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Need a knowledgeable builder

I'm looking for a builder/contractor in the Marlboro, MA area that is very knowledgeable about the concepts discussed on this site. Tired of having to explain concepts all the time. Does anyone know any good resources for me to find someone like this? Thanks.

Asked by David Russell
Posted Thu, 01/16/2014 - 18:02
Edited Fri, 01/17/2014 - 08:00


9 Answers

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Post your email and I am sure you will get contacts.

Answered by aj builder, Upstate NY Zone 6a
Posted Thu, 01/16/2014 - 20:37

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Look for a NESEA (Northeast Sustainable Energy Assn) member near you. Here's their directory.

Answered by Dan Kolbert
Posted Thu, 01/16/2014 - 21:44

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Try Synergy:

They're in Leominster MA- I'm sure they're able to make that awful drive to the Marlboro tribal regions without military escort! :-)

They've done quite a bit of deep energy retrofit work under the guidance & direction of Building Science Corps folks- you won't need a translator to talk to them (unless you insist on only using Brazilian Portuguese. ;-) )

Answered by Dana Dorsett
Posted Fri, 01/17/2014 - 17:43

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Tribal regions? Brazilian Portuguese? Let's keep our conversations civil.

Answered by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor
Posted Fri, 01/17/2014 - 17:56

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Gentleman- Thanks for the help. Placed a couple calls already. Am I crazy to consider a National Grid DER?

Answered by David Russell
Posted Mon, 01/20/2014 - 17:06

Helpful? 0

C'mon, Martin, I WAS being civil- not enough emoticons?

FWIW: The only time I get to practice Brazilian Portuguese these days is in certain Marlboro & Hudson MA neighborhoods/establishments. They usually smile at my horrific accent and pidgin-Spanish-isms, then respond in somewhat yankee accented English, but occasionally I'll get more than a couple of sentences past the "Bom dia!" :-) The Brazilian/Azorean/Portuguese influence is part of the charm & culture of those towns- I thoroughly enjoyed living in Marlborough for three years back in the early 1990s, (and drive through Hudson daily on my current commute.)

Referencing those local-cultural aspects is definitely not knock- the Portuguese cultural concentration is a plus in my book. It's as much fun as catching phrases of Twi or Bambara or Caribbean Spanish at the local grocery in my current Worcester neighborhood, which makes it a lot less boring than the blander cultural mixes of some of the 'burbs. Worcester MA may be soon be headed toward a pan-Hispanic majority, but the western African contingent here is pretty vibrant, with the largest population of Ghanaian ex-pats anywhere on earth, along with a more than a handful from Mali. On my adult soccer league team of a couple years ago at most half were US born- the paler ones were from the UK or Albania, the others from El Salvador & Cost Rica, with a couple of ringers from Kenya filling in for half the games. I find the local cultural flux of central MA cities towns a lot fun, and happy to be where that diversity can be celebrated.

Answered by Dana Dorsett
Posted Mon, 01/20/2014 - 19:33

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David- "...crazy to consider a National Grid DER?"

Crazy like a fox!

There is some hoop-jumping and form-filling involved to get the subsidy, and if you're on a hard "time is money" schedule be sure to factor in some delays. But the size of the subsidy in that program is substantial. The DER I was involved with in Worcester ended up taking a good 6-8 months longer than my friend (the owner) had been planning on, but after subsidy it ended up costing less than the more minimal rehab he had sketched out. I was originally approached about whether solar PV or hot water would be feasible, but after the first walk-through I pushed him toward National
Grid's DER program, and even though it was officially N-Star territory for the already plumbed in natural gas heating the Nat't Grid folks went for it! (Nat'l Grid is the electric utility at that location- it's now heated with mini-splits, though that was not being pushed on us, but the hot water is still gas.) The place needed a LOT of work, but it went from being the crummiest house in the neighborhood (a real liability) to the nicest house in the neighborhood, an uses less than 20% of the energy of any other house in the 'hood.

He's even still talking to me after the fact, so I guess it was worth it! :-)

Answered by Dana Dorsett
Posted Mon, 01/20/2014 - 19:45

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Thanks for the clarification. I suspected that your comments were well-intentioned. But referring to ethnically diverse neighborhoods as "tribal regions" on the internet always risks offense, even if you conclude the comments with a semicolon and parentheses. Irony can be tricky on the web -- especially when touching on this topic.

Answered by Martin Holladay, GBA Advisor
Posted Tue, 01/21/2014 - 06:36

Helpful? 0

Hi David,

I might be able to assist you as I am registered on the NGrid DER site as both a qualified designer & contractor to complete DER projects. Also wrote a GBA blog article you might be interested to read on a recent DER project I completed - see - feel free to email me at or call the office at 978-409-2217 and we can start a conversation.

Answered by Mark Yanowitz
Posted Thu, 01/30/2014 - 13:03

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