To create Grand Junction's newest one-stop energy shop, Atlasta Solar Center and EnergyWise Companies recently joined forces in everything but name. Now, EnergyWise's energy efficiency and conservation methods, along with Atlasta's solar-production installations, will be offered under one umbrella. According to EnergyWise founder and president Darin Carei, operations for EnergyWise and Atlasta merged July 1. This came on the heels of another big event, the retirement of Atlasta's owner and founder Virgil Boggess. "Right now, (both companies) will maintain their own identities, but we're merging into one location," Carei said. "We're looking actively for a brand-new building."As one of the first solar companies in Grand Junction, Atlasta has been installing solar technologies in the Grand Valley since 1979. From its inception, it sold and installed solar thermal technologies. Then it added "off-grid solar" and "a steady increase of solar with grid tie photovoltaic systems being installed valleywide in commercial, residential, and utility applications," its website said.EnergyWise formed locally in 2008 to perform energy efficiency services, such as audits, building improvements and ENERGY STAR certifications. It works with new and existing buildings, and it provides insulation installations, air-sealing, crawl-space retrofits, specialized retrofit services and general contracting."It always makes sense to look at conservation, and the demand side of energy before looking at production," Altasta solar sales representative Lou Villaire said. "If you reduce consumption first, then you may pay less for a solar installation. ... EnergyWise can come in before the solar is done, and do an energy audit. It's a relatively simple procedure. You may find good opportunities for savings, and - through low- to no-cost measures - reduce your energy bill by 20 percent. That will in turn reduce your solar installation cost, as you may not need as big of a solar set-up."Even though Atlasta and EnergyWise joined forces to provide full-service energy offerings, customers may pick and choose from its wide variety of services to fit their needs."If someone comes to us with a relatively new home, we'd just do solar," Villaire said. "You don't have to do a solar installation if you just need an energy audit."For more information about EnergyWise, visit www.energywisecompanies.com. For more information about Atlasta, visit www.atlastasolar.com.