There are some companies that keep coming up with good news. Two of them, both companies that Green Energy Times (G.E.T.) has covered in numerous articles and on-line postings, are ReVision Energy and Energy Emporium. On February 4th, they announced that they are merging.
In some ways, the two companies were very different. ReVision Energy has five offices in three states and 250 employee-owners. Energy Emporium had a single office in New Hampshire, run by co-owners Kim Quirk and Anita Gonzales, along with three employees.
Even so, there are reasons why the merger makes perfect sense. Despite the clear difference in size, the two organizations share a common approach to their work that is deeply important to both. They both work to benefit their customers to the best of their abilities, reducing both fossil fuel use and energy costs, and in that they are a clear match.
ReVision Energy is a certified B-Corp. This means that the bottom line for the company is not profit but making a difference, benefiting the communities, the customers, and the environments wherever it works. It is also an employee-owned cooperative.
ReVision Energy has been increasingly active in the Upper Valley area of New Hampshire and Vermont. Its work in that area include large systems installed at Dartmouth College. ReVision Energy’s work shows up in nearly every issue of G.E.T. One example is in the article, “New Hampshire’s First Multi-Family Passive House,” which appeared in the June, 2018 issue (bit.ly/GET-NH-1st-passive-house). ReVision Energy co-founder, Dan Clapp, made the scope and scale of the company’s goals clear when he said, “ReVision’s mission is to transition our region to 100% solar and solar-powered complementary technologies, and the Upper Valley is critical to that effort.”
Energy Emporium of Enfield, New Hampshire, founded by Kim Quirk, has been focused very closely on customer benefit and satisfaction. Though it has not been a B-Corp, its values are very much to the benefit of the customers and communities. The business was the subject of one of G.E.T.’s “Getting to Know Your Solar Installers” articles (bit.ly/GET-EE-solar).
It has also been held up as an example of an effective organization run by women in a field some people think of as male-dominated, as G.E.T reported in the April, 2017 story “One Woman’s Amazing Story: Solarizing In The Upper Valley.” That article described how Energy Emporium provided solar systems for fifty-three homes taking part in a solarize campaign in one year (bit.ly/GET-EE-solarizing).
We asked Anita Gonzales, an employee at Energy Emporium, about the merger, and she made it clear that the largest part of the reason was ultimately to benefit the customers. “We really like our customers,” she said, “We want to be able to ensure that they are taken care of in the long term.” ReVision Energy will continue to serve Energy Emporium’s customers as its own. The service will, in fact, come from the same physical office in Enfield, though with a different name on the sign. And it will be done by the same people, because Quirk and Gonzales will be employee-owners of ReVision Energy.
Other benefits for the customers include greater access to service and offerings than Energy Emporium could provide. The merger will allow the customers to get the benefit of experience and knowledge in a wide range of technologies beyond solar systems, including solar powered heat pumps and vehicle charging systems.
In the merger, ReVision gains an Enfield office with connections to local communities in the Upper Valley, into which they were already expanding. For its part, Energy Emporium became part of a larger B-Corp, which means that its values have become official parts of the corporate charter, and its people are now employee-owners. For the customers, it means that service continues as before, with added benefits.
The new ReVision Energy office, formerly Energy Emporium’s, is in Enfield, New Hampshire. It is in a house built in the 1850s, which Kim Quirk had retrofitted to be a zero-net-energy building. ReVision Energy also has offices in Portland and Liberty, Maine; Brentwood, New Hampshire; and North Andover, Massachusetts.