Green Festival Speakers

Brandon Leavitt



Leavitt has celebrated over 30 years of experience in the solar industry. The city's oldest and foremost companies specializing in solar hot water systems are Solar Service, Inc., (formerly Solar Energy Products, Inc.) and Solar Thermal Consultants. Both companies were founded and are headed by Leavitt. In 1977, Leavitt received the first solar contractor's license issued by Cook County and he designed and installed the Chicago area's first solar hot water system, which is still delivering hot water daily.

Since then, Leavitt's fullservice solar thermal consulting, design, and installation companies have had hundreds of satisfied Chicagoland customers, over 1,000 installations nationwide, and many international installations.

Their clients include numerous large commercial installations, such as the Chicago Fire Department, the Park District of Schiller Park, Frain Industries, and many residential and multifamily buildings. In 2006, Solar Service installed a solar thermal system for Governor State University, which produces 4500 gallons of hot water daily.

Leavitt has dedicated much of his life to the education and promotion of clean, renewable energy. He was a founder of the Illinois Solar Energy Industries Association and the Illinois Solar Contractors Association. He is a member of the Midwest Global Warming Leadership Council.

On April 22, 1970, Leavitt participated in the first Earth Day event in Chicago and in 1978 he organized Solar Day events. A renowned advocate for solar energy, Leavitt has spoken at numerous schools and community groups. LEavitt studied with Buckminster Fuller in 1975 and 1976, and with Dr. Erich Farber, the University of Florida solar pioneer.

Throughout the 1980's, Brandon produced hundreds of educational solar seminars for the public and trades. He was interviewed on National Public Radio in April 2004. Solar Service has cosponsored the very successful National Tour of Solar Homes throughout Evanston and other North Shore communities for several years.

In January, 2002, Solar Service Inc. moved into a new, larger facility in Niles to better serve the greater Chicago area's growing solar marketplace.