Episode 23 – Group Energy Gives Employees Buying Power for Home Energy Improvements
July 12, 2011
Are you looking for the latest in employee benefits for your recruitment and retention efforts in a challenging economy? Group Energy thinks they have found an employee benefit that’s a win-win-win-win (we’ll get into that later) for companies that value sustainability.
In Episode 23 of The Wendel Forum (originally aired on Green 960 AM radio on July 9, 2011), Jessie Denver, CEO and Founder of Group Energy, talks with show host Bill Acevedo about her consulting firm, which works with organizations to set up employee engagement programs that pool employees’ buying power for energy improvements in their homes.
At no cost to the employer, Group Energy organizes employee buying groups that have resulted in savings of up to 40% off the cost of home solar installation.
The process starts with employee education to build program awareness. A group forms within the company, and the group appoints a committee to work with Group Energy to review responses to an RFP process based on the needs of the participants.
Each campaign gets its own webpage for internal promotion, status tracking and communication. Once installations occur, there’s even a dashboard for tracking energy savings for the group, giving the program a quantitative element that will be particularly attractive to those responsible for tracking and communicating Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) efforts for companies.
With a variety of projects completed now, Group Energy has found that these campaigns have a number of benefits:
- Employees Win . . . by getting substantial savings on home energy improvements, including for solar, water heaters, insulation, etc. Employees are engaged in the management of the process and have a high degree of engagement with their company and each other.
- Employers Win . . . by offering a relatively rare (so far) benefit to employees, aiding in employee loyalty, retention and recruitment. They can also tout the program as a part of their CSR programs and use the campaign tracking statistics in their sustainability measures.
- Lenders Win . . . by offering financing for these projects, including some new products that have evolved out of recent specific campaigns. One credit union developed a new low interest unsecured loan model for participants that don’t have a lot of equity in their homes.
- Installers/Contractors Win . . . because these pooled buying groups streamline the sales process, an expensive and time consuming component of running a solar installation business.
This type of innovative thinking has the potential to make solar and other energy improvements available to a much wider audience of people than might otherwise pursue it on their own.
Listen to the entire interview and let us know what you think. Are you aware of other programs that engage employees in similar ways?
Listen to the interview with Jessie Denver: Episode 23 of The Wendel Forum (27.26 min)
Group Energy website: www.mygroupenergy.com
Group Energy email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Group Energy information: Group Energy Info Sheet [PDF]
Green 960 AM radio website: www.green960.com
About host Bill Acevedo: www.wendel.com/wacevedo