It’s all hands on deck for Green Energy Improvement’s community based approach to home performance
Home performance is the heart of Green Energy Improvement’s business. This woman-owned company opened with the goal of improving the energy efficiency of homes in the greater Chicago area. Home performance is appealing to the staff because it is a way for homeowners to reduce their impact on the environment. “Green Energy Improvement works on a very local level”, says Kenneth Marx, Director of Audits and Retrofits. “We can properly air seal and insulate a home and immediately lower a customer’s energy usage and shrink their carbon footprint.” The organization is dedicated to spreading the word that reducing air leakage will cut carbon emissions.
The outreach and communications arm of Green Energy Improvement is impressive. They organize a variety of community events like house parties to spread the word about their services, where Marx says that representatives cover a variety of topics. Items up for discussion include “the benefits of air sealing and insulating a home, available rebates, and general data from Real Estate Listing Services on how proposed improvements often improve the value of your home and the extend the life of the furnace and roof.” Green Energy Improvement also gives presentations to local leaders so they can in turn share the importance of building science and the house-as-a-system approach to home improvements with their community. In-person meetings with neighborhood organizations allow for a lively discussion about the benefits of investing in home performance improvements. Green Energy Improvement has joined real estate investment groups, religious organizations, libraries, community colleges, and high schools around Chicago at events to talk about home performance.
Green Energy Improvement is exulted by their Program Sponsor, Illinois Home Performance with ENERGY STAR as clear leader among their 76 participating contractors for their longstanding efforts to advance the home performance industry. Green Energy Improvement issued the very first Illinois Home Performance with ENERGY STAR Silver Certificate of Completion in 2011. Their methods and dedication to expand participation have earned the company recognition at the 2014 Housing Innovation Awards for Customer Relations and Sales and Marketing.
Marx says that while Green Energy Improvement tries to get as many people as possible interested in home performance their focus is still on the quality of each job. “We often measure success one house at a time. When we can reduce the air leakage in a home by at least 30 percent and get the home to the recommended insulation level of at least R49-that is the success our company is built on.”