Savenia Re-Certified as BCorp!

UnknownToday we achieved re-certification as a B Corporation (BCorp), a proud designation we’ve held since 2011. This was accomplished after rigorous documentation reviews and an onsite audit by B Lab HQ staff to verify our environmental policies and other business practices.

You can see our latest rating here.

We were proud to be awarded the 2015 ‘Best for Environment’ award by B Lab, and continue to believe strongly that B Corps represent a better way to do business – by using business as a force for good.

Today, there is a growing community of more than 1,400 Certified B Corps from 42 countries and over 120 industries working together toward 1 unifying goal: to redefine success in business. Any company can take a free survey and get recommendations on how to get started at https://www.bcorporation.net.

“Having the confidence to be transparent in your environmental impact and policies not only forces you to be rigorous internally,” said John Jabara of Savenia Labs, “but the disclosure of this information educates and motivates others (like suppliers, customers and competitors) to take action. This creates a positive reinforcement loop for change.”

Savenia provides a free solar value calculator and premium verified solar system ratings for home sellers and solar installers at www.saveniahome.com.

Thanks for your continued support!

 

Savenia Wins 2nd DOE SunShot Catalyst Award

photo (1)Last Friday in SFO we won a 2nd award from the US Department of Energy’s ‘SunShot’ Catalyst Program, a prize that acknowledges the most cutting-edge ideas to transform the US solar marketplace. The company’s winning application highlighted an IT prototype of Savenia Solar Ratings, a rating label like CarFax but for home solar systems. Savenia Solar Ratings help home sellers and buyers more easily understand and unlock the monetary value in solar systems with innovative rating labels and marketing materials.

Savenia will receive up to $100,000 from DOE to enable further development of Savenia Solar Ratings. This builds on the $25,000 in IT support received in 2014 when Savenia won the SunShot Catalyst Business Innovation Award.

Savenia Solar Ratings were launched in 2014 to help home sellers capture the full value of their solar systems when selling. Savenia Solar Ratings are part of a platform of Savenia Home Ratings that help unlock the value of various home efficiency upgrades, so sellers can differentiate, sell faster and capture more value. Savenia has rated homes in 6 states, including the solar system on The White House.

A big thank you to Jane Fairweather, Sandy Spring Builders, Bethesda Green, US Photovoltaics and the MDV-SEIA for the support during the development of our solar ratings.

Natural Gas Prices Rise After 5 Year Decline – Savenia

Screen Shot 2015-04-15 at 2.53.27 PMUS residential natural gas prices rose in 2014 for the first time since 2008, increasing 6% over prior year to the surprise of many homeowners expecting the low pricing to continue with the boom in domestic production.

The reality is an industry struggling to keep up with increasing demand from colder weather and conversion from large coal power plants to natural gas supply. And this is unlikely to be the end of higher prices. Further investment to expand domestic infrastructure and the future potential to export LPG overseas at much higher prices will be the drivers here. Nevertheless, natural gas is still cheaper than electricity when compared according to heat content (BTU’s).

Hawaii pays almost $5 per therm, almost 5x more than the US average price of $1.06, while North Dakota pays 83 cents per them, some 30% less than the average.

In 2014 most states paid more for natural gas, with large increases of 20-30%+ in the 8 states of NE (21%), MI (22%), CO (23%), AZ & NH (24%), NC & WI (29%) and IL (34%).

With GasSavvy-DBTM, Savenia rates the costs and environmental impacts of products that use or are impacted by natural gas for each zip code, so buyers can compare and make more informed purchase decisions.

Savenia Now Montgomery County Green Certified

Today is Earth Day, and we’re happy to report that Savenia was certified by the Montgomery County Maryland Green Business Certification Program. You can see a full report of our environmental activities and other certifications here.

1429565989029The certification program highlights local companies that have met rigorous 3rd party standards in order to spur business innovation, environmental stewardship and adoption of sustainable best practices throughout the County.

This certification comes on the heels of Savenia being named to the ‘2015 Best For Environment’ list by B Lab.

We’re delighted to do our part to make Montgomery County, Maryland a better place to work and live!

 

Savenia Introduces a Powerful Weapon To Fight The California Water Crisis

This letter was sent to Governor Jerry Brown of California on April 3rd 2015.
Dear Governor Brown,

Screen Shot 2015-04-03 at 1.17.53 PMWith the escalating long-term water crisis in California – we have a simple solution that can make a big impact. Savenia Hydro Rating Labels on retail shelves and online can show Californians for the first time how much water washing machines and dishwashers use BEFORE they buy. The Savenia rating system has been available for years and used by millions of consumers across several mid-atlantic states, and can easily move to California. The system can also be applied to other appliance categories like air conditioners that have California specific usage and energy characteristics.

The impact. The average Californian uses 178 gallons of water per day, and a load of wash with an inefficient washing machine can use 40 gallons (22%). This can be cut by 63% to 15 gallons with water efficient units. With an average CA family of 3 washing several loads per day, these savings add up quite quickly. Saving water also saves money. Contrary to popular belief, water costs (not energy costs) drive up to 60% of total operating costs of a California washing machine.
Current Energy Guide and Energy Star labels omit water use. Energy Star certified products have a range of water usage which shoppers cannot easily see.
Savenia makes water usage transparent at the point of sale, resulting in better decisions for shoppers and the environment. At a time like this, Californians can ill afford to continue shopping in the dark.
Please let us know how we can be of assistance to the State of California.

Savenia Wins DOE ‘SunShot’ Catalyst Competition

Today we are happy to report that Savenia Labs has won the US Department of Energy’s ‘SunShot’ Catalyst Competition for Business Innovation, a prize that acknowledges the most cutting-edge ideas to transform the US solar marketplace. The full press release is here.

hp_sunshot_logoOur winning application highlighted Savenia Solar Ratings, a rating label like CarFax but for solar homes. Savenia Solar Ratings help home sellers and buyers more easily understand and unlock the monetary value in solar systems with innovative rating labels and marketing materials.

Savenia will receive $25,000 worth of support from a DOE-provided software developer to enable further development of Savenia Solar Ratings.

“We want to thank all of our supporters that provided early proof of concept for Savenia Solar Ratings,” said John Jabara, Founder of Savenia Labs.

“This award is a big vote of confidence for Savenia’s ratings platform, and builds further on their success after rating homes in 6 states,” said Veronique Marier, Executive Director at Bethesda Green, a Mid-Atlantic regional hub for sustainability and new business innovation.

Savenia Solar Ratings were launched in 2014 to help solar homeowners put a value on solar systems when selling. Savenia Solar Ratings are part of a platform of Savenia Home Ratings that help unlock the value of various home efficiency upgrades, so sellers can differentiate, sell faster and capture more value. Savenia has rated homes in 6 states, including the solar system on The White House.

Savenia Launches Revolutionary Home ‘Shell’ Ratings

Today we are delighted to announce the launch of our long awaited Home Shell Ratings, an innovative home rating system to capture the dollar savings to home buyers of enhanced insulation, efficient windows, air sealing and other factors making up the building envelope. The Savenia ‘Shell’ Rating is our 6th product category (Appliances, Lighting, Water Heaters, HVAC, Solar, Shell) in an effort to unlock the value of efficiency upgrades in residential homes. See the full release here.

SaveniaHome.com

We’ve teamed up with Sandy Spring Builders, one of the leading high-end custom home builders and remodelers in the DC metro area to expand Savenia ratings to their new homes. Savenia has already awarded the Shell, Appliance, Water Heater, and Lighting plans in the Sandy Spring Savvy ‘SL’ line with a Gold Rating, signifying they are amongst the most energy efficient in the country.

Millions of Americans have upgraded their insulation as part of government or utility incentive programs, while new home builders are starting to pay more attention to the building envelope. These shell improvements have value – they can save thousands per year in utilities and can cost thousands more than the average home to install.

Studies show buyers are willing to pay a premium price (+9%) for efficiency rated homes that save on utility bills. With the launch of Savenia Shell Ratings, we can now help sellers, builders, Realtors and renovators unlock the value of these features with Savenia Home Rating Labels and marketing materials to help them differentiate, sell faster and capture more value.

It is a pleasure to work with Sandy Spring Builders, who have made a real commitment to building high efficiency into the core of their new homes.

Savenia helps homeowners, Realtors, builders and renovators unlock the value of home efficiency upgrades. www.saveniahome.com

How Much Is Your Solar System Worth To Home Buyers?

It could be a lot.  Several large studies now show that solar can increase home values by as much as $15-25K depending on system size and age. But most solar system owners undersell the benefits when they market their home. The typical listing for a home with solar panels says somewhere in the details…..wait for it…..solar.  

Screen Shot 2014-05-21 at 3.01.33 PMSellers should say more. Buyers are interested in saving money on their energy bills, and this can be a differentiator to get a home sold faster. Some systems even earn money by selling energy back to the utility, a big selling point. Even in cases where the solar system is leased and cash flow is about break-even, buyers are interested in the environmental benefits of a home with clean energy. And for many leased systems, convincing the new buyer to keep the lease is crucial – newer leases now require home sellers to “buy out” the remaining lease term if the new owners don’t agree to the lease’s conditions.

Savenia helps homeowners, realtors, builders and renovators unlock the value of efficiency upgrades – and with our large databases, we’re in a great position to help solar homeowners cash in on their investments.
If you have solar on your home and wondered how best to market this to buyers – please get in touch at info@savenialabs.com.  Or sign up to learn more here.
Thanks everyone for your continued support!

 

Electricity Prices Rise Again in 2013 – 10th Straight Year

Residential electricity prices rose again in 2013 for the 10th straight year. The average US household now pays around 12 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity, 2% ahead of last year but 44% above the cost back in 2002 before the current decade of price increases began.  Savenia Labs ElectroSavvy-DB database tracks energy cost and environmental impact data by zip code.

ElectroSavvy-DB LogoSome 80% of states saw prices increase, with Louisiana rates jumping almost 11%, while RI, NY, CA and ID saw increases in the 6-7% range.  The highest rates in the country continue to be in Hawaii at 3x the national average, followed by NY, AK, CT, VT and CA which all pay between 45-55% more than average. Illinois was the only state to see a double digit drop in prices of 11% vs last year.

While power plants are slowly moving to replace coal with natural gas – the impact is not yet being felt by residential customers. Forecasting is difficult as electricity demand continues to grow while natural gas supply tries to keep up with higher demand from the colder winter in the east and other sectors. It looks increasingly likely that 2014 prices will rise again.

Buyers will make very different purchase decisions based on local electric, gas and water pricing which can swing operating costs quite dramatically based on zip code. Savenia found that the least expensive washing machine to operate in some cities costs hundreds more to operate than other models in different locations, all due to local utility pricing. Savenia captures these differences to help buyers make better decisions. In RetailEnterprise and now for Home buyers and sellers.

 

 

Savenia Turns 5 – Rates 150,000 Products

We’ve come a long way since launching energy ratings on a handful of small appliances at Strosniders Ace Hardware Store in Bethesda and Silver Spring at the end of 2011.

Screen Shot 2014-03-25 at 10.58.46 AMSince then we’ve built a massive database of energy ratings on 150,000 products; appliances, lightbulbs, electronics and more covering over 30 categories. And we’re presenting the data in ways never seen before – pinpointed to every zip code with localized utility cost and environmental impact databases for electricity, natural gas, water, propane and heating oil.

In the process we’ve been able to touch millions of purchasing decision-makers – large and small with a new way to think about buying products that save utility costs and go easy on the environment.

On our 5th birthday – we want to say a big thank you to all of our partners and supporters in Retail, EnterpriseHome and elsewhere for supporting our growth over this period!