Monday, November 28, 2011

GGP Energy Builds Successful Commercial Energy Efficiency Technologies

When words like scrappy come up in a conversation, the last thing that may come to mind is the cleantech industry. However, it’s an ideal word to describe Scott Charter, the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of GGP Energy.

To call Charter a self-made man would not only be putting it mildly, but it’d be a bit of an affront. Charter is much more than that term can hope to encompass. He landed in Denver to attend DU law school with little more than sheer drive and a van he resided out of in Denver’s Washington Park.

His background in IT led him to data centers where his keen observations kicked off his cleantech career. “We knew we were spending a lot of money at our commercial data centers,” said Charter of his company’s energy consumption. “We saw that clean tech was a wide-open frontier that we had some experience in because of our data center experience.”

Charter and his business partner, Michael Hollander, struck out to change the way commercial buildings use energy. They found a way to introduce to companies “unique technology to lower energy costs in a commercial building,” says Charter of GGP’s basic mission.

For one, Charter and Hollander have brought the H2OFlow technology to market. This remarkable technology eliminates the need for maintenance chemicals to be used in commercial cooling towers. Not only does the technology make for environmentally friendly water use, but it also significantly reduces the cost of operating and maintaining the cooling tower.

Ultimately, it’s been beneficial that Charter is a scrappy guy. When it comes to making it in the cleantech industry he offers the following advice: “Make sure you’ve got the stomach for it. And I mean that. It’s not always an easy path to ho. We went from a company that was very east to start up because we sold a commodity. Our new company [GGP] we now trying to educate people saying hey, consider doing something differently than you’ve done it since 1920.”

Convincing commercial building owners to open themselves up to the new technology has its challenges. “Its easy to follow the pack. A crowd mentality—you’ll never get fired for buying from a major company. Getting people to change from what they’re used to is difficult,” said Charter.

However Charter and Hollander have come up with creative approaches to entice new customers to try the H2Oflow system. “Installation is for free, we’ll remove it for free. We have to earn their business every month. We’re so confident that our engineer will bring a coffee cup and drink out of the cooling tower,” says Charter of their commitment to the technology.