Sunday, December 3, 2023

Navigating the Energy Efficiency Maze: VertPro’s Visionary Solution

In the contemporary business operations landscape, building owners and building managers grapple with a myriad of formidable challenges about energy efficiency and regulatory compliance. Foremost among these hurdles is the perpetual need to stay abreast of ever-evolving energy efficiency standards and regulations, demanding constant vigilance to interpret and adhere to the latest requirements. Furthermore, the complex process of vetting and selecting contractors for energy-saving initiatives presents a time-consuming and intricate task, often clouded in ambiguity. Moreover, property stakeholders wrestle with the ongoing dilemma of accurately tracking their properties’ impending energy benchmarking and audit deadlines, which loom with limited clarity. Even after meticulous report preparation, the crucial necessity to ensure accurate submissions necessitates additional layers of verification and validation. Collectively, these multifaceted challenges impose a substantial burden on property professionals, depleting their precious time and resources.

Introducing VertPro® an innovative Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) technology solution dedicated to simplifying energy compliance for building owners and property managers nationwide. Recognizing the diverse needs of its clientele, spanning from individuals overseeing single properties to those managing extensive portfolios across the United States, VertPro® addresses a common pain point—the complexity of report submission. For most clients, the laborious process of compliance reporting competes with a myriad of other responsibilities, leaving them with limited time for strategic pursuits. VertPro® rises to this challenge with a user-friendly platform that streamlines the entire process, allowing clients to regain their valuable time and focus on more strategic endeavors. With expertise encompassing all 50+ Energy Benchmarking and Energy Effi ciency Laws across the nation, VertPro® ensures that property professionals can effortlessly fulfill their compliance obligations. Furthermore, in addition to energy benchmarking, the company constantly strives to enhance the ultimate platform that comprehensively simplifies building upgrades and compliance. In this regard, VertPro® exemplifies innovation in the energy efficiency, compliance, and construction software markets, offering a holistic solution that empowers property stakeholders to embrace a sustainable and efficient future with unwavering confidence.

In this exclusive interview with Anthony Olivas, the CEO of VertPro® and Vert Energy Group, we delve into the insights behind their groundbreaking services and how they are reshaping the industry landscape. Mr. Olivas will illuminate the innovative approaches that have been instrumental in helping clients and share the company’s vision for revolutionizing the industry through their pioneering solutions.

Can you share the founding story of Vert Energy Group and what inspired you to start the company?

In 2009, while in my third year at UC Santa Barbara, I felt a compelling drive to venture into entrepreneurship before graduating. The exact industry eluded me until President Obama’s emphasis on green and energy-efficient homes caught my attention. Seeing both a booming industry and a noble mission, I immersed myself in research, formulated a business plan, and underwent BPI certification for Home Energy Audits. Initially, I targeted residential markets, but the response was lackluster, as homeowners didn’t prioritize energy savings.

Then, in 2011, a pivotal call redirected our path. A query about Commercial Energy Audits led us into the commercial sector. This marked the inception of Vert Energy Group. We started by helping organizations qualify for solar rebates, gradually forging our reputation in the commercial energy efficiency landscape.

In 2013, we rebranded from Complete Green Solutions to Vert Energy Group, subtly acknowledging our green origins. The addition of “Group” conveyed a sense of scale, even as we were a small team. Since then, we’ve experienced steady growth, expanded into new markets, and now navigated over 20 states, addressing more than 50 Energy Benchmark Laws. Our journey, from a college idea to a nationwide energy efficiency powerhouse, has been an incredible odyssey.

Can you please provide a comprehensive overview of VertPro’s suite of services and software solutions?

VertPro® offers a comprehensive suite of services and software solutions tailored to the needs of commercial building owners, contractors, and property managers. We address three key areas:

Annual Energy Benchmark Reporting: We simplify compliance with the growing number of city and state requirements for energy benchmark reporting. Our platform analyzes 12-month energy usage, encompassing electricity, water, gas, and more. Users can identify properties needing compliance and access energy efficiency profiles, while also seamlessly integrating energy audit proposals or project bids. Our groundbreaking Instant Benchmark service, currently available in parts of Los Angeles, accelerates reporting through AI-driven data collection.

Energy Audits: VertPro® conducts in-depth energy audits, typically required every 5-10 years. These assessments involve site visits by Energy Engineers and can include ASHRAE level 1 or 2 reporting. If a building qualifies, we offer cost-effective Energy Star Certification as an alternative. Our platform streamlines energy compliance tracking and offers a unique AI Chatbot to assist in audit-level determination.

VertPro® Upgrades (Construction Management Software): Serving both contractors and clients, this platform connects contractors to additional project opportunities. It features contractor profiles, automated bidding, and plans for an AI Chatbot. For clients, we cover various energy compliances like NYC Local Laws and California regulations, offering an AI-driven LL97 compliance calculator and more.

“We have pre-vetted our network to provide you with honest, and highly rated businesses. Our software makes it easy to get multiple bids for comparison and takes the stress out of managing your projects”.

Could you elaborate on VertPro’s innovative approach and how it aligns with your mission and values?

At VertPro®, innovation is the lifeblood of our organization. We firmly believe that to excel in our mission, we must continually embrace cutting-edge technologies. Two of our core values, “Innovate or Die” and “We Make it Easy,” are not just slogans but guiding principles that shape our every decision.

One prime example of our innovative approach is our utilization of Artificial Intelligence (AI). We recognize AI as a game-changer in the realm of building efficiency. It has empowered us to optimize energy consumption, streamline operations, and enhance overall building performance. Our commitment to innovation is evident in how we integrate AI into our services. We employ AI algorithms to improve the accuracy and efficiency of energy benchmarking and auditing, reducing errors and providing precise insights to our clients. Moreover, we’re pushing the boundaries with future innovations, such as predictive analytics, which enables data-driven decisions for energy upgrades, and AI-driven project management to simplify complex processes.

But it’s not just about business; it’s about sustainability too. AI helps us align with sustainability goals by reducing carbon footprints and promoting environmentally responsible practices. We are dedicated to creating a better future for our clients and the planet.

To stay ahead, we prioritize continuous learning and growth, ensuring our team remains updated on the latest AI advancements. With AI as our driving force, we aim to simplify building upgrades, compliance, and, most importantly, deliver exceptional value to our clients.

Please share what sets VertPro® apart from other companies that offer similar software in the marketplace.

VertPro® distinguishes itself in several ways that make it a standout choice for building owners and property managers. Firstly, our comprehensive approach sets us apart. While many competitors focus on just one aspect of property management, such as energy efficiency or construction project management, VertPro® offers a holistic solution. We not only help clients with Energy Benchmark compliance but also identify potential improvement projects, addressing both compliance and upgrade needs.

Secondly, transparency and insights are at the core of our service. We go beyond the norm by providing clients with clear insights into the benefits and potential savings achievable through recommended improvements. This empowers our clients to make well-informed decisions about their projects. Moreover, VertPro® simplifies the transition from assessment to project execution. Unlike companies that only specialize in one area, we ensure a seamless journey from understanding compliance needs to realizing upgrade goals.

But what truly sets us apart is the unique combination of energy services and a construction platform within a single, integrated solution. This synergy simplifies the process for clients, setting us apart from competitors who often offer disjointed services, and making it challenging for clients to navigate. 

It’s clear that VertPro® has achieved significant recognition and success in the industry. Can you highlight a key achievement and a notable case study that truly exemplifies the company’s capabilities?

One of our proudest achievements at VertPro is our three consecutive recognitions on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies. This “3-peat” achievement not only showcases our consistent growth but also underscores our unwavering commitment to excellence. It reflects our dedication to simplifying building upgrades and compliance processes while driving innovation in the industry.

One of the cases that demonstrates the transformative impact of our services is our remarkable collaboration with Gilbert and Associates. Our collaboration with Gilbert and Associates was truly remarkable. They faced the monumental challenge of managing two significant projects with high expectations for transparency and efficiency. VertPro® stepped in with our expert project management prowess, providing them with our platform. The $1 Million Window Replacement Project and the $200,000 Roofing Project not only finished on time but also stayed within budget, earning trust in our team and platform.

This case study is a celebration of our enthusiasm for simplifying project management processes and ensuring success. We look forward to more such collaborations, where VertPro® continues to empower organizations to achieve triumph at every turn.

Please shed some light on VertPro’s long-term goals and future roadmap

Our long-term vision at VertPro® revolves around becoming the One Platform to Simplify Building Upgrades & Compliance. We firmly believe that by doing so, we can drive significant improvements in commercial buildings while empowering property owners and managers to do more with less effort.

Our primary goals encompass simplifying complexity and driving action. We aim to streamline the often-intricate process of identifying upgrade opportunities and complying with complex sustainability regulations at local and federal levels. This entails making it easier for property owners to take proactive steps in enhancing their buildings, which ultimately results in reduced operating costs and increased property values.

To achieve these objectives, we’re expanding VertPro® to more cities, enabling property owners to implement a broader range of projects through our platform. We’re also continuously adding new project types that users can request bids for, keeping pace with evolving regulations and incorporating features that facilitate project management and cost reduction. Furthermore, we’re dedicated to motivating property owners through competitive advantages and enhancing user education on energy usage and cost-saving opportunities.

In essence, future plans involve not only simplifying the building upgrade process but also creating a thriving ecosystem where property owners can maximize their investments while contributing to a more sustainable future.

Pull Quote: “We have pre-vetted our network to provide you with honest, and highly rated businesses. Our software makes it easy to get multiple bids for comparison and takes the stress out of managing your projects.”

Company Description: Vert Energy Group is a full-service energy efficiency and engineering company that helps building owners and building managers comply with Energy Benchmark Compliance, Energy Audits, and complete building Energy Upgrades.”

Executive Name: Anthony Olivas

Title: CEO

Company Name: Vert Energy Group & VertPro®