What Makes Working with CAPs Different is Purpose
An Interview with Shawn Hackel, Applied Energy Products
You know their faces. You know their names. Heck, you’ve even lifted a beer or broke bread with them. It’s the Hackels of Applied Energy Products. We spent some time with Shawn Hackel after Weatherize Ohio discussing his business and relationship with community action and OPAE.
Let’s start at the beginning. Tell me about the business.
My father started this business in 1983 from literally the back of his truck and inside our garage. The business has always been focused on weatherization products and services – weatherization and other energy consumption solutions.
And so how did you come to be associated with OPAE?
We’ve been working with community action agencies from the beginning…well before there was an OPAE. At nine years old, I remember being with my dad, running around at the various CAPs. The relationship with the CAPs really laid the groundwork for our continued support of OPAE.
What makes serving CAPs different from serving other clients?
We do provide products and services to other type of clients – individuals looking to weatherize; home builders; RVs and boats (surprisingly). But what makes working with the CAPs different is purpose. There is a feeling of satisfaction and pride knowing we are a small part of easing the pressures for low-income people.
And we don’t take our role lightly. There is a lot of competition out there. Applied Energy Products isn’t the only resource for weatherization. So, we strive every day to provide the best prices and exceptional customer service. Doing so has made our relationships with CAPs deep…we have genuine friendships with CAP leadership.
So how does that relationship with CAPs extend to how you see OPAE?
Look, every state runs their weatherization programs differently. Ohio is unique in that there is an OPAE. Not every state has that nucleus organization to be a common voice for community action partners as it relates to energy assistance and weatherization programs. OPAE – along with their members and partners – does a terrific job of supporting one another, providing education and training, and creating an overall culture of camaraderie.
Weatherize Ohio is a perfect example. Not every state has the wherewithal to bring together CAP leaders, weatherization contractors, utility program managers and the state’s development department for three days of training.
That’s pretty special.
While Applied Energy Products has been and will continue to be a friend to Ohio Partners for Affordable Energy, we are in no way trying to influence the business partners you choose. If your organization has a strong partnership with a vendor, we would be happy to consider an interview/blog post for a future newsletter.