WisBusiness: Powered Green launches renewable energy effort in Madison coffee shops

By Amanda Ciesielczyk

For WisBusiness.com

MADISON – Powered Green, a new Madison start-up, has launched a product the company says will let laptop users certify that their computers are essentially powered by renewable energy.

“We recognized people’s desire to reduce their environmental impact coupled with a lack of opportunity to express that commitment and identify themselves within the growing community of green devotees,” company co-founder Ted Durkee said.

The product — a small aluminum label called an “Energy Seal” — is currently on sale for $16 online and in Ancora Coffee Roasters stores in Madison. Of the $16 price tag, $14 goes to subsidize the production of enough energy from wind turbines to match or exceed the amount of energy a laptop uses over its lifetime. The other $2 pays for costs like the materials used in making the seal.

“Each of our products is designed to not only minimize environmental impact by using recycled and other eco-friendly materials, but more importantly, the core purpose of each product is to directly contribute to the expanding renewable energy infrastructure,” said Brandon Gador, the other co-founder. The company’s hope is that Energy Seals will be a catalyst for transitioning away from fossil fuels. Gador also said 10 percent of all sales proceeds from the products go toward local environmental initiatives.

Gador and Durkee both have ties to the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Durkee is currently in his fifth year studying mechanical engineering and Gador is a recent graduate who studied marketing and entrepreneurship.

While the Energy Seals are available on the retail level at Ancora stores starting today, Powered Green has already been selling them online for some time.

“By word of mouth alone people from across the country have already bought enough Energy Seals to keep 200,000 pounds of carbon dioxide and other pollutants from reaching the atmosphere,” Durkee said.

The eventual goal is to expand beyond retail sales and into corporate environments.

“We are currently forming relationships with many companies throughout the Madison and greater Wisconsin area to educate them on renewable energy offsets,” Durkee said. “We believe as potent as our product is for individuals, it is an equally powerful tool for companies to offset their own laptop and desktop computers with renewable energy.”

Ancora’s Fitchburg location is hosting a Powered Green night on Thursday, October 9 at 6:30 p.m. Gador and Durkee will be available that night to answer questions about the company.