Weathering the Storms with Resilience and Reliability

Written by Allison Dempsey

Canada is a country well-known for its extreme weather, and with those extremes comes the need to keep vital HVAC equipment running smoothly and efficiently in both summer and winter months. No company knows this better than Enercare, one of Canada’s major providers of residential and business services and energy solutions.

Proudly Canadian-owned, Enercare serves 1.4 million consumers across Canada through the sale, rental, repair, and maintenance of furnaces, air conditioners, water heaters, and other HVAC devices, supplying homes and businesses with energy-efficient solutions for clean air and water.

Dedicated to conducting business in an environmentally responsible manner, including preventing as much waste as possible from ending up in landfills and focusing on making businesses more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly, Enercare makes its innovative, energy-saving equipment available at a more affordable price for customers thanks to its Enercare Advantage™ rental program, which includes no upfront cost and service and repair through the life of the equipment1. As well, the company’s ‘plan and replace’ initiative for heating and cooling addresses the importance of business owners proactively replacing their old equipment before it breaks down.

A proactive approach
“I have spent a good deal of my day fielding problem calls with customers that have equipment breakdowns, which tends to happen when we get our extreme temperatures, both in the winter and summer,” shares Tom Mannsfeldt, Senior Manager, Commercial and Property Management Sales. As a result, “We’re always encouraging our customers and business owners to look at proactively maintaining and replacing their equipment, especially when we know it’s getting to the end of life.”

With 15 to 20 years being the typical lifespan for most of the equipment Enercare services, the company is always looking for opportunities to help save energy, mitigate equipment breakdowns, and avoid interruption of service. This is where proactive planning and replacing is key.

“We want to get the message out that now’s the time to order equipment for large heating jobs that we would be able to do in the summer,” says Mannsfeldt. “Now’s the time to prepare and plan for it so customers get the best pricing and the best rebates currently available. It benefits anybody who’s relying on a heating and cooling system for their business as it’s approaching end of life to plan for its replacement as opposed to waiting to try to squeeze another six months or another year out of the life of the equipment.”

Incentive opportunities
To further supports its clients, Enercare engages with Enbridge Gas, with whom it has a longstanding relationship, to offer as many incentives for businesses as possible, providing a streamlined process for business to gain access to all the rebates available to them. Enercare works to assist customers in getting back as much incentive money as possible, handling all paperwork, with rebates proportional to the volume of energy saved. This means larger buildings with larger efficiency improvements will see larger dollar values paid out, as well as a component for affordable housing.

“We’re quite excited about the opportunities out there to help owners of affordable housing apartment buildings make the necessary improvements to reduce their energy consumption, improve their energy efficiency, and at the same time improve the reliability of their core equipment,” says Mannsfeldt.

Aiming to make it easy for its customers, Enercare is reaching out to its existing clients as well as having regular conversations with customers in apartment buildings, restaurants, hotels, retirement facilities, and commercial and light industrial facilities. “We have the technical service capabilities to provide support to various industries with building requirements ranging from small to complex,” Mannsfeldt says. Enercare’s team is always prepared to meet these needs, knowing they will be especially busy on the hottest and coldest days. Whether it’s an unexpected equipment breakdown or supply chain delay, the end result is revenue lost to business owners, something with Enercare aims to mitigate as much as possible.

“There’s definitely a lot of demand there,” says Mannsfeldt. “It’s compounded with the complexity of older buildings and existing infrastructure that may not always be up to par, but we’re looking at those for building owners frequently and trying to help them implement cost-effective solutions.”

Power when you need it
Enercare’s dedication to addressing climate change means recognizing the additional strain that electrification will place on the power grid, and doing its part to alleviate that strain. The increasing drive toward electrification will place increasing demands on the electrical grid, and this is where backup generators play a vital role.

“We’re going to be increasingly reliant on the grid for some power where we would typically rely on other sources, typically fossil fuels for our hot water, space heating and the like,” says Scott Beneteau, Senior Vice President, Business Development. “As more and more EVs and heat pumps are added to the grid, our view—I think it’s the industry’s view—is that the generators are going to be increasingly important. As more strain is placed on our grids, having backup power makes sense to prepare for such power outages.”

Enercare sees an opportunity for generator use as climate continues to have outsized impacts on our communities, as seen with the historic snowfall in Buffalo this year.

“I think we’re going to have to stop calling these ‘storms of the century’ and just call it weather,” Beneteau says. “One of the core values that Enercare stands for is resilience. We are increasingly focused on providing affordable access to backup power in customers’ homes and buildings.”

Enercare makes standby generators more accessible for customers through a subscription service, the Enercare Advantage™ program, requiring no upfront capital, and takes care of all service and maintenance2. The subscription model is really resonating with customers, who are now able to get new equipment without the upfront capital outlay and can use the generators as a way to keep their businesses operating even if the grid is down.

The ongoing pandemic has given people an appreciation for the fact that sometimes things you trust to work automatically don’t always work automatically, adds Beneteau, which is also helping drive the interest in generators. “People are looking for that resiliency and self-sufficiency, and this is a product that supplies customers with that peace of mind in the event of extreme weather or power outages,” he says.

“There’s a general lack of preparedness, I think, to be able to navigate power outages for any extended period of time,” he continues. “In the residential setting, if you’re in a condo, for example, you’ve got a backup generator, so you don’t need to necessarily worry about that. But if you’re in a single family home, you’re likely on your own. So I’m pleased to see growing demand for backup power solutions. They generally were considered a luxury good—and I suppose that’s because they’re not inexpensive—but the Enercare Advantage™ program makes it affordable for everyone,” Beneteau says. “You have access to it for no upfront capital and reasonable monthly payments and we’ll take care of it for you.”

The Enercare Advantage™ rental program makes even more sense in today’s higher interest rate environment, adds Mannsfeldt. “Access to capital has always been a challenge for small and medium-sized businesses, and our Enercare Advantage™ is a low friction way for businesses owners to deploy efficient equipment and lower energy costs,” he says.

Looking ahead
Enercare has an expansive footprint in Ontario, and with the ability to install, service, and maintain equipment in key Canadian markets, the company is growing its geographic reach across Canada through its extensive dealer network. “We see a great opportunity to take this concept and really expand it for greater adoption and penetration in some key markets,” shares Beneteau.

In addition to nurturing growth, Enercare will continue to address the ongoing supply chain issues brought on by COVID, something it’s handled very well. “I think we’ve navigated it better than anybody in the industry,” Beneteau says.

Even in a changing and challenging world, Enercare’s commitment to its customers—and to combating climate change with resiliency—remains unshaken. The company’s diverse efforts to reduce energy consumption and support energy efficiency have made it an ambassador for clean, energy-efficient equipment, and at every step of the way, the company is doing right by its clients who share these goals.

[1] Terms and conditions and certain exceptions apply. See rental agreement for details.

[2] Terms and conditions and certain exceptions apply. See rental agreement for details.



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