Let the Sunshine In – Clean Energy for Everyone
While many businesses declare they’re making a difference in the world, few can claim that statement as truth. At miEnergy’s, a dedication to helping society transition to solar and geothermal energy has been the company’s true passion for the past 20 years.
Aiming to provide clean energy via solar and geothermal technology as a viable alternative to fossil fuels, miEnergy’s solutions work for homeowners, businesses, and communities, cutting carbon emissions while also providing significant financial benefits, delivering a steady source of clean, renewable energy and ongoing savings.
Starting as a geothermal energy company in 2000, miEnergy now also participates in solar power, electrical, vehicle chargers, batteries, and a breadth of other renewable energy technologies.
Putting the Sun to work
“It’s an interesting time in history now, where business owners, as well as homeowners, have options they’ve never had before,” says President Kevin Bergeron. “These options include many different things, but specific to the products and services that we sell is generating your own heat and power through renewable sources. That hasn’t been an economical option until recent years.”
The company is seeing customers on the commercial and residential sides taking advantage of the opportunity to reduce their reliance on the power grids and utility companies, which in turn is leading to economical ways to be more energy-efficient.
“Along with energy independence, this also leads to other benefits such as increasing property value. We have a lot of people who are interested in the technology and track their own energy production and usage,” says Bergeron. “We’re also entering a time when not only is power generation an economical option, but on-site storage as well is becoming a technology driven by advancements in the electric vehicle industry.”
It’s becoming economical and an option for people to bolt that on to their generation as well, he says. “These are exciting times, not only for commercial and residential customers but everybody who pays a power bill.”
Additionally, the Canadian government will spend $1.5 billion over the next five years to assist green and accessible retrofits, repairs, or renovations of existing public community facilities and new community buildings for underprivileged communities. Projects that would enhance energy efficiency by at least 25 percent over the baseline are more likely to get funded.
“We like to call it the electrification of society,” Bergeron says. “As we see electric vehicles, battery technology, and generation via solar and renewable energy, it’s not the way that things were done in the past, but as I said, it’s giving people options they’ve never had before. It’s super exciting.”
miEnergy is also pleased to have recently entered into a partnership with First Nations communities in Saskatchewan. miEnergy North America is a collaboration between 10 First Nations – nine of which are part of the Meadow Lake Tribal Council (MLTC), plus Mistawasis Nêhiyawak – and miEnergy Inc., with the aim of being an energy leader while focusing on solar power development and related projects.
The new company will promote and develop sustainable, innovative renewable energy solutions for utilities, businesses, communities, and Indigenous peoples.
“This is focused on getting win-win scenarios that assist not only Indigenous communities but also other communities to adopt renewable-energy technologies,” Bergeron says. “When I talk win-win scenarios, we as a company are able to engage in those productive early conversations with communities that are eager to take the step toward renewable energy.”
To that end, for each First Nation involved, the business relationship will result in financial returns and job prospects, benefit everyone, and maximise their potential, which is consistent with the Nation’s desire to see the community thrive and grow.
“Also, along that journey, we like to use the analogy that we meet our customers at base camp and assist them to the top of the mountain,” Bergeron says. “We’ve done it before, and we have a lot of experience in this industry. We have the ability to create those kinds of win-win scenarios that help Indigenous and other communities to adopt renewable energy technologies.”
miEnergy North America will help pioneer the path for renewable energy and build a sustainable energy landscape not only for the region but also to partners in the United States and beyond to create further growth and development.
“We’re super excited to have this partnership with our partners and see lots of opportunities, not only regionally here in western Canada, but elsewhere across North America.”
These investments will provide considerable, long-term benefits to communities and the environment, assisting in the ongoing shift of perception regarding “going green,” something Bergeron has seen building continuously during his time in the clean energy industry.
“I would say it’s been massive over the last few years. miEnergy, as it is today, has been in business for over 20 years in renewable energy and has seen a huge shift in the last couple of years,” he says. “Not only with the education aspect of how renewable energy technology works, but also that it does work and that it is economical and applicable to people here in society, whether residential, commercial or on a larger, utility scale.”
The conversations being had these days are very much informed conversations with educated consumers who understand that this technology works and that it applies to them, he says.
“We’re excited to have been part of that journey over the past 20 years, but there’s still a lot more work left to get there.”
miEnergy – listed as one of the fastest-growing companies in Canada in 2020 and 2021 – has seen some healthy growth in the last couple of years due to its solar division and the demand for solar technology, especially in western Canada and Alberta, Bergeron says.
“We’re seeing pretty rapid growth in the company. It’s very exciting to not only be a part of a growing industry but to be growing very efficiently and be a customer-focused company as well.”
Remaining focused and growing in a healthy way is of utmost importance, he says. “We’re facing challenges just like any other organization coming out of COVID. Over the last decade in our industry, the political aspect and political whims have been a challenge in the different geographic areas where we’ve been operating, but we continue to grow year over year, and we don’t see that slowing down any time in the future.”
Pride in people
While steady growth is certainly an admirable accomplishment, together with the numerous noteworthy projects miEnergy has undertaken over the years, Bergeron stresses the company’s pride always starts with its people.
“I would say, as one of the leaders in the organization, that attracting and retaining the people we have on our team has to be our biggest accomplishment,” he says. “We have a fantastic team of people with a heck of a lot of experience in this industry. They’re very committed and have the vision of what we’re trying to accomplish. That’s our biggest accomplishment!”
In addition to its people, MiEnergy is also proud of its record of facilitating powerful partnerships. Those powerful partnerships extend beyond the recent miEnergy North America and Indigenous partnership – as the company deals in a similar way with all its respected clients and customers.
“It’s really a partnership and at the end of the day it’s a win-win scenario,” says Bergeron. “We’re super proud of those accomplishments over the last couple of years.”
A different way
Moving forward, miEnergy will continue to set itself apart by not only driving the electrification of society but by making a difference in the industry as it offers clients and customers a different way of doing things.
“We believe it’s an important part to play as an organization,” Bergeron says. “So, another thing that sets us apart is that, as a certified B-Corporation, we operate differently from a lot of other businesses. We put our people before profits, which is an important issue from a shareholder’s perspective of what’s the most important thing. And that’s the people and the stakeholders over profits.”
Those people include a skilled miEnergy team that covers many Provinces in Canada, bringing a cumulative renewable-energy experience to many decades: designing, installing, and standing by its work on more than 1,700 planned and completed projects.
“We’re very proud of our culture,” says Bergeron. “We’re very proud of the people we have and what they represent. We’re proud of the way we do business. And we’re proud of having a strong partnership approach to every engagement, whether with a vendor, a customer, or an integral team member on our team.”