BayREN Contractors: Leading the Way for Energy Efficiency
As COVID-related restrictions ease, many of us are doing things we haven’t been able to do in a while. Perhaps you had a reunion with your friends, or you went for a sit-down dinner at one of your favorite restaurants. For contractors and home assessors, the opening of the economy has caused an uptick in work as the importance of home comfort and reduced energy use (and cost) has been increasingly recognized during the events of the past year. For many BayREN contractors and assessors, this means rising demand for energy efficiency assessments and upgrades. To better understand recent project requests, BayREN caught up with a few certified contractors and assessors.
Larry Waters has been aligned with BayREN since its 2013 inception. During that time, he has helped push the concept of downsizing appliances, like Heat Pump Water Heaters, to fit the true needs of a customer while also reducing energy use. Recently, Larry entered a new stage in his career as the founder and CEO of Electrify My Home. He shares that BayREN “has helped [his] business gain validity and attract leads” through the Find a Contractor Tool. While interacting with customers was initially challenging, the Electrify My Home team got creative with their response to the stay-at-home order. They developed a time-saving, web-based, no-visit submission system that allowed them to receive customer inquiries and information. With the system in place, they are able to start initial communications with customers and get project requests from customers 24 hours a day to save everyone time and money while minimizing unsafe in-person interactions. While Electrify My Home is a relatively new business, Larry is excited about the opportunity for company growth and to provide quality home services to more Bay Area residents.
Cindy Cary, with Starburst Construction, is another contractor that has been affiliated with BayREN from the beginning. Cindy sees her position as a contractor as an opportunity to uncover problems and solutions that arise in the industry to help improve the process of energy efficiency upgrades. During the pandemic, many cities transitioned their permitting process to a completely virtual platform. This solution was essential to reducing close proximity contact, yet, it has been grueling for many contractors. Cindy recognized this issue and started reaching out to the permitting offices in cities where she does business. Through her conversations, she aims to help cities in their goal to streamline the process. While the permitting process has had a slowing effect on some projects, Cindy has been busy throughout the pandemic, and the support system from other BayREN contractors has been helpful to her and her team. She also mentioned her experience with ever-changing code requirements and the value of BayREN’s Codes and Standards webinars. Since her hectic schedule doesn’t always allow her to join in on a live training, she lauded her peers from San Mateo County which have helped her stay updated with information from recent workshops. Cindy is expecting greater project uptake this year and is excited to keep the momentum going for energy efficiency and electrification projects.
Mickey Souza, the CEO of Energineers, offers Home Energy Scores to help homeowners understand the energy efficiency of their homes. The scores also provide recommendations for upgrades. Mickey started her career in energy efficiency 10 years ago when she decided to pivot from a job in computer technology because she values working in a sector that could improve the environment. She mentioned that her goal is to shape the industry in a way that “teaches people how to keep pollution out of their homes and live in a healthy environment.” While Mickey is a subject matter expert, she values all the knowledge that her customers bring to the table, and often gains valuable insights while providing Home Energy Scores. Recently, she has noted increasing concerns of proper air circulation in homes, so she makes sure to go over her recommendations for improved air systems with her customers, especially when discussing central heating. The Energineers CEO encourages all people to get a Home Energy Score. “It is an easy way to learn about what you need to do to improve your home comfort” and start your energy efficiency journey.
Contractors and assessors like Larry, Cindy, and Mickey are affiliated with or certified through BayREN. According to Larry, what makes BayREN certified contractors and assessors stand out is that they provide a superior product due to the extensive training and stringent requirements. Customers are more likely to have a better project outcome because, for the BayREN workforce, quality is a measure of performance.
Are you interested in finding an assessor or contractor? Use the Find an Assessor Tool or Find A Contractor Tool to get started. Don’t know where to start in your home’s energy upgrade journey? Chat with an Energy Advisor today at no cost.