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Meet Jayme Ciaramitaro and Melanie Head of EnergySmart Alternatives in North Shore

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jayme Ciaramitaro and Melanie Head.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
EnergySmart has founded about 7 years ago as a renewable energy company that offered a number of energy efficiency solutions. At the time, photovoltaics and LED lighting were really taking off. With that came competition. We eventually decided to evolve EnergySmart into a company that only specializes in geothermal heating and cooling solutions.

I am a Master Electrician and Refrigeration Technician. Melanie’s background is in Environmental Engineering. So, between the two of us we have a strong technical background making it possible for us to design, install, service, and repair geothermal heating and cooling systems.

We both started in the geothermal industry in 2008 and became accredited by the International Ground Source Heat Pump Association. Initially, Melanie was writing estimates. Not knowing anything about geothermal, she began spending more time in the field learning from the contractors doing the work. Eventually, she was designing and managing installations and working in the field herself.

When I first started out, I worked as an electrician wiring homes and commercial buildings. I also wired a lot of boilers. Later, I expanded into commercial refrigeration. These two trades together made the transition over to geothermal installations seamless. I also began troubleshooting and repairing geothermal systems. Eventually, I was managing geothermal projects and installation budgets.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The company was bootstrapped from the beginning and it took a long time to get our first customer. The only thing we had was a website. Through networking, public outreach, and hard work we turned EnergySmart from a startup company with zero customers into one of the largest residential geothermal installers in Massachusetts.

To cover expenses for the first 2 years, I continued to do electrical and refrigeration work until we could build up the geothermal business enough to carry itself. Melanie focused on building our online presence and did most of the sales and marketing. For the past 5+ years, we have been successful designing, installing, and servicing geothermal systems full time.

Geothermal is also a relatively unknown technology in New England. We spend a lot of time educating potential customers. Massachusetts has recently become very pro-geothermal which has helped in educating the public. We’re optimistic that our business will continue to grow with continued education.

Please tell us about EnergySmart Alternatives.
We are a geothermal heating and cooling design/build company.

We are very proud that we have been able to grow our business every year and become known in the Massachusetts geothermal industry. All of our business comes from word of mouth, the website, and social media.

We are different from a typical HVAC business because we have the added role of project management. Geothermal installations require many different trades that are not typically handled by one company. We have designers, drillers, loop installers, excavators, sheet metal installers, electricians, refrigeration technicians, service technicians and others who all need to be coordinated. All design, equipment specifications, and drilling requirements are done in-house and not by the equipment manufacturer as is typical.

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