Check out the latest episode of the Green Business Podcast Show by Eric Dye as he interviews our CEO and they discuss why EnLight.Energy decided to not just be another solar only installer, the impact of a Trump presidency on the renewable energy industry in America, our work with developing communities around the world, and why we chose a local energy franchise model.
ERIC: Today we are speaking with Julio Daniel Hernandez, CEO, and Founder of EnLight.Energy, a national company that helps home and business owners explore ways to drastically lower and eliminate their energy bills. Happy to have you back on the show Julio. How are you?
JULIO DANIEL: Doing great Eric thanks for having me.
ERIC: Now we know it's a rapidly evolving industry and last time on the show you were helping to run solar company Renew Energy...
JULIO DANIEL: That's right
ERIC: We know that you celebrated the 1 year anniversary of EnLight.Energy last April, a company which you Founded and currently lead...congratulations by the way...
JULIO DANIEL: Thank you
ERIC: I gotta be frank Julio, it seems like there is an increasing amount of solar companies popping up every day and I have to wonder...how in the world in EnLight.Energy any different from other solar companies out there?
JULIO DANIEL: Great question Eric. Well, first of all, we welcome the idea of entrepreneurs and top talent entering our industry and see this only as a good thing.
JULIO DANIEL: With that said, when building EnLight.Energy we knew that the last thing we wanted to build was just another solar only installer.
ERIC: Interesting, go on.
JULIO DANIEL: So as we dug in and questioned everything we landed on the fact that as cool as solar was, we didn't want to marry a product but instead we were committed to providing as much value as possible to our customers...
ERIC: Okay that makes sense
JULIO DANIEL: It does, and so this led us to not only make sure we had several solar options available, but also the latest smart energy monitoring technology and the newest and most effective energy efficiency solutions that we could use to help homeowners take a more comprehensive take on ways to upgrade their home's current energy infrastructure, for lack of a better phrase.
ERIC: hmm... I really like this
JULIO DANIEL: So long story short, we are NOT JUST A SOLAR COMPANY, we are a smart energy home improvement company and now can help someone adopt solutions that can lower their energy bills, renovate their home towards drastically lowering their energy cost, and if someone is in the market, we can even help them build or purchase a Zero Energy Home!
ERIC: Oh wow! This is really impressive and I'm excited for you guys. Now I don't want to be negative, but I follow the industry and keep up with the news and can't help but to bring up politics... with a Trump presidency and a Republican majority, do you think the industry and renewable energy adoption will take a hit?
JULIO DANIEL: Good question. My answer is ...not as much as you would think and definitely not in the long term. I mean sure, renewable energy progress was driven by environmentalist for a long time, I'm very thankful for that ...but in a weird way, because of that it would seem as though the future would continue to be dependent on power and lobbying from those on the left... but that's just simply not the case anymore.
ERIC: What do you mean?
JULIO DANIEL: Well you see technology and the economics behind clean energy have reached a point of no return. Every American without regard to their political inclination wants to pay less every month for their electricity, gas and oil bills. Every American likes the idea of creating jobs, of preparing our people for the industries of the future, every American would like to see America be an energy independent country... I can go on and on but the fact is that renewable energy, and its development, is as American as it gets, and it is far cry from the rainbows and butterflies idea that some used to perceive it to be. In fact... I would go as far as saying that we have the opportunity to let it be the backbone of American and world economy for years to come.
ERIC: Wow. Never thought about it that way. Great point. now, EnLight.Energy is an American company, but I've noticed you are quite engaged with developing countries as part of your social outreach... let's shift gears a little bit and tell us a little be more about that.
JULIO DANIEL: You know...I've always had a personal interest and passion towards empowering the underprivileged and I've now been fortunate to have had the chance to spend time with organizations across the globe working with developing communities in places like Arusha and Moshi in Tanzania, Mai Maheu in Kenya and other rural areas all around Latin America.
JULIO DANIEL: Yeah you know, at first I was curious to see what we could directly build in those areas to make an impact but what I've recently come to terms with is that there are tons of solid organizations on the ground in those places that are focused on using renewable energy as an instrument to help transform those communities... and humbly, that the best way to help those families get access to some of the renewable energy technology that is reshaping the world right now is by partnering with those awesome organizations. So we are taking on more of a supportive role and For example, in addition to whatever seasonal referral incentive, we might have available in any given time at EnLight.Energy, every time a customer refers a friend whose home we upgrade here in America, we make a $100 microloan in that referring customer's behalf. So that small renewable energy loan helps to make a huge positive impact on the family in a developing community and quite frankly by being introduced to the concept and getting a chance to make a difference, in a surprising way, it makes a huge positive impact on the American family as well.
ERIC: So this is all fascinating. How does it all come together? What's the long-term vision for EnLight.Energy?
JULIO DANIEL: I guess what it comes down to is that whether a family is in the Hamptons or in Africa. We believe that paying for a big company to provide your energy will sooner or later become as archaic as using land lines is becoming today... within the next few decades, every home or building will be a zero energy home. All homes will be constructed or remodeled to conserve energy and equipped to produce their own renewable energy. We want to continue to work to help lead this transition and in that process, we want to provide an opportunity to business builders all over to be able to join us through our smart energy local franchise opportunity so they can lead from the front in what has now been often referred to as the third industrial revolution.
ERIC: Why a "local" franchise model?
JULIO DANIEL: In an age of growing technology, we believe there is power in one to one relationships. There is something about looking at a person with integrity in the eyes that you just don't get from a computer. So we welcome the latest technology and will help our customers adopt as it becomes available but we will do this by partnering with solid, trustworthy, integrity led business builders that are already part of those communities around America. If someone is there like a neighbor to help you with your insurance, why not your energy.
ERIC: Hahaha good stuff! Man-You guys have accomplished quite a bit- you are growing strong across the nation. In my opinion, you are doing it the right way...What drives you?
JULIO DANIEL: If I had to boil it down to one statement I would say: providing opportunity. I really do believe that he or she who is willing to work hard and learn in order to take advantage of an opportunity, that's the person that you want to get beside and support. It's why we do micro-loans instead of handouts in third world countries and it's why we developed a franchise model that extends the larger business opportunity to business man and woman willing to do what it takes. At the end of the day, we believe that you can do business ethically, make environmentally conscious decisions and do extremely well financially. And we want to partner with people with similar principles to help them makes their vision a reality. We aren't a solar panel company, thermal paint company, HVAC company, insulation, smart home technology gadget company or even a solar shingle company...those are all just products. As cheesy as it may sound, we are a people company...technology will continue to evolve but as long as we stay in tune with the people side of things we will continue to tap into the human spirit that will make this energy transition possible.
ERIC: Well said... and I couldn't think of a better point to end our conversation on for today. Julio Daniel thank you again. A pleasure as always and please come back and keep us up to date with how things are going.
JULIO DANIEL: Pleasure is all mine, Eric. Thank you for your time.
To listen to the full podcast episode click on the link for the Entrepreneur Podcast Network or PlayerFM.