Chip Bircher Joins Solar Heating and Cooling Alliance

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WASHINGTON, DC – The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) today announced that Chip Bircher, longtime coordinator of the Department of Energy’s Utility Solar Water Heating Initiative (USH2O), will be joining SEIA’s Solar Heating and Cooling (SHC) Alliance.

“We’re very excited that Chip will continue to provide his expert leadership to the solar heating and cooling industry,” said Mike Healy, head of market development for Skyline Innovations and chairman of the Solar Heating and Cooling Alliance. “The SHC Alliance was founded to bring companies and industry stakeholders together to work collaboratively, establish industry objectives and collectively achieve those objectives. I believe Chip’s work with SEIA will bolster our ability to succeed in that mission.”

 “SEIA's SHC Alliance is poised to help the industry capture the immense market potential for heating and cooling services in the U.S.  Two essential parts of achieving this goal are providing stakeholders with the latest information on SHC technology, policy and legislation and creating opportunities to engage in conversation and exchange ideas.  Those objectives are the thrust behind the SHC Alliance's monthly teleconferences and webinars that I'll be hosting,” Bircher said.   “The dedication of industry players and program managers to growing the SHC industry has always inspired me, and I'm looking forward to continuing those partnerships under the banner of the SHC Alliance.”

Bircher has a Master’s degree from Arizona State University and began his solar career at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.  He has authored and contributed to more than 30 papers on solar energy and energy efficiency, and he has consulted on solar projects in several states.

According to a report released by SEIA earlier this year, approximately 44 percent of American energy consumption is attributable to heating and cooling, and ramping up the installation of SHC systems nationwide would allow the U.S. to generate nearly eight percent of its total heating and cooling needs through clean, affordable solar energy. SHC is the most efficient renewable technology for generating thermal heat and costs are as low as six cents per kilowatt (kWh) hour, according to the report’s authors at BEAM Engineering.

Increasing SHC capacity in the U.S. from 9 gigawatts (GW) thermal to 300 GW thermal by 2050 would create tens of thousands of new jobs and dramatically reduce electricity costs, the report found. This plan would also save homeowners, businesses, schools and government $19.1 billion by deferring the need for electric and natural gas infrastructure expansion and repairs, raise $2.1 billion annually in increased federal tax revenue through job creation and economic growth and increase America’s annual manufacturing GDP by $1.4 billion.

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About SEIA:
Established in 1974, the Solar Energy Industries Association is the national trade association of the U.S. solar energy industry. Through advocacy and education, SEIA is building a strong solar industry to power America. As the voice of the industry, SEIA works with its 1,000 member companies to champion the use of clean, affordable solar in America by expanding markets, removing market barriers, strengthening the industry and educating the public on the benefits of solar energy. Visit SEIA online at

Media Contacts:
Ken Johnson, SEIA Vice President of Communications,  (202) 556-2885
Samantha Page, SEIA Press Officer and Communications Manager, (202) 556-2886


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