ENERGIZE NY (ENY): How long have you been in the business, and what led you here?
BERNHARD KOENIG, BK SOLUTIONS (BK): BK Solutions was founded in 2005 as a home improvement company, soon I realized that there was a lack of energy conservation and home performance knowledge in the field. I started to educate myself and joined the NYSERDA program in 2007, since then I became a certified BPI building analyst, envelope specialist, heating, cooling and heat pump professional.
ENY: What’s the secret to your success?
BK: Quality, knowledge and good planning. I prefer to focus on quality and word of mouth. I don't seek volume or and large advertisements campaigns.You need to "read" a house before you start to change its performance. By wearing multiple hats; Salesperson, analyst, project manager and being the main field technician. Unlike larger companies I have no coordination problems, or information gaps. What has been discussed during my first meeting with the homeowner is still present. In general it helps spending several hours thinking about a project before your start to implement physical changes. That is a big advantage and less stressful, I know what it expect. The same applies for the homeowner, they meet a familiar face when I come back.
ENY: What is the best part of being a Home Performance with Energy Star Contractor?
BK: Over the years I have acquired knowledge and lots of work experience. Now it’s like pushing the right buttons and see how they change the "behavior" of house. Overall the best part is to see the smile in the home owners faces once work progresses. Some homeowner work form home and feel the changes by the hour, or day. Others leave detailed positive comments on my website.
ENY: When you walk into a customer’s home, what is the first thing you notice?
BK: That's a very difficult question, because so much happens in the very short moment when you walk into a house and have your first conversation with the homeowner. Often it starts with a conversation around a table you hear a long list of issues at the same time you can feel the "lack of comfort" in the room. The room feels cold and there is a light draft.
ENY: What was one of your most rewarding jobs?
BK: A few years ago I found $2000 in cash in an attic under some old insulation. After the return of the homeowner from his vacation we donated the money to a local food kitchen and veterans in need.
All my jobs are rewarding, because I only accept projects where I can make a change. At one job I reached 45% better air sealing numbers, the owner was very happy because she finally could sleep without multiple comforters stacked on top of each other.
ENY: Anything else you’d like to add?
BK: I think it is very important to like what you do in life. Home performance is my calling, it’s very rewarding, complex and a constantly changing work environment. Best of it I helps reduce greenhouse gases and global warming house by house.