E2 member Geoff Chapin, whose 5-year-old company has grown to employ almost 600 workers, is showing that cutting carbon can also drive economic growth in New Hampshire and beyond.
In 2008, with a vision for improving our nation’s housing stock — and economic prospects — he founded Massachusetts-based Next Step Living. Since the company’s birth, it has brought real savings to tens of thousands of homeowners in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, through a retrofit process that makes it easy for customers to improve the comfort of their homes while paying less for energy.
The process starts with an in-home energy assessment, which pinpoints a structure’s inefficiencies.
Then, Next Step Living advisors develop a customized plan, including a rigorous search for rebates and incentives that can help pay for many energy-saving measures.
Once the firm and client settle on a course of action, the company’s technicians and installers go to work, helping customers realize instant savings from quick fixes such as aerators and dimmable lighting to more involved solutions like air sealing and insulation improvements, solar panel installation, heating and cooling upgrades, and window replacements.
Between 2010 and 2011, more than 750 New Hampshire residents welcomed Next Step Living into their homes for an energy assessment through the NH Saves program. Between the quick fixes that occurred during the energy assessments and follow-up weatherization work, Next Step Living helped these families prevent the emission of over 550 metric tons of carbon dioxide annually.
The prevention of this much carbon dioxide is the same as if over 100 cars were taken off the road.
Growing to employ about 600 workers in just five years, and assessing more than 3,000 homes every month, the firm illustrates the tremendous economic opportunity that can be achieved through investments in energy efficiency and renewables.
This case study originally appeared in the Natural Resources Defense Councils December 2013 fact sheet Caron Pollution Standards in New Hampshire.