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When 2008 U.S. Senate hopeful, Scott Kleeb, was on the campaign trail he was able to learn first-hand many of the issues that concerned Nebraskans.
It was in Scottsbluff, Neb., where a citizen raised his hand and asked how we were going to deal with the shortage of energy in the future. That ignited a spark in Kleeb. Although he lost the election, he did gain perspective and the idea for a way to capitalize on energy conservation, hence the birth of Energy Pioneer (EP).
Kleeb did his research, gathered his initial team, and created an award-winning business model. Energy Pioneer’s concept is to increase the efficiency of energy used in homes and small businesses by upgrading systems, structure and usage patterns.
Essentially, the business has three branches: 1) the contract agreements with utility companies to gather data and serve their customers, 2) hiring and training the energy assessors and technicians who perform the service and on-site energy upgrades, and 3) establishing the framework to finance the cost of the upgrades over a period of time.
This unique business model is a new concept for energy companies. Instead of using alternative fuels, or creating new technology for the combustion of fossil fuels, EP is reducing the amount of energy used, thus tapping into the most renewable and cost effective energy source available: efficiency.
Energy is quickly becoming one of the leading industries, not only in the U.S., but throughout the world. The U.S. housing market is a perfect fit for what EP has to offer. The country has a mature building market with buildings and homes that are ripe for upgrades and improved energy efficiency measures. EP is able to bring this service to the middle-class in a way that makes it affordable, convenient, and beneficial for years to come.
EP strongly believes that America’s greatest untapped resource is energy efficiency. In Nebraska alone, the company has saved $1.5–$2 Million in energy costs over the last two years. Energy Pioneer is now operating across central Nebraska, and has recently begun work in Oklahoma.
“Energy is one of the single biggest issues that we as a society need to get a handle on,” Kleeb said.
Kleeb has an agricultural background, an education in international relations, and a Ph.D. in History from Yale University. He is very passionate about using his knowledge to better the environment in the U.S. and ultimately on a more global basis.
“Energy, water and food are core. With energy, the utility sector is facing a lot of challenges," he said. "I didn’t see a lot of innovation. I focused on energy efficiency because of the challenges, the competition over this resource and the climate.”
According to Kleeb, American’s waste $200 Billion per year on energy that is not needed.
“We recognize the consequences of not being conscious of what we do now more than ever.” Kleeb said. “We are trying to sell a better quality of life by packaging it as a positive where people get more without having to pay for it upfront.”
Ryan Hughes, EP Marketing Director attributes much of the company's success to Hastings Utilities.
“Hastings’ Utilities decided to take a progressive step and now Energy Pioneer is operating throughout central Nebraska in Lexington, Gothenburg, Cozad, Superior, Columbus, Deshler, and more. Central Nebraska has literally built what we call our veteran markets, and has provided us with the opportunity to serve Nebraskans and bring our business to the entire country and do the same,” Hughes said.
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