MBE Spotlight: Rey Montalvo
Rey Montalvo has been working in the energy field for 50 years, with the last 35 years at one company, Consolidated Energy Design (“CED”). He started off as General Manager, and over time became the President & CEO. After gaining years of energy conservation expertise, he’s now focused on a higher subset called Smart Grid technology. Rey has been awarded three patents thus far by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. He believes strongly that this will become the future of Building Automation Systems (“BAS”) by leveling the playing field so that a Small-to-Medium-Size Businesses (“SMB”) can compete with any size company and use the money saved from significant energy reduction and monetary incentives earned from the Power Grid to help them optimize their networks. Now, SMBs can have extra money going to their bottom lines for improving their lifestyle, hiring more employees, expanding their businesses, helping reduce global warming, etc. At CED they put in the hard work to develop this disruptive hardware and software called FADRS™ so the client, can focus on their business and reap the financial rewards and the great feeling that comes with knowing they are doing their part to reduce carbon emissions and save the planet. While Rey’s work is his passion, most of his spare time is spent with family, spiritual activities, photography, and composing music.
About your company
Rey lived through that period of time in 1975 when the nation had to ration natural gas and gasoline. He witnessed firsthand significant price increases in both, and it brought home the fact that these fossil fuels weren’t going to last forever. They needed to conserve energy. Although most of his HVAC designs had an energy-saving controls component since the early 70s, in 1987 Rey began to focus on his dream of developing his vision of a better way to manage energy usage, reducing energy costs, and doing his share to help protect the environment. The turning point for Rey was when the NJ Board of Public Utilities punished Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) for their part in the partial meltdown of the Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant in 1979. In the late 80s, JCP&L had to pay homeowners around the Oyster Creek Nuclear Power Plant in South Jersey to switch from electric heat to gas or oil heat. He remembers walking into someone’s home and seeing a large wood stove right in the middle of their living room. Rey asked, “Why do you have that there instead of by your outside wall?” The homeowner said that electric costs were so high that he had to make a decision every month, “Do I pay my mortgage, or do I pay the electric bill?” It was this interview that led to an epiphany. This is what the future would be like for America—and the world—and that conserving energy would be more important than ever. He was on the right track.
In 1999, Rey became President of CED and started to change the direction of the company, focusing his talents as an inventor and developing patents in the energy space. The old conventional methods and procedures were no longer effective in the rapidly changing energy landscape. What was needed was a disruptive solution designed to address energy usage, costs, and impact on the environment. CED commenced R&D activities and on October 8, 2008, Rey filed for a US Provisional Patent for such a system: FADRS™ (pronounced “faders”). This Fully Automated Demand Response and Reduction System was filed for patent review on October 8, 2009 and granted full patent status in late 2012. FADRS™ is a highly advanced and robust group of integrated software programs that work in conjunction with sophisticated commercially available BAS. FADRS™ is licensed to end-users in modules depending on the client’s needs. Since computers are faster than humans and are proactive, they are better suited to save significant money on energy, while at the same time minimizing human discomfort.
Currently, CED is in the completion stage for our first Near Net Zero Energy Cost project for a commercial office building in Maryland. This project includes Solar PV with EV Chargers, a Distributed Gas Generator to provide 100% Business Continuity, battery storage, and two microgrids. One microgrid controls the large equipment so it runs in sync, while the other controls all aspects of energy usage from HVAC to Lighting to plug loads.
What does being a minority business, or supporting minority businesses, mean to you?
Many majority contractors believe that minority contractors are not equipped to provide the same level of service and performance that they can. However, we all know this is not the case. What is important to me is that my capabilities as a minority contractor demonstrate to the majority contractor that minorities can not only compete with them but can provide value-added services that they might not possess. For example, I hold 3 patents in a very high-level form of energy conservation called Smart Micro Grid and IoT “Mini BAS” Edge Control technologies. This is something that even the majority contractor does not have. I hope to demonstrate to those majority contractors that partnering up with minorities will help them gain a major competitive advantage in the bidding process above and beyond just satisfying minority quotas. Additionally, being a minority contractor born in the Panama Canal Zone from Puerto Rican parents, means that I have a different cultural experience. This allows me to think differently and hopefully, between this unique thinking process and that of the majority, a unique blended cultural approach will develop for the benefit of both parties and our clients. It is my expressed desire that this type of cooperative relationship between majority and minority contractors will enable me to engage the services of my fellow minority contractors so that they too can experience the better quality of life that we all aspire to.
How has being certified with the NMSDC helped your business?
Being part of the Council has opened opportunities to meet Fortune 500 companies and hopefully, these opportunities will materialize into added revenue. Membership with such a well-respected nationally recognized organization has boosted my company’s visibility and credibility with major organizations and possible future partners. Our company has started doing more work with city and state agencies and being certified with the NMSDC is a valuable asset when bidding on potential opportunities.
What is one thing you wish you had known when you were starting out in your career?
Time is money and there are only so many hours in a day reserved to sell your products and services. I should have learned to recognize sooner the people that were time wasters versus people that are really committed to working with me as a client and partner.