Huntsville businesses wants to bring awareness to ‘energy poverty’

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala.- A local energy efficiency company says a portion of residents in the greater Huntsville area really struggle to pay their utility bills and the CEO hopes awareness of energy usage is part of a solution to the problem.

Retcon Energy is focusing on lowering energy costs for homeowners and bringing awareness to “energy poverty.”

Retcon Energy CEO Zachary Maresh says when he dove into the data he was shocked at how many people in a widely affluent area like Huntsville struggled to pay their energy bills.

Retcon Energy helps homeowners and small business owners lower their energy costs by analyzing what’s driving the cost and providing actionable solutions.

“We take the last 12 months’ energy bills and we look for things that tell us why these people are paying so much in energy costs,” says Retcon Energy CEO Zachary Maresh.

Maresh says the pandemic is what inspired him to focus on researching income gaps and how it impacts people.

“Really changed my outlook on the local economy and what people were suffering and going through. Also from a budget perspective, can they even afford to keep going as they were,” says Maresh.

Maresh says based on research from public data, a large portion of people living in Huntsville metro struggle with energy poverty.

“It’s very surprising to hear that it’s not just the people in the big homes, that are paying this. Its people in older homes, smaller homes, that are paying $200-400 dollars a month in energy costs,” says Maresh.

He says one way to combat this in the future is to incentivize home builders to include a standard for energy efficiency.

“With cars you’ve got a miles per gallon. We are still working on a standard here for homes; it’s going to be like HERS (Home Energy Rating System). [It’s] basically assessing if your home had a certain miles per gallon sticker on it. But until that awareness comes out, builders put in homes and people don’t really think about it,” says Maresh.

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