by RENEE PATRICK Cascade Business News Feature Writer
Make it Green, a home energy auditing service, strives to reduce Central Oregon’s energy use one home at a time. The company, founded in August of 2009, saw the need arise out of increasing utility costs, new energy saving products and a heightened awareness in the community about energy usage.
Owners John and Shelley Schwencke began the business as many of our local businesses start, with a good hard look at life and the direction it was going. Having been in the home remodeling business for a few years, John has always had an interest in green building. The turn of the economic climate helped to guide him into exploring the green energy field closer by enrolling in classes with the Energy Trust of Oregon to become certified as an energy analyst.
At the end of the six month program, John could start working as an Energy Start Home Contractor and the Schwencke’s began building on their idea and creating systems to start the brand of Make it Green. They were able to tap into Shelley’s marketing and branding experience, and in establishing the business’s priorities, decided to not only to provide a service to help homes become more energy efficient, but to make the process warm and inviting.
John shares the strength of his company comes from navigating the many incentives and tax breaks the utility companies have available for home owners. It was a struggle to work within the specific codes of each provider, but he believes it is essential to be able to qualify customers for rebates and savings.
Homeowners have been approaching the company with a few main issues: high utility costs, comfort issues (drafts, cold spots, iced windows, etc), safety issues (moisture/durability problems) and those trying to prioritize ways to make their homes more efficient. An audit can reveal many ways to improve energy usage, and Make it Green works with owners to create an action plan for the implementation. Fortunately John says, many of the fixes can be simple and easy to complete.
The company has grown quite a bit in the past two years. Ryan Davies has been hired as an energy specialist in charge of field operations along with several other employees. The growth came about organically as many of their satisfied customers have gone on to refer them to their friends and neighbors.
Make it Green has branched out from providing their service to individual home owners to working with home owner associations and would like to work with the many resort communities in Central Oregon. The company plans to hone the business model to eventually open offices throughout Oregon. At the core of the business, the Schwenckes are striving to participate in creating a healthier community.
541-323-2525 or John@HomEcofficiency.com. www.homeecofficiency.com.