Categorized | Shoestring Startup

greeNEWit: Your Sustainability Source to Become Energy Efficient

greeNEWit: Your Sustainability Source to Become Energy EfficientName of your company and URL?

Date started?


What is your product or service?

greeNEWit is an organization founded to help society build sustainable communities and better economies through conserving the use of natural resources. We provide lighting and water saving upgrades that help residents, businesses and utility companies save money on their electricity bill and reduce the carbon footprint.

These upgrades include the installation of CFL light bulbs, aerators, low flow showerheads, hot water heat wraps and pipe insulation. By providing retrofit solutions, we’re helping connect and streamline the home improvement industry as our society increases it’s energy demand. Our mission is to promote sustainability, reduce consumption, eliminate waste and reform our relationship with the environment.

We also offer consulting and training and provide energy efficient solutions to achieve sustainable operations.

Why did you start your company?

We believed that energy efficiency and sustainability was a matter of common sense – and that if we got into the business of saving people money on their utility bills and improving the impact on our planet, we would stay relevant.

How was it financed?

As young entrepreneurs, we started the company in 2008 on 0% credit cards. We know firsthand how nitty gritty running a startup can be.

What free online or offline tools do you use?

Google docs, Hootsuite, Dropbox, Picasa

Do you use Social Media tools like Facebook, twitter, LinkedIn or?

How many people are currently working, including employees (freelancers or independent contractors for specific projects)?

36 total (includes full-time/part-time employees and independent contractors)

How has your business changed since inception?
We began by offering residential energy audits. Now, there is nothing sexy about being in a 110 degree attic, nor is there anything exciting about spending hours formatting energy audit reports in Microsoft Word. In the beginning, perhaps most accurate way to describe our situation was said best by Under Armour Founder Kevin Plank, “We were lucky enough to be naive enough to not know what we couldn’t accomplish.”

Over time, our business model has adapted as the energy efficiency industry has evolved. greeNEWit is a leader in the Multi-Family Quick Home Energy Checkup (QHEC) Program implemented by the Public Service Commission. This allows single and multi-family homes to get lighting, energy and water saving upgrades at no additional charge to the monthly utility bills of tenants, property management or the building owner. Provided by the utilities, we can offer this program at no additional cost to property managers, building owners or residents.

The upgrades include installation of energy efficient CFL light bulbs, aerators, low flow showerheads, hot water heat wraps and pipe insulation. Through this collaborative effort, we’ve installed 94,891 compact fluorescent light bulbs to more than 19,434 residences in the state of Maryland and are saving 6,472,715 kWh of electricity and 163,567,892 gallons of water annually.

greeNEWit: Your Sustainability Source to Become Energy Efficient


What is the one thing that you did right?
greeNEWit started off with the three founders all possessing strengths in particular areas: finance, strategic relations and technology. But more importantly, we all believed in the common passion and knew we had to take risks in order to achieve something truly great. During the first two years in business we experienced growing pains and challenges as many startups do. At times, we had to delay payroll and live solely off of credit cards. But we stuck to our mission with tenacity because we believed in the long-term potential within the energy efficiency industry and our two first hires.

What was the biggest transition you had to make (i.e. new skill set, habits, abilities, focus)?

The industry continues to evolve and each month there are changes in protocol, new initiatives and small businesses emerging. greeNEWit’s ability to stay flexible has helped it to not only keep up with the industry, but also lead it. Our success has come because we have built our business from the bottom up. We remind ourselves what it takes to be a champion and understand the difference between cocky and confident. In order to remain relevant we must continue to solve problems. We’ll do this by building and maintaining infrastructure so that the residential energy efficiency market can scale to create jobs and improve our overall environmental impact.

Do you plan to grow your business? If so, how? *

We are looking to extend our relationship with our customers as their ‘personal energy specialist’ as we walk them off the electricity grid. At greeNEWit, we believe that everyone deserves an energy-efficient home. It is our practice to educate others on how to understand their energy usage, resource consumption and overall environmental impact. We believe this process to be a lifelong journey with a goal of achieving true sustainability and measurable cost savings.We want to help new and existing customers become investors in energy efficiency as we identify all potential opportunities for reducing consumption and saving resources.

We’ll continue to expand our work with utility contracts and will focus on multi-segments of business society.

Relationships will be the key to success. We have networked within the industry and will continue to do so by attending a variety of energy efficiency showcases and conferences across the nation. We were recently recognized at the White House for our contributions to entrepreneurship and the nation’s economy. We’re active in the startup community and partner with Empact100, Startup America Partnership, Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), and the Extreme Entrepreneurship Tour. We hope to explore future business opportunities within these extended networks.

greeNEWit: Your Sustainability Source to Become Energy EfficientDescribe how your business is an active corporate citizen. *

One of our greatest contributions to community oriented projects surrounding energy education is the OUR Schools Program. We started this project to spread the message of Ownership, Understanding and Responsibility with regards to our future global energy and resources situation. We created this program to teach energy conservation education free in public schools in Maryland.

These green school ideals are critical to our future global energy and resource situation. Energy experts from greeNEWit ignite an interest in science, technology, engineering, math and nature that anchors sustainability in the minds of students and faculty. We give energizing presentations to educate elementary students (grades 1-5) on the importance of conserving energy individually and how to be active in conservation initiatives in the community.

In addition to the presentation, we offer a fundraiser that allows students the ability to raise money for extracurricular environmental clubs, school building upgrades, field trips and other energy efficient causes. Since this push was initiated, we have reached more than 1,000 youth at schools in both Howard and Baltimore County.

greeNEWit plans to expand the OUR Schools Program nationally with a commitment to continued education.

Please list any awards or other recognition your company has received.

June 2012 – Green Company of the Year – Howard County Tech Council

March 2012 – Blue Ribbon Award Winner – US Chamber of Commerce

December 2011 – Super Service Award – Angie’s List

November 2011 – Empact100 List of the Country’s Top Young Entrepreneurs – Kauffman Foundation May 2011 – SBA Young Entrepreneur of the Year – Small Business Administration

November 2010 – Most Outstanding Corporation – National Philanthropy Day Magazine
December 2010 – Super Service Award – Angie’s List

November 2010 – Second Annual Baltimore SmartCEO EcoCEO Award Winner – SmartCEO
December 2009 – Super Service Award – Angie’s List


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