Renewable System Design + Installation
We are a full service installer of renewable energy, high efficiency radiant heating systems and more recently urban design. We specialize in consultation, creative design and installation of solar electric, solar thermal and unique heating systems. We have provided service for over thirty years to the greater Chippewa Valley region of Western Wisconsin. To learn more about the full range of services we provide, please visit our ‘projects’ tab.
“I’ve enjoyed working with Zeus and his team at Next Step Energy. Over the last decade they have installed and maintained two photovoltaic arrays, radiant-floor high-efficiency heating, solar hot water and small wind for my off-grid home. They are creative, thorough and flexible, and I’ve been very happy with the quality of their work.”
- G. Abert
An assessment is a study of the potential installation that you will live with for the next 40 plus years. Solar site assessments are designed to provide you with site-specific information about how a solar system can address your energy needs. The documentation from a solar energy site assessor will determine a suitable location for your system and give an overview of the options available relative to your existing conditions.
Solar Arrays are meant to stand for a long time, so they should work and look good. Our services include the design of great looking, site specific installations. We started as a company building solar arrays and radiant heat systems. Since we have always designed our architectural components in house, it was natural for us to incorporate design thinking in our office. We’re staffing an urban designer to assist with finding ways to create integrated site installations, plan the space under the solar array for other purposes and even create functional solar art.
As your renewable energy and heating contractor, we coordinate the complete design and installation of your system. We will work with your general contractor, plumber and electrician as necessary to ensure our installation is done in phase with the construction process and meets all applicable building codes. We offer installation services within our service territory.
We offer creative, site integrated solutions for your renewable energy and heating needs. We can design to help to visualize the finished project from concept though construction. Whether you are building a new home or planning a remodeling project, we can use your floor plans to design a system suited for your needs.
Service and repairs
We service and repair all of the systems we install including: solar electric, solar domestic hot water, boilers, tankless water heaters, gas appliances and generators. We offer high quality, durable products that should not require frequent repairs, but in the event that a failure does occur in one of our custom systems, we can provide prompt service. Some components of our systems do require occasional routine maintenance to ensure long-term, reliable functionality. The owner’s manuals and manufacturer information that we provide to you include information about these routine checks. Much of this routine maintenance can be performed by the homeowner. Please contact us to schedule needed routine service work.
Parts to sell and install
We offer parts for all of the products we sell and install. Please contact us for pricing and availability.
“Zeus and the guys at Next Step Energy took a look at my storage shed and said, “Lets put the PV panels on the roof of that!” But, the building didn’t face due south. So, they said, “Let’s turn the building to face the sun!” Everything that they said would work did, and I sit on my porch and enjoy what they have done and reap the benefits of a great looking PV system. Five years ago I had them install a solar hot water system and I highly recommend Next Step Energy. They are also great fun to be around.”
– M. Buchholz
“We had wanted to install a PV system for several years but without Next Step Energy, we never would have secured the USDA and Focus on Energy Grants that made our dream a reality. Next Step built our system under terrible winter conditions, and it has run flawlessly since commissioned on February 11, 2010, and produced power beyond our expectations.”
- J. and B. Bacon Arctic Supply Inc.
“We have worked with Next Step Energy many times in the past and continue to trust them on our renewable energy projects.”
- B. and J. Holman
“Next Step designed and installed two Solar PV systems, one 8kW and one 2.5kW at my home. They also redesigned my existing solar thermal heating system to make it more efficient. Zeus and his staff are very knowledgeable and pay attention to details.”
- M. Wise
Solar Heating Kits and Parts
Next Step Energy offers kits for solar heating including solar hot air and solar thermal space heating. We choose locally manufactured components whenever possible; however, we can design around specific products at your preference.
Some Solar Heating products we use:
- Bubbling Springs Thermal Collectors
- Sun Earth Thermal Collectors
- RREAL Solar Furnaces
- Amtrol Tanks and In-direct Water Heaters
- Custom Solar Storage Tanks
Solar Hot Water Components
Next Step Energy provides custom designed kits to meet your water heating needs. In addition to our services as system designers and drafters we can provide assistance with your designs and schematics for applications including:
- Hot tubs
- Large commercial hot water
- Unique solar water heating applications
- Individual components and/or repair parts
Solar Electric Kits
Photovoltaic (PV) Kits include installation instructions and essential system components like charge controllers, disconnect switches, fuses, and other balance-of-system components.
- 1.5 kW to 3 kW Pole Mounted PV Kits
- 2 kW to 6 kW Ground Mounted PV Kits
- grid-tied systems
- off-grid systems
- solar water-pumping station
- solar lighting kits
- unique solar electric application
- custom fabricated solar arrays (example at right)
Solar Electric Components
We choose locally manufactured components whenever possible, however we can design around specific products at your preference. Whether you're looking for:
- individual components and/or repair parts
- locally made PV panels from Helios USA, manufactured in Milwaukee
- PV panels from Sanyo, Lumos, Uni-Solar, Sharp, Mitsubishi, Grape
- Unirac, Lumos, Powerfab and custom racking
- inverters including Fronius, Outback, Xantrex, Enphase, Solar Edge
- batteries from Trojan, MK Battery and others
Indirect Fired Water Heaters
Indirect water heaters are storage tanks for water that is heated in another location. The water can be heated by a boiler system or a solar system. These indirect water heaters can easily be incorporated with a gas or wood boiler and are a standard feature of our solar domestic hot water systems.
Conventional Water Heaters
We design and install small-scale heating and domestic hot water systems incorporating conventional water heaters. In certain conditions, by combining the radiant heating and domestic hot water into one system, a person may save a considerable amount of money compared with using two separate systems for heating and hot water.
As installers of Radiant Heating systems, we offer a complete range of hydronic heating components including:
- PEX tubing
- circulating pumps from Grundfos, Taco, El Sid
- custom manifolds
- panel radiators from DiaNorm, Slant Fin, and others
We also offer customized tubing layout diagrams based on the floor plans of your new home or remodeling project.