Century Club Contractor Spotlight: Hal Smith, Home Energy Performance By Halco

In 2011, Halco earned DOE and EPA's Century Club Award by improving the energy efficiency of 278 homes, more than doubling their Home Performance with Energy Star work in 2010, which was 121 homes. Working with the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) program, Halco was not just able to improve energy efficiency in the area, but they did so with top-quality work. Such quality, in fact, that Home Energy Performance By Halco was honored by NYSERDA as the top contractor (out of 200 participating contractors) in New York State.

Additionally, the company's president, Hal Smith was also honored with the award for "Outstanding Achievement and Excellence" at the recent ACI New York Energy Star for Homes Conference for their top customer service, high-quality solutions, and in-house professional employee training.

So what's Halco's secret? Read on to see what differentiates them and what President Hal Smith credits to the company's success.

Business Profile: Halco

Years in business: We have been in business for 28 years, since 1984
Nonprofit or for-profit? We are a for-profit business
Number of staff: 120
Number of women on staff: 20
Number of work vehicles/trucks: 90
Average number of jobs completed per year: We will do over 500 home performance jobs this year
Average job size: Our average job size is approximately $8,500
Average annual sales: $20,000,000
Required staff certifications: Our team is BPI, NATE, NABCEP, and LEED certified
Languages spoken by staff: English; we don't run into the need to be bilingual in our marketplace

About Halco's Clients & Services

What geographic area do you work in? We service 23 counties in the upstate and central New York areas
What local energy efficiency programs do you work in conjunction with? We work with the Home Performance with Energy Star Program through NYSERDA
Do you work primarily on single or multifamily homes? Do you also work on commercial buildings? We do work on single and multifamily homes, as well as commercial
Do you offer free energy audits or home assessments? We do approximately 75 no-cost energy audits per week. NYSERDA pays us $250 to do these audits
Does your company typically do your own test-in and test-outs? Yes, we do our own
Do you receive third-party verification of your services to clients? We receive third-party QA inspections from Honeywell - they inspect about 20%
Do you offer financing options for your clients? We have several financing options. NYSERDA offers programs with 3.49% and 2.99%

Q&A With Hal Smith:

Home Energy: What have been the critical success factors for your company?

Hal Smith: The critical success factor has been to stick with it. Always do the right thing for the customer and don't be tempted to take the quick, easy path if it is not the right thing for your customer.

HE: What do you think is the one most important item for home performance professionals and/or companies to focus on in the next 2–3 years?

HS: The one most important item for home performance is to look at the entire home as a system. Always reduce energy use before you produce energy with renewables. A lot of companies love to sell the nice big renewable energy packages as we do. We just make it a policy to never do that before giving the customer the opportunity to go through an energy assessment and reduce their energy use first.


You can read the first two articles in this spotlight series by clicking on the following titles: "Century Club Contractor Spotlight: Chad Ruhoff, Neil Kelly Company" and "Century Club Contractor Spotlight: Fred Hutchinson, Hutchinson Plum...."

This blog originally appeared on HomeEnergy.org.

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