"We compare ourselves to doctors. It helps us explain how we look at every aspect of home performance: top to bottom, a full physical exam of the home. We explain how the home is performing and what we can do to increase performance."
– Juan Hurtado, vice president of Intec operations
Awards: 2013 U.S. Department of Energy Housing Innovation Award for innovations in Customer Relations and Energy Savings and 2012 Century Club Award
Total Reported Projects in 2013: 93
From the contractor's first interaction during the energy assessment to helping homeowners with incentive and finance applications, Insulation Technologies (INTEC) focuses on removing obstacles for its customers and helping them understand building science in the simplest terms. Juan Hurtado, vice president of operations, says, "We compare ourselves to doctors. It helps us explain how we look at every aspect of home performance: top to bottom, a full physical exam of the home. We explain how the home is performing and what we can do to increase performance." Homeowners that participate in Home Performance with ENERGY STAR can be confident that they are hiring qualified workers who understand how the systems in a home operate together and can recommend improvements that will save energy and money on utility bills. Quality work is a hallmark of the national Program.
Frigid Milwaukee winters contribute to ice damming, a common regional home performance issue. Ice dams form when warm air from the attic heats the roof and causes snow to melt; the melted snow then travels to the gutters and refreezes. To address the cause of the temperature difference, INTEC contractors will recommend sealing air leaks and increasing insulation in the attic floor, thereby preventing ice dams and expensive roof damage. INTEC contractors use the whole house approach to understand the root cause of energy relates issues and then deliver quality home performance solutions.
Delivering quality work has helped INTEC expand its customer base an impressive 20% as the company relies mostly on word-of-mouth for advertising. After each completed project, contractors ask the customer to tell family and friends about INTEC and its home performance services. The company believes that when customers are well served, they are eager to tell their family and friends.
Part of caring for customers is helping them access available incentives and financing, and the company takes a unique approach to reaching homeowners. To assist homeowners with financing projects, INTEC plans community-wide application sessions. INTEC walks customers through the application step-by-step and answers every question along the way. If customers need additional time or supporting documents to complete the paperwork, INTEC sets up additional sessions with the homeowners. Once the homeowners receive the bank's approval notice, INTEC schedules the home performance work. "The incentives are a bonus for our customers," says Hurtado. "Many times our customers are looking for any way to save money on the work because they see this as an investment." By helping homeowners navigate the sometimes confusing application process, the decision to invest in home performance is easier.
Beyond making homes more energy efficient, INTEC supports the growth of a qualified workforce in Milwaukee. With its roots in the surrounding community and the Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program platform, the company has been able to expand its business and support job growth. "Our profits are the highest in the history of company," remarks Hurtado. He also recognizes his workers as "the heart of the company. Without their work in the field, we would not be here."