October 12, 2009 | last updated March 24, 2012 5:51 pm

Energized Growth For Westborough Firm | CSG combines technology, advocacy for success

Adam Parker, president of Westborough-based Conservation Services Group.

At the time of its founding in 1984, Westborough-based Conservation Services Group was focused on ways to provide cheaper energy alternatives in the wake of the fuel crisis of the 1970s.

Today, the company works with state agencies and utility companies to design, implement and manage energy programs, but it also creates new sources of energy, according to Adam Parker, president of CSG. The firm's Sun Power Electric division has built 143 solar power plants around the United States and sells the energy that they produce to deregulated electric utility markets. The company also has built 14 solar plants on commercial buildings throughout the Northeast and in California.

On the residential side, CSG offers energy audits and home assessments, and through a home performance program created by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy, CSG has partnered with Energy Star to offer energy-saving home improvements in Massachusetts, Vermont, New York, New Jersey and Oregon.

Parker says CSG takes part in discussions of how to "best structure policy to align people. We're not just looking to build CSG. We're looking for things that are a win for customers, a win for utility companies and a win for the environment."

He acknowledged that ground swell in the culture supporting energy efficiency has escalated the company's growth, but he also said that the company out-performs most advocacy groups.

"The fact that we are a commercial enterprise gives us perspective as real producers. We know what it's like to be in the trenches working with the home owners, home builders and home contractors," he said. "It's very hands-on in terms of getting thousands of contractors around the country to make investments in energy efficiency."

But he said it's also hands-on when a firm is growing at the rate that CSG is. The challenge internally is to make sure that each of the more than 100 people that the company brought on in the past year is "equipped to meet the standards" that CSG has established.

According to Parker, the company's work is focused on a moral issue.

That same principle is also what allowed the firm to be successful from the beginning.

"Almost all people at CSG do what they do because they believe in the company," Parker said. "That's why we were founded and that's why we've stayed together."

For budding entrepreneurs, that's his best piece of advice.

"Do what you believe in," he said. "We've been lucky that staying true to that approach has brought with it a certain level of commercial success, but that wasn't the primary purpose."


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