Sean Armstrong is co-founder with Michael Winkler of Redwood Energy, North America’s #1 producer (per NBI/NZEC master list) of all-electric, 100+ percent solar housing.
Since they struck out on their own in 2011, they’ve worked on 7,000 units of housing, and succeed in close to 2,000 true zero net energy (ZNE) residences—all electric and 100+ percent solar powered. Most of their work is in the easier domain of new construction, but as passionate advocates of fuel switching they focus most of their personal energy on retrofit ZNE construction strategies and informing policy makers.
They emphasize the lower development costs of all-electric construction and the higher financial benefit to owners and residents of buying low-cost and financed energy at bulk wholesale (e.g., installing solar panels) vs. buying retail from utilities. Their work is mostly in California’s affordable housing market, but they’ve also worked on retrofits in Florida and Tennessee. Affordable Housing in California is the juncture of financially savvy and well-capitalized developers, and steady IRS financing of affordable housing, in a solar-supportive state. To lift projects up to ZNE and higher profits, they perform mechanical system specifications and cost estimates, solar bid reviews, and energy modeling with a variety of software; invest heavily in monitoring; and educate their clients.