Clean Currents Inc.
When companies, investors and other industry influences tried to tell Charles Segerman and Gary Skulnik, founders of Clean Currents Inc. (Clean Currents), that green power was too expensive, the pair set out to prove them wrong by forming a different kind of clean energy company.
“There was this perception that green power was so much more expensive,” explains Segerman. “In formulating a plan for Clean Currents, we wanted to demonstrate that green power could be affordable and competitive, not an ultra-premium product.”
And in 2005, Segerman and Skulnik did just that, proving to people across multiple industries that making the switch to green power was indeed attainable and affordable. “The reception to Clean Currents has been amazing,” shares Skulnik. “We have grown 500 percent over the last three years and have been named one of the Inc. Magazine Fastest Growing Companies in the energy field. We were some of the first to provide clean energy at competitive rates and others have followed suit.”
Since Clean Current’s inception, the independently owned clean energy company has helped 15,000 individuals and 3,000 businesses make the switch to wind power throughout Maryland, Washington, D.C., as well as Pennsylvania, while donating more than $22,000 to communities, sponsoring greening projects through the Green Neighborhood Challenge (GNEC) program.
The company’s GNEC program gives community groups and nonprofit organizations an opportunity to raise funding for green projects while increasing the support of clean energy. Through GNEC, organizations earn donations via wind power enrollment programs, increase environmental stewardship and help build a more sustainable community.
A Partnership of Different Perspectives
The foundation for Clean Currents and the desire to energize communities began when Segerman and Skulnik met in the early 2000s. “We arrived at the same place through different backgrounds and perspectives,” reveals Segerman. “I was working for a commercial real estate developer who wanted to procure green power and Gary was the director of the nonprofit Clean Energy Partnership. I discovered how difficult it was to actually procure green power. Utilities didn’t sell it and didn’t show interest in selling renewable energy.”
“I came at the situation from the nonprofit advocacy side, working on national and local level clean energy and climate change issues,” adds Skulnik. “I was one of the lead advocates for a renewable energy bill that passed in 2004, but at the time many companies were opposed, because they thought it was too expensive. I did have small businesses that were interested.”
Once the two met, their diverse backgrounds meshed and the pieces to Clean Currents started to come together. “I told Gary about the troubles the development company faced trying to access clean energy and he also had customers who wanted green power, but on a smaller scale,” notes Segerman. “So we thought, ‘Why don’t we try to do this together?’”
National Growth and Advocacy
Since teaming up, Segerman and Skulnik have shaped Clean Currents into one of the Mid-Atlantic’s leading independent clean energy companies, dedicated to building demand for environmental solutions from the ground-up. The Maryland-based firm provides residential and commercial wind power options through the grid, as well as supplying Green-e Energy-certified renewable energy credits to businesses nationwide. Clean Current’s sister company, Clean Currents Solar, also offers on-site solar thermal generation for homeowners and businesses alike.
“We now have about 30 employees that support a mix of residential and commercial customers, offering clean energy at competitive rates for homes, businesses and schools and building green communities,” remarks Segerman. “We only sell clean energy and, unlike many other energy companies, our commitment is strictly to green power.”
As a result, Clean Currents is a certified B-Corp, demonstrating the company’s dedication to social and environmental values in its willingness to share sustainability scores with the public. Clean Currents is more than a source for clean energy; the company is an advocate.
“No other electricity supplier has a higher B-Corp environmental rating than us,” says Skulnik. “A lot of companies say they’re committed to sustainability, but we walk the walk. We’re subject to audits, third-party assessments and verification.”
Clean Currents strives to promote solutions for today’s biggest environmental challenges: climate change and air pollution. “Voluntary actions are a good start to solving climate and environmental problems, but they are not enough,” notes Segerman. This is why the company tracks policy development and encourages its customers to take action when important legislation is under consideration. “We want our customers to be advocates, as well, whether or not that directly impacts our bottom line,” agrees Skulnik.
Clean Currents is currently licensed in five states, but that’s just the start. “People seem to come and go in this market, but we’ve been doing this since 2005, building this company out of a recession and we have demonstrated staying power,” ensures Segerman.
Clean Currents Inc. continues to open the door to sustainability for homeowners, businesses and entire communities, offering cost-effective solutions, support and strategies to help customers effectively reduce each environmental footprint.