Conservation Services Group

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Conservation Services Group
IndustryEnergy efficiency and renewable energy
FateAcquired by CLEAResult
Founded1984 (1984) in Boston, United States
FounderSocial entrepreneurs
Area served
Key people
Steve Thomas, Steve Cowell

Conservation Services Group (CSG) is a nonprofit energy efficiency and renewable energy company that has provided program design and management services to energy efficiency program sponsors and energy professionals in the United States since 1984.[1] CSG was bought by CLEAResult in July, 2015.[2][3]


In response to the 1970s oil crisis in the United States, social entrepreneurs founded Conservation Services Group.[4][5] The company opened its doors in Boston, Mass. and now operates nationwide with nearly 800 staff and 23 offices.[6][7] In 2011, the Worcester Business Journal listed CSG in first place on its list of top-growth nonprofits.[8] For utility company and energy efficiency service provider sponsors, CSG has piloted and implemented some programs guided by the EPA. For example, in 1995, the company received a $500,000 grant to introduce the ENERGY STAR Homes program in New England.[9] In 2001, the company began to implement an EPA-guided pilot program in New York.[10] The program was evaluated later by Nexant and has been used as a model to inform other groups in the industry.[11][12] In 2001, Steve Thomas, the host of the TV show “This Old House,” promoted the programs CSG delivered on behalf of its clients. One of these programs brought the “house-as-a-system” approach to New York.[13] In 2006, CSG helped to build the first LEED-certified home in the United States.[14] In 2008, working with several partners, CSG piloted a program in Oregon to develop an energy performance and greenhouse gas emissions scoring system for homes.[15] In 2010 and 2011, CSG partnered with Chelsea Collaborative and other community and energy organizations in a foundation-funded effort to bring weatherization to underserved communities in Boston.[16][17] CSG has become active in green jobs workforce development.[18]


By contributing to a report, Power to Spare: A Plan for Increasing New England's Competitiveness through Energy Efficiency (published in 1987), CSG proposed that energy efficiency could help reduce demand for electric power in Massachusetts while the economy was growing.[19] The report was produced by New England Energy Policy Council with CSG’s Steve Cowell participating and with the support of Conservation Law Foundation, MASSPIRG, Massachusetts Audubon Society, and many other organizations.[20] CSG also advocates for energy efficiency-related legislation such as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.[21]

Renewable energy[edit]

Renewable energy has been an ongoing interest of CSG’s. Although the company’s efforts to design and install large-scale solar power plants were discontinued around 2007, in 1998 CSG operated Sun Power Electric, which built the nation's first solar power plant. Sun Power Electric was active in various states including New York and Rhode Island.[22][23] CSG also partnered with the Center for Ecological Technology (now known as the Center for EcoTechnology) to offer a renewable energy product called GreenerWatts New England.[24]

Climate offsets[edit]

In 2004, CSG developed ClimateSAVE, originally a Green-e certified Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) product based on wind and solar power which later became a carbon offset product. Although the product has been withdrawn from the market, it is still available to CSG employees. The company has been carbon-neutral since 2006 and earned a Climate Leadership Award[25] for Goal Achievement from the U.S. EPA.[26][27][28]


  1. ^ Tolson, Shaun (24 March 2012). "Energized Growth for Westborough Firm: CSG Combines Technology, Advocacy for Success". Worcester Business Journal. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  2. ^ "Conservation Services Group to Join CLEAResult". (Press release). Clearesult. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  3. ^ "CLEAResult buys 4th company in 7 months - Austin Business Journal". Austin Business Journal. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  4. ^ Ailworth, Erin (1 January 2010). "Energy Conservationist Helps Plan 'Cash for Caulkers'". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  5. ^ Tolson, Shaun (24 March 2012). "Energized Growth for Westborough Firm: CSG Combines Technology, Advocacy for Success". Worcester Business Journal. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  6. ^ Shekhtman, Lonnie (26 October 2014). "Stephen L. Cowell, chairman and CEO, Conservation Services Group, Westboro". Telegram. Retrieved 27 October 2014.
  7. ^ "CSG Scholarship Develops Environmental Leaders". University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  8. ^ Butler, Brandon (10 Oct 2011). "CSG Is Red Hot in a Growing Green Industry". Worcester Business Journal. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  9. ^ "Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Comments on the Proposed Draft Model Rules" (PDF). Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  10. ^ "Residential Retrofit Programs" (PDF). American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  11. ^ Gregoire, Cherie. "M&V Evaluation: Home Performance with ENERGY STAR®" (PDF). Nexant. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  12. ^ "Case Study: New York Home Performance with Energy Star" (PDF). Home Performance Resource Center. Archived from the original (PDF) on 16 March 2012. Retrieved 3 January 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  13. ^ "America's Best: Profiles of Leading Energy Efficiency Programs: Residential Comprehensive and Other Honorable Mention" (PDF). American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  14. ^ "CSG Certifies First Mass. Home to Meet Sustainable Design Criteria". 24 November 2006. Retrieved 3 January 2014.
  15. ^ "Energy Performance Score: 2008 Pilot: Findings & Recommendations Report" (PDF). Energy Trust of Oregon. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  16. ^ Fried, Mindy. "Evaluation of the Green Justice Coalition's Community Mobilization Initiative Chinatown and Chelsea Residential Energy Efficiency Pilots" (PDF). Arbor Consulting Partners. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 March 2016. Retrieved 3 January 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  17. ^ Bishop, Matt (28 Jan 2014). "Contractor Honored for Accomplishments". ACHR News. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  18. ^ Wind, Greg. "New England Clean Energy Council's Energy Workforce Summit Focused on Meeting Demand for the Fast-Growing Regional Clean Energy Industry". Retrieved 24 October 2013.
  19. ^ Wood, Elisa (11 May 2012). "How to Become Energy Efficiency's #1 State". Renewable Energy World. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  20. ^ "Power to Spare: A Plan for Increasing New England's Competitiveness through Energy Efficiency" (PDF). MIT. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  21. ^ Brandon, Butler (5 December 2011). "Emissions Program Wins Praise in Report: But Long-Term Benefits of ˜Cap and Trade' Questioned". Worcester Business Journal. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  22. ^ Hoffner, J. "Sun Power Electric-A Solar Utility". IEEE Xplore. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  23. ^ "". Archive-org. Retrieved 14 November 2013.
  24. ^ "CET launches GreenerWatts New England Energy". 2 October 2003. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  25. ^ Climate Leadership Award
  26. ^ Harris, Elizabeth (December 2007). The Voluntary Carbon Offsets Market: An Analysis of Market Characteristics and Opportunities for Sustainable Development. International Institute for Environment and Development. p. 52. ISBN 9781843696766.
  27. ^ "Garbage-Free Retailers of Renewable Energy and Carbon Offsets" (PDF). Grassroots Recycling Network. Retrieved 2 April 2014.
  28. ^ Gunshinan, Jim (1 May 2005). "Clean Up Your Ecological Footprint". Retrieved 2 April 2014.

External links[edit]