TerrraLogos Energy Group, an energy improvement contracting company based in Baltimore, has emerged as a formidable player in a crowded field of firms that offer residential and commercial building energy audits.
“What differentiates us is that we offer the complete package in a one-stop shop,” said Peter Van Buren, president of TLEG.
Typically, companies that perform energy audits make recommendations for improvements designed to conserve energy, but don’t do the remedial work themselves. Performing the follow-on services is a big part of the TLEG’s offering.
“We follow up on energy audits with a host of services such as air sealing, insulation, HVAC, even solar and geothermal,” said Van Buren. “It’s an integrated, whole-building approach.”
TerraLogos’ success can be attributed to a value proposition that hits on multiple selling points, according to Van Buren. “It starts with [occupants’] comfort, improved indoor air quality and increased property values, but also includes reduced maintenance costs, energy costs and impacts on the environment.”
Van Buren, who spent 25 years in the wine industry and has degrees in environmental studies and landscape architecture, touts his company’s ability to advise customers on investments that make sense and its ability to help clients secure financing to make improvements.
“Replacing windows, for example, often doesn’t make sense,” said Van Buren, “whereas air sealing and duct sealing and insulation upgrades – if done effectively – do.”
These loans offer attractive terms:
- Up to $30,000
- 6.99% interest
- 90 days with no interest
- No application fee
- 12 months “same as cash”
- No pre-payment penalty
“The recession has hurt everyone and business is certainly difficult in a lot of sectors, including ours, but the biggest reason that sustainability initiatives are not being more fully adopted is because of misinformation and suspicion of contractors in general,” said Van Buren. “Still, things are improving. Six years ago we had to speak in different terms because no one knew what we were talking about, now people are aware of home energy audits and a majority are eager to have one done.“
Although TerraLogos has in the past provided services through government-sponsored programs, it doesn’t have any government clients per se.
“We help homeowners evolve their environments to the highest level of sustainability that they can achieve and we do that cost effectively,” said Van Buren.