E4 Carolinas President Scott Carlberg (left) and Energy Leadership Award winner Maria Kingery. Image: Nancy Pierce Bob and Maria started Southern Energy Management 13 years ago, where they began laying groundwork for both the home certification and solar markets in North Carolina, markets that did not exist; currently NC is a leader in both. SEM has been named an Energy Star Partner of the Year for the past 7 years in a row and earned B-Corp status, a certification for sustainable businesses, since 2009.
“Most of all, we’re proud of the positive impact we’ve created for the hundreds of people we’ve been able to employed and the many of thousands of individuals our team has served together,” says Maria of their accomplishments.
The Morrisville-based company specializes in solar-energy systems and efficiency efforts for homes and businesses . The firm has worked with over 300 builders in the Carolinas and Virginia, and verified over 17,000 homes to be energy-efficient through the Home Energy Rating System and other green building programs, including their own ecoSelect program, which they designed to meet a critical need for builders just getting started with energy efficient building.
In addition, SEM has installed hundreds of rooftop solar systems for home and business owners across the Carolinas. Before the sale of their utility-scale PV division in mid-2012, the company pioneered utility-scale solar in the state, installing more than 20MW between 2008 and 2012.
A few years ago Bob and Maria made the decision to leave the large-scale solar business to focus their business in a way that allowed them to work more directly with home and business owners every day. With optimism for the future solar market, Bob and Maria believe that their customers are partners of the utility and their numbers will continue to grow as NC continues to make smart energy choices for the future.
“Our customers want to save money, save emissions and be a part of creating the solutions we need for a clean energy future,” states Bob. “There is nothing more rewarding for our team than helping individual home and business owners realize those goals.”
While working with your spouse can be “challenging at times, in the best possible way,”says Maria, the pair truly complements the other, making them both more successful. They are partners in creating a meaningful life together, following their hearts and being the change they wish to see in the world; a lesson they hope to teach their 12-year-old son.