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  1. danny andersen said:

    Very nice story about an entrepreneurial person. We are going to be part of the shared solar pilot, so this story hits home.

    at 2:11 pm on January 23, 2017
  2. Marie Dietrich said:

    Its refreshing to see local businesses doing their part for the environment and setting an example to others.

    at 2:19 pm on January 23, 2017
  3. Bob D. said:

    What a remarkable story! Roy’s creativity, resourcefulness and desire to learn has not only accommodated his customers but the environment as well. Quite inspirational and so indicative of the American Dream!

    at 2:26 pm on January 23, 2017
  4. Lynette Margulies said:

    Thanks for reminding me how great a wood burner can be.

    at 2:27 pm on January 23, 2017
  5. Robert E. Forbess said:

    Your point that local wood is really a source of renewable energy is a good one but to be efficient,it must have a properly designed fireplace with a sealed glass front and outside air supplied to the combustion site.I enjoyed the video and I am glad to be a participant in the clean energy program at MG&E

    at 2:44 pm on January 23, 2017
  6. Peggy Hatfield said:

    Glad to hear about TopHat being part of the clean energy program. Have used them for years, having first used their services when we lived out near Lake Wisconsin and visited their offices in Baraboo. I love the insert they installed a few years ago at the house here in Madison. I have lots of wood from the two trees that had to be taken down. Its nice to have the option of heating with wood and not having to turn the heat on in the entire house.

    at 2:50 pm on January 23, 2017
  7. Carolyn Denson said:

    Is this for wood burning fire places only? We have a gas fire place.

    at 3:11 pm on January 23, 2017
    • matt said:

      We show a lot of wood burning fireplaces in the story, but Top Hat can help with gas fireplaces as well.

      at 4:12 pm on January 23, 2017
  8. Brenda Bernstein said:

    Great marketing to make his business about creating a warm and safe home. That’s much more compelling than having a clean chimney!

    at 3:55 pm on January 23, 2017
  9. Diane Schuck said:

    Hats off (pun intended) to Top Hat, I appreciate a business that believes in supporting green power as much as I do. Thank you!

    at 4:05 pm on January 23, 2017
  10. Lynda Paasch said:

    Interesting story.

    at 4:09 pm on January 23, 2017
  11. Dan said:

    What a great small business success story. Very cool that Roy is buying into renewable energy!

    at 4:10 pm on January 23, 2017
  12. Dan Knickmeier said:

    I liked your top hat story. I think more could be said about the cleanness of burning wood. Wood burners have emmisions but if installed and used correctly those emmisions are acceptable.

    at 4:16 pm on January 23, 2017
  13. Larry Sperling said:

    I admire Ed;s commitment and his services. I’d enjoy other stories about energy businesses that are finding and developing non-fissil fuel and non greenhouse gas emitting ways to keeps homes and businesses energy-efficient. Particularly I’d like to know if one can retrofit one’s home to take better advantage of passive solar and geothermal energy savings.

    at 4:28 pm on January 23, 2017
  14. Elizabeth Freitick said:

    Good human interest piece with a green touch. Interesting that a fireplace store has solar panels. Goes to show that many ways to access renewable, clean energy. Thanks for the story.

    at 6:32 pm on January 23, 2017
  15. KT Wolf said:

    That was really fun! I like his way of thinking and learning–curious about how things work and how to make them better, an intelligent self-taught master of his craft. Thanks to Top Hat and thank you, MGE, for a fun little spotlight on a green-focused business.

    at 7:46 pm on January 23, 2017
  16. Jonathan Rossall said:

    I applaud the owners good intentions, that means a lot, but wood is not exactly a clean fuel. I suppose on the spectrum of fuels it is better than some which require a lot more effort/energy to extract and refine, but being aware of woods drawbacks as well as it benefits provides opportunities to mitigate the problem areas. From the video it looks like this company installs natural gas furnaces as well which are a lot more efficient. I hope the continue to make progress in their green initiatives.

    at 8:29 pm on January 23, 2017
  17. Dennis Nolan said:

    Nice to hear a story about a local business with a conscience. Will definitely remember Top Hat the next time we have a fireplace need.

    at 8:40 pm on January 23, 2017
  18. Pam A said:

    fun business to have built

    at 9:30 pm on January 23, 2017
  19. Jane said:

    I was glad to see that MG and E is supporting wood burning as an alternative heating system.

    at 9:35 pm on January 23, 2017
  20. Tom Yager said:

    Great story..thanks for sharing.
    We are also part of the shared solar pilot! Looking forward to it.

    at 9:40 pm on January 23, 2017
  21. AM said:

    What a great business! Reminds me, I could probably use a sweep!

    at 11:12 pm on January 23, 2017
  22. Nancy Gathing said:

    Interesting commentary! I’ve never ever lived with a fireplace. I think of them as producing soot (which must be carbon) and allowing heat to escape up the chimney. How does one prevent a fireplace from allowing a draft through the chimney when not in use?

    at 3:22 am on January 24, 2017
  23. Don folber said:

    Good idea

    at 7:19 am on January 24, 2017
  24. Kevin L said:

    Great business story!

    at 8:15 am on January 24, 2017
  25. Laura H. said:

    This is cool. I’d consider Top Hat the next time we need chimney maintenance.

    at 10:10 am on January 24, 2017
  26. Michael said:

    Great success story. Renewable wood and renewable solar. Great combination.

    at 10:12 am on January 24, 2017
  27. Joanne Berg said:

    Very impressive. Roy’s attitude gives me courage and faith in the future of our country.

    at 10:40 am on January 24, 2017
  28. Diana Haverberg said:

    interesting how he got recognition from the Mary Poppins story but proved himself with skills, and how he has continued to keep up with new products.

    at 11:56 am on January 24, 2017
  29. Sierra Messenger said:

    Interesting progression of career choice. How much was planned and how much unfolded on its own? This goes to show passion for a subject goes a long way.

    at 2:15 pm on January 24, 2017
  30. JOHN SCHLUETER said:

    Great story. Please contact me about installing a wood burnerning insert in my house 🙂

    at 6:28 pm on January 24, 2017
  31. Helena Tsotsis said:

    Thanks for a interesting story! Nice that he is so curious and adapted his business for long term growth and success!

    at 9:11 pm on January 24, 2017
  32. Phil Biebl said:

    This was so beautifully told. I never knew how Top Hat got its start and to hear Roy’s story was so enLIGHTening (smile). I am so glad to hear how this business evolved and grew to have a renewable focus. — And in 2005, we got our fireplace from Top Hat. It’s been a treasure ever since we had it installed.

    at 7:45 am on January 25, 2017
  33. Gabriela steinbauer said:

    Enjoyed it and e mailed it to my family and friends, thanks , this keeps us going green!

    at 8:44 am on January 25, 2017
  34. Val S said:

    Green energy is so important, Happy to see old methods become more innovative.

    at 8:45 am on January 25, 2017
  35. Kevin S said:

    I am not surprised that someone in the Madison area is a leader in the Nation for innovation and expertise! Keep up the good work, Top Hat!

    at 11:00 am on January 25, 2017
  36. Kathryn C said:

    Good Story. The company has a great approach to their business and doing what they can to help the environment with the solar panel installation. Great example for other businesses to consider.

    at 2:08 pm on January 25, 2017