Elkton company helps consumers save money on energy bills
Jan 08, 2015 06:20PM ● Published by Kerigan Butt
Chris Brehm and Matt Wisniewski at the American Energy Corporation’s office in Elkton.
By Steven Hoffman
The EmPOWER Maryland initiative rolled out by Governor Martin O’Malley aims to reduce energy consumption in the state by 15 percent by 2015. On every residential and commercial Delmarva Power electric bill is an EmPOWER Maryland surcharge. The American Energy Corporation and its sibling company the American Home Energy Corporation have been working to make residents and business owners aware of programs that are made possible because of the revenues generated by that surcharge.
“It’s amazing how many people don’t know about this program,” said Patty Croce, the director of marketing for the American Energy Corporation. “They’ve already paid into the program.”
Croce explained that the company can do quick home energy checkups on residential properties and a walk-through energy assessment on commercial properties at little or no cost to the customer.
Croce said that the American Home Energy Corporation provides the quick home energy checkup free of charge to all Delmarva Power customers in Maryland. Certified technicians from the American Home Energy Corporation will install, at no cost, up to 16 CFL light bulbs of different types and wattages, new eco-friendly showerheads, faucet aerators, hot water tank and pipe wraps, and eco-friendly surge protectors to customers that have an active Delmarva Power account.
The technicians will also make additional recommendations on ways that people can save more energy—and more money in the process.
Small businesses and non-profit organizations can take advantage of the commercial and industrial energy efficiency program. The American Energy Corporation’s technicians can do a free walk-through energy assessment so that customers can learn about how they can save thousands of dollars on their energy bills and maximize the cash rebates that are available.
“We see how we can make the businesses more energy efficient,” Croce explained.
The American Energy Corporation got its start in Elkton three years ago to help promote the programs. The company is a trade ally with Delmarva Power. It was founded by Matthew Stewart, who holds a mechanical engineering degree from the University of Maryland. He knows how energy systems are designed to work, and how improper installation or lack of information impacts the effectiveness of a building's heating and cooling capabilities.
Croce joined the American Energy Corporation earlier this year after finding out about the programs that the company is promoting from an information booth at a fair. The company participates in various fairs and shows throughout the area, such as the Cecil County Fair and Rock Hall Festival, to get the word out about its services.
“Right now, a lot of people learn about us from word-of-mouth,” Croce explained. “I know I tell a lot of people that I know.”
At the fairs, she sometimes shows people her own energy bills to illustrate what kind of savings individuals can see just by taking advantage of the program.
Croce said that technicians can usually respond to a request for a home energy checkup the same day. And she emphasized that, “We don’t come into your home to sell anything.”
The residential checkups and commercial walk-throughs are fairly quick and customers routinely tell the American Energy Corporation that the technicians are extremely professional and helpful. The customers also say that they see significant savings in their energy bills. For example, a church in the area was able to save about $16,000 in energy costs over the course of a year because of the energy changes that they made following a walk-through.
“We get great feedback from the customers that we’ve helped. Customers say that they notice a difference,” Croce said, adding that she likes promoting the program, especially since she knows that the company isn’t trying to sell customers something that they don’t need. She also likes the fact that non-profits and small businesses can see significant savings.
“This is an investment for the business,” Croce said. “It is saving them money month to month. Our goal is to have every resident, small business and non-profit organization in the Maryland Delmarva region to take advantage of these no-cost and low-cost programs to save money and energy before these programs expire.”
To contact Staff Writer Steven Hoffman, email firstname.lastname@example.org.