Ed Tuchler


Energy Check business owner Ed Tuchler trained in architecture at Virginia Tech before applying his knowledge to practical field experience as owner, designer, and builder of Shelter Alternatives. He created Energy Check in 2007 to advise his clients and community on how to make their homes as healthy, safe, and energy efficient as possible. As owner of Shelter Alternatives and Energy Check, Ed has accepted the 2010 Best Green Business award from Virginia Sustainable Building Network, 2016 State-wide Viridiant Single Family New Construction Project of the Year & Top High Performance Home of the Year, as well as their 9th NRVHBA annual Design Excellence Award. In 2020, he accepted the EarthCraft MidAtlantic Top High-Performance Home Award. Ed has always been a strong environmentalist and enjoys outdoor activities such as biking and hiking. You can often find him attending regional dancing events or sharing his love of music with others at the Shelter Alternatives, Inc. weekly jam sessions on Fridays.



Chris Nicholson

Lead Auditor / Director of Operations

Chris earned his B.S. in Biology from Earlham College in Indiana. He is a Qualified Home Energy Score (HES) assessor and BPI-Certified Residential Building Analyst. Chris has worked as both an Energy Installer and Auditor making him a great resource for advice and information as you move through considering how to maximize your home’s performance as a system. As Assistant Director of Operations, Chris takes extra efforts in helping to coordinate all aspects of your project. When not working on residential energy efficiency solutions, Chris enjoys spending time with his wife and three small children, permaculture gardening, and raising pigs and chickens at his Christiansburg home.




Ray Hartley

Energy Auditor / Project Manager




Ian Akers

Lead Energy Installer

Ian has been with Energy Check since 2010 and is the leader of our field crew. He knows his way around crawlspace and attic air sealing projects. He takes our prioritized recommendations and applies his understanding of Building Science to address goals. Ian has a very dedicated work ethic with close attention to detail, making him an asset on any project, and he really rocks a Tyvek suit. When Ian is not working, he enjoys reading, woodworking, longboarding and general outdoor activities with his dog.