – Hands down the BEST resource, podcast, blog, news whatever you want for information about electric vehicles. I’d say they’re the Energy Circle of Electric Vehicles, or maybe it’s the other way around? Regardless, if you want to keep up to date on what’s happening with electric vehicles (my vote if on Better Place) follow these guys

@reworld – Like @evcast and @energycirlce, Renewable Energy World, in my opinion, is hands down the best renewable energy news resources that exists on the planet and they are located close by in New Hampshire.

Well, that’s my list. I agree, whether twitter is actually a useful tool or not is arguable and it depends on an organizations business model and who their customers are. I can say without a doubt that twitter has changed my life for the better and I’ve met some amazing people through it.

For those green, renewable energy, clean tech folks. Do you use twitter? Why?

If yes, how do you think we can use twitter to drive the movement forward?

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Chris Williams

About Chris Williams

Chris Williams is the editor of Green Light Distrikt and Chief Marketing Officer at HeatSpring . He has experience in business development, prototyping and new venture research with a focus on geothermal heat pumps, solar thermal and solar photovoltaic technologies. Chris is an IGSHPA accredited geothermal installer and NABCEP certified solar installer. Chris is focused on solving customer facing issues in the creation and adoption of clean energy technologies and products. Chris has installed over 300kW of solar and tens of geothermal systems. He's invented the PV Pal , developed many trainings at HeatSpring, publishes the NABCEP Study Guide , the Hitchhikers Guide to Cleantech and has done due diligence research for Urgent VC . Feel free to connect with him @topherwiliams , on Linkedin , or through email about new ventures, collaborating, writing, research or whatever is on your mind.

  • http://www.greencollarresearch.com Kevin Gulley

    Hey Chris:

    I’ve found Twitter to be a very useful tool for generating awareness and traffic to http://www.GreenCollarResearch.com. We have carefully built a targeted group of followers (mostly business people interested in Green) and when we tweet about something on our site, it drives quick little bursts of traffic. The great thing about it is that it takes 2 minutes to tweet, vs. an hour plus to write a decent blog post.

    Keep up the good work.

    -Kevin
    Publisher
    Green Collar Research

  • http://www.brightstarsolar.net Mona Reese

    Chris,

    Great post. I will certainly be watching these companies.

    Also, the last hyperlink for @reworld goes to @evcast.

    Mona
    Brightstar Solar
    http://www.brightstarsolar.net

  • http://www.emergentgroup.com Jesse

    Aha, thanks for the shout out. Yes, our account is in fact quite ‘not very active’ at the moment… It’s really tough to devote enough time to something like a twitter feed when you’re a relatively small shop. It was one of those things where we sat back and thought, ‘geeze, what’s this doing for us?’ Unfortunately, the benefits of something like twitter aren’t usually that apparent (or short term), so it fell by the wayside (for now…).

  • http://www.thegreenlightdistrikt.com Chris Williams

    Jesse,

    I was only pointing it out so that people who may follow you wouldn’t become really excited to start getting tweets, only for them not to come. But I completely agree, it many businesses its hard to see the benefit of it.

    See you on Thursday my man!

    Chris

  • http://www.emergentgroup.com Jesse

    sustainability meet up? what about munsings thing on friday?

  • http://www.thegreenlightdistrikt.com Chris Williams

    There is no Green Drinks this week! We’re going to be doing it once a month during the summer.

    Email me the details on Erics gathering for Friday.

    Chris

  • http://www.revisionenergy.com/blog Fred

    Appreciate this list of resources, Chris! Renewable energy is coming kicking and screaming to the social media world :) I think our (green energy’s) biggest challenge is getting awareness out there, and nothing is better than social media at getting the story told and spread.

  • http://www.thegreenlightdistrikt.com Chris Williams

    Fred,

    Agreed. I think the greatest benefit of ease of communication is that like minded people can find each other easily.

    To me, the hard part of taking the awareness and actually make action out of it. Information doesn’t always lead to a change of action. I always think that McDonalds is the best example of this.

    Aside from that, I like the work revision is doing. I’m from Maine so am familiar with your work. How is the geothermal business developing in Maine?

    Chris

  • http://www.revisionenergy.com/blog Fred

    “I think the greatest benefit of ease of communication is that like minded people can find each other easily.”

    You got it! I love how I can roll my own media experience with related RSS feeds, twitter search feeds, friend feeds, etc. and keep apprised of the latest happenings in the industry with an economy of effort.

    We’re doing very well up in Maine and New Hampshire with grid tied-PV and solar domestic hot water. We actually aren’t the biggest fans of geothermal, as often times we find that other heating methods are more economical, and in super-insulated homes an air-source heat pump and large grid-tied PV array can cost-competitive, performance-competitive, and less hassle than ground-source heat pumps.

    We touch on this a little bit on our site: http://www.revisionenergy.com/solar-space-heating-maine-new-hampshire.php

  • http://www.thegreenlightdistrikt.com Chris Williams

    Fred,

    Sounds great on the solar side. Not to be argumentative, but I’m a little confused about the geothermal perspective. The only information I’ve ever found is that geothermal heatpumps are the MOST efficient heating and cooling system to operate available on the market bar non. Particularly in Maine where there is a lot of space so horizontal space for a ground loop (cheaper then drilling) and many times people are already drilling wells (due to rural area), thus eliminating the cost of a boring because a standing column well system can be utilized.

    HOWEVER, to your point of small (>1500 sq ft) homes, if they were super insulated, I can see geothermal being too big of a hastle and just throwing in a wood stove.

    Have I just been fed all the wrong information?

  • http://www.revisionenergy.com/blog Fred

    Chris,

    I think the difference here is real-world implementation vs. what’s technically possible.

    If money is no object, you can certainly create an all-star performing geothermal system, but in addition to the cost, the technical competence is still rare and highly specialized (not terribly unlike solar).

    As a result, what we find in the field are installations that don’t meet the homeowners expectations or live up to what was promised by the installer. These range from systems that are poorly designed and so use up a lot of electricity, or systems that are just undersized for the heating load.

    Another engineering challenge that was pointed out to me by an engineer here at ReVision is that in Maine there’s a very low A/C load (for residential buildings). This is key because not only does geothermal provide A/C very cost effectively, but running some A/C actually helps the system performance come heating season – i.e. when you run heat you are cooling the soil, but when you run A/C you are warming the soil back up.

    So when you have a situation like in Maine, where the heating load exceeds the AC load, the ground temperature around the well is slowly falling not only throughout the heating season but also year after year, resulting in a performance loss for the system. And this becomes more and more of an issue if the well has not been sized properly.

    We’ve seen and heard of systems where by the end of the heating season the incoming water temp is down in the 25-30 degree range – hardly more compelling than an air-source heat pump!

    So anyways, we’re not trying to bash geothermal, simply to help people understand their options and make the best decision based on engineering rather than hype. In our experience it’s really a more compelling story to focus on overall building efficiency, so that the heating needs of a home are more modest, and consequently, so are the heating systems.

    - Fred