Lastly, don’t let things lapse. Don’t just say ‘oh, work will be here tomorrow.’ Always get things done sooner rather than later to the extent that you can.
As part of my series about companies who are helping to battle climate change, I had the pleasure of interviewing Sammy Janowitz, Chief of Staff for Atlantic Energy Co.
Sammy is an experienced Chief Of Staff with a demonstrated history of working in the Gas, Electric, LED & REC industries. He is a strong administrative professional, skilled in Legal, Compliance, Insurance, Fleet Management, Negotiation, Operations Management, Retail, Sales and Team Building.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
I was in a related industry. I was in a high-end real estate and construction family business for my whole career, and my blueprinter made the connection between me and Patrick Linden, who is one of the owners and the founder of Atlantic Energy. Then, I started selling Natural Gas on the side and building up a book of business. After about a year of doing that, I was able to ease into the industry full-time from construction into energy.
What is the mission of your company? What problems are you aiming to solve?
Atlantic Energy strives to be a trusted energy advisor and partner to help reduce energy use, to assist in embracing energy efficiency, and to make sustainable and green energy a lifestyle choice to our customers all over the country. We are aiming to solve the problems of people using too much energy.
Can you tell our readers about the initiatives that you or your company are taking to address climate change or sustainability? Can you give an example for each?
We have two programs: a commercial program and a residential program. The commercial program is free LED lighting for our commercial customers in exchange for buying natural gas and electricity for us. On the residential side it’s similar, where we have a subscription model and we give free LED lighting products, Smart Home Products, smart plugs cameras, as well as music lights that are also LED. It is all controlled through our app, so that is helping to create sustainability and get rid of old incandescent lighting and even CFL lighting. In turn, you’re replacing the Mercury that is in the CFL lamps. None of our lamps have mercury. For incandescent lighting, it is replacing glass that can break and cause harm with plastic, which is environmentally conscious. In addition, LED lighting lasts three to five times as long as incandescent lighting. You will reduce consumption with a commercial application and not have to replace the products as often, which speaks to sustainability. Depending on the program and the customer, we also have the option to do 100% green energy, as well as every customer that signs up gets 50% green energy by default. When we say green energy, the power is generated by solar or hydro or wind.
How would you articulate how a business can become more profitable by being more sustainable and more environmentally conscious? Can you share a story or example?
Smart home products allow businesses the ability to save money through many different avenues such as automation. We can strategize the use of less energy and ultimately save businesses money on their power bills. At Atlantic Energy, we utilize demand response, which is any sort of strategy by a power provider that encourages or incentives customers to shift their typical energy usage from periods of peak demand, to times where it will be easier for the grid to handle supply to more easily meet demand. A common demand response strategy is for the power company to send price signals to the customers, via text, email, or even automatically through smart meters. The utility may alert customers that the grid is strained at a given moment and they will pay a bonus to any customers who are immediately able to reduce their energy use at that moment.
The youth led climate strikes of September 2019 showed an impressive degree of activism and initiative by young people on behalf of climate change. This was great, and there is still plenty that needs to be done. In your opinion what are 5 things parents should do to inspire the next generation to become engaged in sustainability and the environmental movement? Please give a story or an example for each.
Number one, they should engage their kids in recycling in their households, by separating trash from bottles, cans, plastic, paper and cardboard.
Two, they should engage their children in installing efficient lighting, HVAC, and so forth. You can teach your kids having a smart plug or a vampire device. Encourage the kids to turn everything off. Power strips can turn devices off. They call these devices vampire because they are sucking energy in the middle of the night when you don’t need them to be using the energy.
Three, I think parents should encourage and engage their children in composting, by using a compost bin. That is a huge step in diverting trash to the landfill.
Four, I think parents should engage their kids with transportation alternatives, taking a bicycle, walking to a train, driving less, or taking mass transit.
Five, parents should go out and plant in the yard. If a yard is not available, get houseplants and engage your children on how to water and take care of said houseplants.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
- One is that you don’t need to be in an office every day to be as effective.
- Two is counterintuitive of that. There’s nothing like FaceTime and FaceTime is valuable. On the one hand I’m saying ‘I wish I knew that I wouldn’t have to go to the office every day,’ and this is something we also learned during COVID. There were plenty of days that I was going to an office and wondering ‘why did I even come in today,’ and it was wasting time. Although FaceTime and Zoom meetings are good, nothing can replace actual face time. So, it’s kind of finding the right balance. I learned that when I finally got to meet someone that I had typically met on Zoom calls, then I had met them face-to-face, it was a totally different experience.
- Three, document everything, even if it’s just a verbal conversation. I’ve had issues where I rely on a conversation with someone and the conversation falls apart, and I get back to the office and I have no proof.
- Four, adjust my schedule to who I’m dealing with. If someone is better on text than they are on email, than text with them. That is something I feel like I lost business in in the past because I always thought the best way was just email.
- Lastly, don’t let things lapse. Don’t just say ‘oh, work will be here tomorrow.’ Always get things done sooner rather than later to the extent that you can.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
The owner, Patrick Linden. I remember early on I was getting really overwhelmed and so flustered, and he just sat me down and taught me how to be a little more methodical with my work, and to take a deep breath, relax, and accomplish tasks one at a time.
You are a person of great influence and doing some great things for the world! If you could inspire a movement that would bring the greatest amount of good to the greatest amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I can sum that up shortly, turn the light switch off. My idea is very simple. Be very conscious and always be thinking ahead. Every time you leave a room, turn the light switch off. If you forget to, have it set from your phone where you could off turn and reduce energy consumption around the world.
Do you have a favorite life lesson quote? Can you tell us how that was relevant to you in your own life?
One of these posters that I put in the office is ’10 things that require zero talent,’ and the number one is showing up on time, and that’s something I’m very big on. I’m usually early. I’m just one of those people that’s always. When I was in construction and real estate, there would be a snowstorm, and I would be earlier and the guys would show up late. Then, I’d say ‘okay, why are you late?’ And they would say ‘oh, man the snowstorm!’ I would say, ‘oh my gosh! There’s a snowstorm. This is crazy! I didn’t even know about it.’ And the guys would be like ‘what do you mean you didn’t know about it? It’s been on the news for the last three days!’ I said, ‘okay, so you knew about it 3 days ago. You could have set your alarm for 15–30 minutes earlier, and you could have shoveled your car up, and you could have actually been here on time instead of late, and costing us all money, time, and aggravation.’ That’s my big life lesson. There is zero talent involved. You don’t have to be smart, you don’t have to be good at anything for showing up on time. It’s a very simple objective.
What is the best way for people to follow you on social media?
YouTube/LinkedIn: Atlantic Energy
This was so inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!