Energy Efficiency & Sustainability Consulting

How I Turned Another Annoying Fee on My Utility Bill Into a Business I Love

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Virtually all of us pay it; very few of us notice it. It shows up like clockwork every month in the litany of surcharges, fees and taxes added to our electricity and/or natural gas usage costs on our utility bill. It’s called the Energy Efficiency Program Charge or similar name – for me, a nominal fee of about $3 a month.

Until recently, I never paid any real attention to it until I decided to take a closer look at my bill one day during my voyage of discovery to find a new business opportunity for myself. Having been laid off again, and doing freelance consulting work, I decided to take control of my destiny and pursue a path toward business ownership. Little did I realize that $3ish fee would hold the key to my future success.

That small fee we all pay grows into billions of dollars in customer-funded energy efficiency programs nationally run by the respective utility companies. In fact, in my tiny, little corner of the world, Rhode Island, National Grid, the local utility will have a budget of $100 million for 2015 to fund energy efficiency incentives for residential, commercial and industrial customers. Nationally, that number is projected to grow as high as nearly $16 billion annually over the next ten years.

 

Projected Electric and Gas Energy Efficiency Program Spending

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Source: “The Future of Utility Customer-Funded Energy Efficiency Programs in the United States: Projected Spending and Savings to 2025.” January 2013. Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

 

The problem is that utilities need companies to assess and install the energy efficiency measures. And where there is a problem, voila! – there is also opportunity.   During my investigation, I found only one company, EES Consulting, which both focused on the SMB marketplace and had a client-first, product and solution agnostic approach that was truly consultative. Everybody else I found was selling a product: HVAC, lighting, refrigeration, etc. and not a solution that took a holistic view of a client’s business and went beyond installation to include full warranties, 100% client financing and even federal tax deductions and credits.

And better yet, it was a franchise and had availability in my neck of the woods, New England. Now here’s the kicker. In New England, these energy efficiency incentives can pay for up to 70% of the installed cost of energy efficiency upgrades! So using a typical project cost of $60,000, up to $42,000 could be rebated to the customer by the utility with the net cost to the client of only $18,000! That math delivers a great ROI and a very compelling value proposition. Without rebates our programs provide a less than four-year payback and with rebates, that payback can drop in many case to two years or less – a 50+% ROI.

With thousands of franchises available to choose from, very few provide a sustainable competitive advantage in a high growth market. Our position as turnkey solution experts in energy efficiency combined with our client-first, product agnostic approach is the key to success.

Branch offices are currently available in these high potential New England markets. To be part of the EES Consulting success story call us at 855-ITS-EESY to learn more or feel free to contact me, Tom Morelli, Area Developer, directly at tmorelli@itseesy.com.