Energy Integrity, based out of San Diego, CA, is tackling one of Earth’s most pressing issues: global warming. And they’re doing it with a whole new way of doing business. Energy Integrity is a startup construction company that specializes in home performance for residential buildings. One of many companies in a growing industry, Energy Integrity has a secret to success that produces results such as 1000% growth in 2012 and 270% growth in 2013. The secret to success has two parts: the building performance approach to construction and a Partnership Model of business.
Building Performance Approach
Spencer Rosen, owner and founder of Energy Integrity, saw the traditional way of doing “green construction” and its many failures. Rosen saw whole house fan companies installing fans without checking if the attic had enough ventilation, and HVAC companies installing new furnaces without checking the ducting.These companies were only concerned with their product and how they could sell it to the customer fast and easy without considering how to improve the house as a system. According to Rosen, the traditional model of selling cheap, fast, and easy is a “failed model”.
The building performance approach is defined as “a comprehensive whole-house approach to identifying and fixing comfort and energy efficiency problems in a home”(California Public Utilities Commission, 2009). Rosen has customers who want solar panels so they can produce clean energy. Using the building performance approach, Energy Integrity first reduces the amount of energy the home uses, and then installs solar panels. They view the house as an ecosystem and make upgrades to the home as a whole.
The Partnership Model
Rosen runs his business differently. He runs his business with what he calls, the “Partnership Model”. In the Partnership Model, cooperation, team, and community are instilled between the staff, vendors, sub-contractors, and customers. Fundamental to Energy Integrity’s culture and fundamental to the Partnership Model is the commitment to make a real difference for people and to serve others. Rosen says “although the vehicle is construction, making a difference is expressed in many ways within the business.”
Four Pillars of the Partnership Model:
The diagnosis and assessment process is designed so that Energy Integrity can understand, grasp, and identify people’s experience of living in their homes. With the deep understanding of a person or family’s experience, Energy Integrity can give a proposal that is directly focused on what the customer wants in their home.
Through experience, testing, and listening to customers, Energy Integrity discovers the best solutions to not only fix the problem, but to serve the customer’s needs. “The solutions we have are optimized and customized for the real concerns of the customer.”
Energy Integrity does not manipulate customers into doing specific upgrades or buying specific products. Rosen says “we work to raise the customer’s awareness and get them connected to their own home.” The customer is central in designing what they want for themselves and their home.
Rosen firmly believes in not cutting corners, doing the job right, and doing it to the customer’s expectations. “Our customers hire us to bring performance to the work we do” and “a large percentage of our customers are through referrals from family and friends.”
Although Energy Integrity is a startup, the building performance approach to construction and the Partnership Model of business, is a proven success. Energy Integrity was awarded the San Diego Gas & Electric Home Upgrade Rising Star 2013. The California Center for Sustainable Energy also awarded Energy Integrity a Residential Energy Coach to mentor the team in common energy upgrade problems. Energy Integrity is a leading Energy Upgrade California participating contractor and receives most of its business through referrals directly from San Diego Gas & Electric. Energy Integrity is proving the model works and making a positive impact on customers and the environment every day.
After reading this post, you may be interested in what it takes to make your home energy efficient. Read my post on how to make your home sustainable.