What is greeNEWit, and how did you get started in the field?
As an organization founded to help society become energy efficient, we at greeNEWit help build sustainable communities and better economies through conserving the use of natural resources.
We consult and train utilities and local governments for sustainable operations. greeNEWit also provides energy- and water-saving upgrades that help homeowners and businesses save money on their electricity bills and reduce their carbon footprints. These upgrades include the installation of CFL light bulbs, aerators, low-flow showerheads, hot water heat wraps and pipe insulation.
The result is lower costs for energy (especially the peak demand), the reduced need to add more power generation plants, better air quality and fewer outages.
Our mission is to reduce energy consumption to lower costs, eliminate waste and reform our relationship with the environment. We believed if we got into the business of saving people money and improving the environment, we would make an impact.
In 2008, we began our journey in the residential energy auditing space and acted as a consultant to homeowners. We provided guidance on how individuals could improve the comfort and efficiency of their homes in a cost-effective manner.
As our experience in residential energy efficiency grew, we decided we could do more than simply provide high-quality energy auditing services. We believed we could improve the industry as a whole. greeNEWit extended our energy solutions to retrofit the multifamily and commercial sector.
As an entrepreneur, what impact has branding had on your venture’s success so far? How do you approach marketing? With whom do you collaborate to get your message out to your target audience?
Our branding reflects our company culture: one that is vibrant and energetic. We’re a group of social entrepreneurs and have created several creative projects to help us spread our message of achieving true sustainability.
1. OUR Schools Program — We created this program to teach energy conservation education for free in Maryland public schools. We have reached more than 1,000 youth at schools in both Howard and Baltimore counties.
2. Agents of Change — The Agents of Change are a group of impressive interns and brand advocates for greeNEWit who aim to inspire positive action and change the way we use, produce and think about our energy.
What entrepreneurial ideas and startup lessons can advertising professionals apply to creating breakthrough work?
Choose the right business partners. Stay ahead of the trends in digital and social media.
Many advertising professionals find themselves interested in entrepreneurship. What advice would you give to someone with marketing skills interested in starting a new venture?
Follow your effort. It will lead you to your passions and to success — however you define it.
- Find good mentors.
- Conduct informational interviews.
- Get internships.
- Don’t be afraid to take risks.
- Always add value.
- Choose the right business partners.
How can individuals in the marketing/advertising industry (i.e. agencies, CMOs) use greeNEWit to create either more impactful end results or enhance in-house performance?
There are 110 million residential homes in the U.S., and each is capable of 20 to 30 percent energy savings on average. At greeNEWit, we believe everyone deserves an energy-efficient home. Developing a sustainability mindset and considering how we interact with our environment is the first step. Small behavioral changes made around the house can lead to reduced energy consumption and lower energy bills. Most retrofits are low-cost, low-tech and simple.
For those serious about energy efficiency, consider getting a home energy audit. When scheduling an energy audit, find out what programs exist in your area, and make sure that the contractor you choose participates in the program. If you don’t know, ask your contractor or your utility company.
Some regions, like Maryland, have utility-sponsored energy efficiency programs where the price of energy audits is subsidized or rebated by the utility company. greeNEWit is a provider of these energy saving upgrades. In 2012, we have installed 243,466 compact fluorescent light bulbs in more than 24,215 residences in the state of Maryland, which are saving 13,092,261 kWh of electricity and 293,248,647 gallons of water annually.
What is your view of where greeNEWit currently stands in the marketplace today? Where do you see your product/service/company in three years? What problem are you solving?
With a dire need for operational efficiency, we also developed a proprietary software that is helping the energy industry scale while improving the efficiency of our own company. The software enhances energy improvement projects by streamlining the way data is captured and jobs are completed.
Thought leaders in marketing regularly reinforce the idea that agencies (and other marketing-oriented organizations, too) should collaborate with startups. Do you agree? Why? How would you like agencies to collaborate with your organization?
At greeNEWit, we believe collaboration meets inspiration. We’re active in the startup community in DC/MD/VA. We maintain a strong presence at industry events and are avid networkers. We work closely with the Startup America Partnership and Startup Maryland. By keeping a close connection with other like-minded entrepreneurs, together we can do great things.
Matej Harangozo is an experienced entrepreneur, innovative technologist and leading web/software systems visionary. For the past four years, he has been a driver of innovation and strategy and instrumental in the development of the cutting-edge platform and automation protocols for greeNEWit.
He stays abreast of the trends in the energy efficiency sector to deliver quality technical solutions. Harangozo sits on the Home Performance Data Standard XML Board and Howard County Tech Council. His expertise includes directing multiple development teams, systems integration and managing all technical components within his business endeavors.
Recently recognized at the White House for his contributions to the nation’s economy and entrepreneurship, Harangozo serves the community as an active volunteer for the philanthropic mission of greeNEWit and other projects. He is a noted expert and frequent speaker on technology and innovation.