When you work for a company that builds meaningful relationships with the customer they serve, you get to meet a wide variety of fascinating people - people who have lived full and enriched lives - lives to be proud of.
When I heard that one of our customers (a retired woman named Ms. Alonia) who served in the United States Military and then joined the New Orleans Police Department adding up to a complete life of service for her country and community, It resonated.
Everyday PosiGen works with it's customers to try and realize more financial independence from local utility companies. We see a dutiful service that can be done for the homeowners of our great hometown.
Ms. Alonoia and I spoke on the phone before we met each other. I was expecting something like that of a drill sergeant over the phone, but what I received was a warm and welcoming voice filled with love and character. Even though the two of us had never spoken before, as soon as she heard that I was from PosiGen it clicked. These were two of the good guys talking to one another.
Her home is located along a modest bend of the Mississippi river in a neighborhood named Holy Cross (one of the many neighborhoods in New Orleans that suffered damage from Hurricane Katrina.) I soon arrived at a proud dwelling which sported a sleek solar array on her south facing roof.
A knock led to her promptly opening the door and welcoming me with a hug and a smile. It was like two old friends seeing each other again. She brought me to her kitchen table, every know and then offering me food or a cold water. Though I did brave the June heat that day, and sweat marks populated my shirt, I didn't dare impose on this woman that I just met. What I wanted to know is how a lady like her became a PosiGen customer.
"At first it was my neighbor." She recalled. "I was returning from the store and I saw that she was getting work done on her home. Men were carrying these panels from the truck to the top of her roof, and I was curious."
When Alonia told me this it came to no surprise. Installing solar panels on ones home can be an impressive thing. Hammers and drills help secure these large panels safely on your roof, contractors are communicating with each making sure the job is done right. It can become a small community event sometimes. Neighbors leave their houses to inspect what is going on, asking questions, getting to know more.
"I decided to make a call to PosiGen and find out more. The representative was very informative and told me that after looking at my house was good for solar." As she continued to explain to me her experience, her voice became more excited. She had expectations of PosiGen going into the process, but it was the customer service that impressed her.
"From the sales representative, to their contractors. PosiGen delivered and I couldn't be happier."
She then continued to tell me what it was like dealing with her utility bill as a retiree.
"Every year around July and August I was paying $300 - $400 a month, and that's hard when you are alone, living on a fixed income. Every month I was calling and asking for an extension, and when you get that extension and you still can't pay - the power goes off."
She needed help and I saw it on her face. This was a real and trying aspect in her life, and witnessing her neighbor get solar panels for themselves to help reduce their own utility bill got her on board.
"What surprised me" Alonia continued "was that I not only got the solar panels, but I was getting the energy upgrades as well." She was referring to the energy efficiency upgrades that PosiGen can provide for it's customers. "When they finished their work the drafts in my home decreased and my comfort increased."
After PosiGen completed the installation on her home, I asked about her first utility bill after the panels where switched on and making power.
"When I got that first utility bill..." Her statement was interrupted by little bouts of laughter. "I thought they got the wrong house! I have never seen a $60 dollar light bill in my life, and those savings continue today a year later."
Her positive experience was a thrill to listen to. The appreciation in her voice would swell from at times that made me smile. We finished our discussion and she then led me to her hallway which was populated with warming family photographs. She shared with me a complete life with her complete family.
I gathered myself and prepared to leave. Before stepping out the door, Alonia again offered me at least a cold water. Knowing her a little bit more after our conversation, I gladly accepted.