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Texas firm buys Mass Save auditor

Conservation Services Group , a nonprofit energy efficiency company in Westborough that runs the Mass Save energy audit program, has agreed to sell its assets to CLEAResult, a privately held energy auditing operation based in Austin, Texas.

Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

CSG, founded in 1984, operates in 23 states and has about 800 employees. The company contracts with public utilities to carry out energy audits of single- and multifamily homes. In Massachusetts, it operates the Mass Save program on behalf of local utilities such as Eversource and National Grid. CSG inspectors conduct free home energy audits and show homeowners how they can cut their energy bills by upgrading insulation or purchasing more efficient appliances.


Chief executive Steve Cowell said that CSG’s nonprofit status has hampered its ability to grow. “We don’t have access to capital,” Cowell said. “We don’t have access to the resources to invest in new technology. We have had to bootstrap it for 31 years.

“This combination of the two best firms in the industry could create a game-changing opportunity.”

After the deal is done, CSG will continue to operate as a nonprofit energy research and advocacy group.

CLEAResult also does residential assessments, but its chief executive, Glenn Garland, said about half of the company’s revenue comes from audits of commercial buildings, such as offices and factories.

Garland said the CSG deal will give CLEAResult a dominant share of the energy auditing market.

“By the end of 2015, we’ll be about a 3,000-person firm,” he said, “and we’ll be by far the largest firm in the industry.”

Garland also predicted increasing demand for his company’s services, with up to 40 percent of the energy consumed by American buildings presently being wasted.

“I would say the untapped potential in North America is immense,” he said.


Hiawatha Bray can be reached at hiawatha.bray@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeTechLab.