Answering the president's call on both sides of the energy equation

EDF Climate Corps fellow | March 30, 2011

By: Dylan Hedrick, Ignite Solar, 2010 EDF Climate Corps fellow at ServiceMaster, Rice University MBA

The law of supply and demand is simple: If demand for a good rises while supply remain the same, the equilibrium price rises and forces consumers to pay more for the good. This is one of the first economic principles I learned in business school and one of the most prevalent themes in my energy-focused career to date.


As a 2010 EDF Climate Corps fellow,  I spent last summer focused on demand.  At ServiceMaster's corporate headquarters, I spent ten weeks working toward reducing the demand for electricity.

Armed with energy efficiency know how from the EDF Climate Corps training, guidance from the Climate Corps Handbook and support from experts at EDF, I was able to find opportunities to reduce electricity demand by implementing computer power management software, installing lighting retrofits, and tinting building windows. Employing these energy reduction strategies would reduce ServiceMaster's electricity cost by $495,000 and would prevent 4,816 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually – the equivalent of removing more than 800 trucks or SUVs from the road.


After business school, I will continue to work in the energy field – this time on the supply side of the energy equation.  I recently accepted a position with Ignite Solar, a startup solar development company that develops commercial-scale solar installations.

I look forward to working with the company and its innovative project types. Most recently, Ignite Solar completed the largest rooftop solar installation on a public school in Texas.  The project, a 145 kW installation in Pasadena that resulted from an out-of-court settlement from the nearby Shell refinery for alleged air-pollution violations – will result in significant reductions in CO2 emissions over its 20-year lifespan by displacing coal-generated electricity with renewable sources in a city mainly known for its petroleum refineries.

In his most recent State of the Union Address, President Obama called for America to "reinvent our energy policy" with 80 percent of America's electricity coming from clean energy sources by 2035.  My work at both ServiceMaster and Ignite Solar has helped me realize that reinventing our energy policy will require great action on both sides of the energy equation.

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