Blog : A Popular Energy Collaboration

By Patrick Haigis | Oct 15, 2014 | in

By Michael McCord

It’s not often that a company willingly hurts its own bottom line to help their customers save money. But that’s the case with the oil, propane and biofuel delivery companies Lamprey Energy and Simply Green Biofuels. With winter fast approaching, North Hampton-based Lamprey Energy and Simply Green have collaborated with Yankee Thermal Imaging on an energy audit program to help their customers create far more energy efficient homes and save on heating oil and biofuel costs this winter and beyond.

“We are always looking for ways to help our customers improve their energy efficiency,” said Jenny Marshall, director of marketing at Lamprey Energy and Simply Green. “Of course, it means less fuel sold but that means happier customers and a better environment. Also many customers have asked for energy audit recommendations over the years so this seemed like a great fit with Yankee Thermal Imaging.”

So far the program, which began in late September and will run until Oct. 31, has proven very popular with Lamprey Energy/Simply Green customers. They have taken advantage of getting a $300 audit for $150 along with getting a $50 credit off their next fuel delivery.

“We have been surprised by the depth of the response,” said Matt Silva, the client services manager for Rochester-based YTI. “People are being proactive because they know winter is coming.” Silva said more than 50 audits have already been done and more are being scheduled. Additionally, almost all of the audited customers have decided to move forward with weatherization and insulation projects.

“This has been our closest and most successful collaboration,” Silva said. “We would have to spend a lot more marketing money to serve this many new clients and the money we save can be put into customer-focused areas of our business.” Silva said YTI has also been surprised by unprompted emails from customers applauding the partnership program. They have also received calls from previously audited customers who had delayed weatherization projects and want to move forward now that it’s heating season.

YTI reached out to Lamprey Energy/Simply Green earlier this summer to talk about a collaboration deal. The companies are Business Partners of the Green Alliance, the Portsmouth organization representing more than 100 local green businesses, along with nearly 4,000 consumer members. Marshall and Silva said the Green Alliance was an important connection that brought the effort to fruition.

“Obviously we think this is a great idea but we had tried this offer before with a much larger company. But they weren’t interested and didn’t see the value in it for their customers,” Silva said. “I asked Sarah Brown (Green Alliance Director) if Lamprey Energy/Simply Green would be interested and she agreed it might be a good fit. Lamprey Energy is a small, family owned company and they got the concept right away. They understood they would sell less fuel but wanted to support their customers.”

Working collaborations are nothing new for Lamprey Energy which started a partnership with Simply Green earlier this year to better serve the customers of both companies. “We are happy but not surprised by the response of our customers because they have been asking for something like this,” Marshall said.

Silva said that YTI’s certified energy auditors are conducting complete audits of all heating and cooling systems, doing thermal image and insulation inspection of the property, and operate a blower door test to identify any air leakage. After the audit, YTI gives customers a written report explaining any available rebates and credits and what they can do to save energy and money. The ultimate impact will be to make their homes more comfortable and energy efficient for many cold winters to come.

“Everyone can benefit if their home or building is over 10 years old,’ said Silva who practices what he preaches. His 1,800 square-foot Dover home has been thoroughly audited and is as energy efficient as he can make it. He gets only two deliveries and uses 375 gallons of heating oil a season.

Marshall said there is a positive lesson from collaborations such as these. “We’ve found that when we can give our customers good recommendations to other local businesses, everyone is happy,” she said. “Customers are looking more and more for local solutions, and for us to recommend another compatible but non-competitive business only enhances our customers’experience.”

Find out more about Lamprey Energy and Simply Green Biofuels at http://www.lampreyenergy.com and http://www.simplygreenbiofuels.com.

Find out more about Yankee Thermal Imaging at http://www.yankeethermalimaging.com.