Close this search box.


Partners on the path

Tipmont programs helped put co-op members Alex Pilotte and his wife, Pam, on a path toward sustainable energy use.


Play Video

For Alex Pilotte, growing up on his family’s farm cultivated a curiosity for what’s next.

“All my life, I’ve looked to what’s new,” says Pilotte, who retired after successful careers in both agriculture and construction. “My dad taught me that: You can’t just go along with the same thing forever. If you do that, you’ll fall behind, so you have to keep pace with where things are headed.” 

The Pilotte family has always sought to stay ahead of the curve. For Pilotte’s father, this meant branching into popcorn crops. In Pilotte’s own career, it was diversifying his skills by earning a variety of equipment operation licenses. For the electricity needs at the Lafayette home Pilotte built about a quarter-century ago with his wife, Pam, it means a solar panel array of substantial size. 

The array is capable of singlehandedly powering their entire property … and even offering sufficiently shaded snoozing spots for their cat, Milo, and dogs Perry and Gabby. “I’ve always been enthused about solar as a sustainable source of electricity,” Pilotte says. “I run everything out here off this array now, and I’ve done that for about the last three years,” Pilotte says.

“It’s all about saving a bit at a time and making little improvements along the way. ”


The Pilottes are among a growing number of Tipmont members who are actively engaged in energy transformation. What is energy transformation? It is the means through which our everyday use of alternative energy systems and energy-efficient technologies will increase, while also introducing new opportunities to help sustain America’s electric grid for generations to come. The goal is to lower electricity usage during peak times and the cost of use during those times. 

Pilotte’s solar array is a natural evolution from his positive experience with Tipmont’s Community Solar program, which lets co-op members use Tipmont’s own solar-generated power

 “I’m not saying I inspired Community Solar, but I was certainly a fly in the ointment as to why it started,” Pilotte says with a laugh. “It’s a great program to try, and Tipmont is a great partner in it.” Starting out with Community Solar reflects another Pilotte principle: It’s good to take baby steps.

>“We didn’t just jump into this. We started small,” Pilotte says.

Free Energy Assessments

A free in-home energy assessment from Tipmont helped Alex and Pam Pilotte find simple, affordable ways to be more energy-efficient.

No matter when your home was built, Tipmont’s assessment can help you be more efficient and save up to 30% on your monthly energy bill.

“You don’t have to figure out a way to save a million dollars. You just have to find a million ways to save
a dollar.”

For example: The Pilottes didn’t realize just how many lightbulbs they used in their home until they replaced all 60 of them with longer-lasting energy-efficient LED bulbs. Meanwhile, their smart Google Nest thermostat heats and cools their home in tandem with their daily schedules.

Pilotte even found ways to save on energy use and costs with just a $4 tube of caulk to fix an air-sealing issue discovered during a free in-home energy assessment offered by Tipmont.

It’s all about saving a bit at a time and making little improvements along the way. But at the same time, I’m not a half-measures kind of guy. It’s fun for me to seek out all these little projects and processes.

The Pilottes have also installed an induction stovetop in their kitchen — cooking a majority of their meals that way to use less energy than baking — and low-emissivity (low-E) glass in their solarium. Reflecting interior temperatures back inside, the glass keeps the room warm in winter and cool in summer.

As more Tipmont members like the Pilottes begin to explore energy transformation opportunities, Tipmont is well prepared to be an expert resource.

For example: Tipmont is upgrading all meters in its service territory to leading-edge smart meters by the end of 2026. Along with helping improve reliability and outage management, these meters will give members a near real-time awareness of their power use. This can help them decide if renewable energy investments make sense for their needs and then manage any technologies they choose.

“Every major thing I’ve ever done, somebody has helped me navigate it,” Pilotte says. “My father and I both had meaningful mentors along our paths in life. People too often underestimate the importance of a good mentor.

“Tipmont has been a mentor to me in all of this, teaching me more than I could have ever learned on my own, and they can do that for you, too.”

"Tipmont has been a mentor to me in all of this, teaching me more than I could have ever learned on my own, and they can do that for you, too."

Energy transformation glossary

This glossary covers a range of terms related to energy transformation.


This list of terms and definitions will help you understand energy transformation.

Close this search box.