Give us some background on yourself/your business.
New Power Tour, Inc. is a 501c3 whose mission is to increase the use of renewable, water and energy-efficient technologies. We had the great good fortune of an intersection of interests when Houghton County entered into a nationwide energy efficiency competition. HEET (Houghton Energy Efficiency Team), led by a surprisingly large number of area volunteers, formed to take home the gold.. An amazing number of service organizations and businesses supported us right through the two-year competition phase, and ultimately, Houghton County saw a 13% reduction in both electricity and natural gas consumption. Statewide efficiency programs average a 1.14% reduction annually. UPPCO, SEMCO, REA and Efficiency United did a lot of heavy lifting for the project, and without their help, we would not have been selected as finalists. We still winterize two homes a month. The project has evolved into a sweat-equity situation with a homeowner. We teach the skills, supply the tools and materials, bring a big team in to get started, and then - the homeowner commits to Finish The Job!
How many years have you been in business?
New Power Tour incorporated in 2006.
What’s an interesting fact about your business most people don’t know?
We have an office in Hancock at 422 Quincy.
Do you have any advice for new business owners?
Business owners work harder than anyone else. When you go for it, just expect to up your work ethic above and beyond what you ever thought possible, because success mandates being "on" pretty much all the time. Learning curves are so time consuming, but you get better at everything you do often!
What brought you to the area?
An island of sanity in an ocean of crazy. Not that there isn't crazy here, but at least it's stunningly beautiful and we have each other.
What keeps you here?
What's happening here is more interesting to me than what's happening anywhere else.
What are your business's goals?
Our mission statement still reflects our goals: increase the use of renewable, water and energy-efficient technologies. When we as a community have an observably improved economy as a result of smart energy decisions, I will be satisfied as to having met our goals.
How does being in this community affect your business?
It's a combination of two things, the homes and the people.
A huge percentage of the area housing stock is pre-1940s - that leaves a lot of room for improvement!
Also, a large percent of our impact is achieved through volunteer labor, which sets us apart from the regular business model. We can afford to do what we do because we only have to pay for equipment and materials. We have the equipment now, and the materials are *really* inexpensive, so those dollars go a
long way. The point is - people looking out for each other is what makes our business successful.
Also, when they show up to volunteer, then they know what to look for when they go back home....all that creates enormous job satisfaction.