Conservation. Energy efficiency. Wise and efficient use. Demand-side management. The name keeps changing, but Buzz Thielemann’s passion for it doesn’t.
A year after his 1998 retirement in Medford, Oregon, he created RHT Energy Solutions to consult with businesses, individuals and utilities on energy savings and renewable energy projects. He had the experience, 27 years at Pacific Power as an energy consultant and energy services manager. He had the expertise, as a certified energy manager and a qualified thermographer. And he had the vigor and personable nature to help customers take control of their energy use.
RHT practiced what it preached with an energy-efficient office design, onsite solar panels and a composting garden. In fact, RHT ranked in 2015 as No. 5 Best Small Company and No. 36 in 100 Best Green Workplaces in Oregon and, for five consecutive years has been recognized by Oregon Business Magazine as being one of the 100 Best Companies to Work for in Oregon.
Thielemann sold that business recently to one of its employees, and now he heads Oregon Energy Green, a utility services and renewable project management firm.
OEG is already respected in its industry. Partnering with Lockheed Martin, OEG is developing a 2-megawatt solar project and presented 23 “Be wattsmart” workshops this year to Pacific Power residential customers throughout Oregon.
“Small changes can lead to big savings,” he told his audiences. That was followed by advice on maintaining and repairing water heaters, an explanation of how hot water leaks can add hundreds of dollars to a power bill – not to mention a water bill increase – and a look at a real kilowatt-hour demonstrated by a board of 10 100-watt lightbulbs.
Doesn’t it get tiring to talk about the same topic for more than four decades? Not for Thielemann.
“The landscape on energy is changing because technology has come so far. It’s a wonderful time to involve energy efficiency in every decision you make.”
He told his audiences about front-loading clothes washers that not only use less energy but also spin their loads so powerfully that dryer time is reduced, about small point-of-use water heaters, about ductless heat pumps, about LED light bulbs, and more.
“In the 1970s, conservation meant dimming the lights and walking around the house in a sweater. Now you can have your cake and eat it too.”
What would Thielemann do if he wasn’t helping customers make informed energy decisions?
“If I ever truly retire, I’d love play guitar with my musical buddies at a winery.”
And his newest professional credit – novelist – combines his thermography expertise with the protagonist, a guitarist. That musician takes pills that prompt infrared sight, an ability for which terrorists are willing to kill.
The book became a notion when Thielemann looked through the lens of his first infrared camera in 1999 to identify heat loss from a building. “There was another world out there, one just outside our visual spectrum of electromagnetic waves,” he wrote in “The Hunt for Owl Eyes” foreword.
Science fiction and suspense novel readers may not know Thielemann for his energy efficiency reputation. But the reviewers on the Amazon and Barnes & Noble websites know a good book when they read one.
Stay tuned for his second novel, now just one-third complete.