Greenlife Energy Solutions in Absecon is where the talk about energy efficiency ends and the work gets done.
The company finds the opportunities and makes the changes needed in pursuit of the state’s goal of reducing its energy consumption 20 percent by 2020.
“We do work under several different government programs, primarily the (N.J.) Comfort Partners Program for people getting some sort of assistance,” said Charles Billings, 45, general manager of Greenlife Energy. “We go in and do major improvements to the home and the quality of life, saving on energy bills and making homes safer and more comfortable.”
Billings, of Galloway Township, said Greenlife performs insulation, weatherization, heating and air conditioning work, lighting, carbon monoxide monitoring and solar energy installation for existing homes and new construction.
Greenlife owner Ed Ryan, 42, of Egg Harbor Township, said work is also done under the N.J. Home Performance Program.
“Through that, homeowners get significant incentives and rebates from federal and state governments. For example, it’s currently giving 50 percent on our work up to $5,000 back, and providing interest-free financing. So that’s a pretty strong incentive to save energy and contribute less to pollution.”
Greenlife usually starts with an energy audit — already performing 1,800 of those this year — which determines the improvement opportunities for each project.
Started in 2007, the company has been able to build a work force of 54 with a variety of skills thanks to the economic downturn. Each day, there are six audit teams and 12 to 14 installation crews in the field, Billings said.
“We have roofers, plumbers, insulation techs, electricians, painters, spacklers,” Ryan said. “We took people who were unemployed or underemployed and trained them in our work space.”
Growth that has averaged 50 percent annually continues, with Greenlife recently being awarded a $2.5 million contract under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act for more energy conservation work — a big chunk of the $24 million awarded statewide, Ryan said.
“So we’re in extreme growth mode to hire crews, get them out and get it done,” Billings said.
Ryan said Greenlife expects to hire 15 additional employees in the next 12 months.
The company also works in new home construction, where its advanced spray foam insulation can save 50 percent on energy compared to traditional fiberglass insulation, Ryan said.
Foam insulation, in fact, is what led Ryan to start Greenlife. Having worked as an insulation installer since age 17, he started his own insulation contracting business in 1991.
“When spray foam became the hot insulation eight years ago, I learned that industry. We went from 3 percent market share 10 years ago to close to 25 percent now, and we expect to take over 100 percent in five to 10 years,” Ryan said.
Greenlife has just purchased for $150,000 a new spray foam rig that “gives us the capacity to almost triple production,” he said.
The company moved from foam insulation expertise to overall building science. “Now we’ve learned the techniques for whole home systems integration,” Ryan said.
Ryan and Billings said they’re confident that federal and state governments will continue to support energy savings initiatives, regardless of the political party in power.
“The green revolution is not a fad or a bubble. This is the direction we need to go in for future generations,” Ryan said.
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