Powersmith Home Energy Solutions
As energy prices rise, more homeowners realize the need to invest in energy efficiency, but sometimes the initial cost deters from the long-term pay off. However, Powersmith Home Energy Solutions (Powersmith) is showing Long Island homeowners how improved energy performance is easily accessible and affordable, for everyone.
“Homeowners in Long Island have an incredible opportunity for accessing efficiency work via state programs and rebates,” reveals Jaime Pereira, director of customer acquisition for Powersmith. “This is particularly important, because roughly half of Long Island still uses expensive fuels, such as oil, to heat their homes.”
Spreading the word
According to Pereira, the biggest challenge is lack of awareness and the major upfront investment required when pursuing such a project without any assistance. “People don’t realize there are programs out there that will cover the entire upfront cost of improvements and pay for themselves,” he tells.
Dan Kartzman, founder and president of Powersmith, started the company in 2010 with just five people. Powersmith now has more than 60 employees, as the company’s method quickly caught on.
“Dan originally learned the ropes of energy audits and home performance out in San Francisco with a similar company,” recounts Pereira. “He found out about Long Island Green Homes launching in Babylon, Long Island, offering benefit assessment financing for the efficiency work so it is attached to the property, rather than the homeowner. Meaning a homeowner only needs to be up to date on the taxes to qualify. This game-changing program was making improvements affordable to everyone and Dan saw the opportunity to launch a company like Powersmith to do the upgrades.”
Powersmith essentially hit the ground running and Pereira came on a year and a half later. “Our goal was to create a residential energy management business model, bringing everything homeowners needed for performance upgrades under one roof,” he continues. “A significant step in that direction was bringing mechanical services in-house. We hired our master plumber Joe Sampson in 2012 to do so. Once we launched our solar division in 2014, all the major pieces were in place.”
Excelling in complete in-house efficiency and top-notch customer service, by 2012, Powersmith was Long Island’s No. 1 home performance contractor. “In 2013 we were ranked No. 2 in the entire state of New York, just behind the leading company upstate that’s been in the industry for 20 years,” shares Pereira. “In 2013, the U.S. Department of Energy gave Powersmith their inaugural Housing Innovation Award, an honor only given to four companies in residential construction nationally.”
The Powersmith Standard
Powersmith has grown at a rate unlike anyone else in the industry and Pereira says it all revolves around the company’s approach to customer care and service. “We’re building more than a relationship with our customers; we’re building a better experience,” he explains. “What we call the Powersmith Standard has been our guide since day one and it’s the reason for the success we’ve had.”
Powersmith combines a customer-first experience with a data-driven approach to determine the best paths forward for each homeowner and their unique needs. The Powersmith team promises customers that it will live up to the following six ways of being: upholding integrity by doing what you say you will do and honoring your word; constant communication; honor the five p’s -prior planning prevents poor performance, give others the benefit of the doubt; work smarter and maintain alignment throughout the company to its mission.
Hand in hand
The Powersmith process begins with a comprehensive energy assessment, which the state of New York actually subsidizes, points out Pereira. “We offer the first step completely free of charge,” he says. “We send two professionals, a skilled technician and a home energy specialist who walks customers through the details of the program to make the process painless.”
“That’s one aspect that sets us apart,” compares Pereira. “Most companies just send a single technician, but we also have home energy specialists who are in customer service, skilled in working through our services and solutions with customers.”
After the energy assessment is completed, Powersmith technicians gather the data to develop a whole home solution. “It takes about a week to engineer and it’s different for every home,” says Pereira. “Once the solution is drafted, the home energy specialist goes back to the home to help the homeowners come to a decision. We really put an emphasis on the whole home solution; it shouldn’t be a list of upgrades to pick and choose from, because the home works as a system and the return won’t be as significant if you only address part of the problem.”
From this point, Powersmith delivers a range of tailored services, from insulation to air sealing, heating and cooling equipment, oil to gas conversions, solar energy solutions to duct testing and sealing and more. “Oil to gas conversions, in particular, have been very popular across the island as access to cheaper natural gas increases,” says Pereira.
Pereira says Powersmith’s home performance teams are second to none – clean, polite, professional, on time and well organized. “It’s about having a level of professionalism and creating an experience for homeowners that goes so far beyond their expectations that they want to share it with friends, family and neighbors,” he explains.
It’s no wonder Powersmith needed little traditional marketing early on to take off so rapidly. “Referrals are the reason why we’ve grown so quickly,” says Pereira. “They are our most important source of lead generation. In fact, we went for years without any online marketing. Now, we’re supplementing referral generation with more marketing, but it’s still fundamental to what we do. If every person you work with is happy, in some ways the rest will take care of itself.”
As the company continues to lead in Long Island, turning over more energy-efficient homes and helping homeowners take advantage of state incentive programs, Powersmith Home Energy Solutions has truly set the standard.
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