Surfair
Location: 4605 N. Twisted Trail, Prescott, Arizona, United States United States
Founded in: 2011
Stage: Pre-launch
Number of employees: 1-5
Short URL: vator.co/energy-survival-solutions-l-l-c
Followers (34)
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Energy Survival Solutions, L.L.C.

A Chimera of Cleantech
Startup/business
Prescott, Arizona, United States United States
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Company description

Executive Summary:

Energy Survival Solutions, LLC (ESS) will be an online retailer and consulting firm that is a one-stop-shop for increasing individual energy independence and/or carbon neutrality. ESS is unique in many ways. These are the points that we wish to highlight: 

  1. We will be a hybrid, a chimera, of three different types of businesses (architectural design, consulting, and retail). By merging aspects of each, our company will not only be a hub for cleantech, but the primary access point for clear and concise information, making it easy for the consumer to become more energy independent and/or carbon neutral.
  2. As an online retail store, we will systemize becoming more carbon neutral and/or energy independent through a unique ranking system. As a consulting firm, we will offer personalized unique solutions that may include remodeling and engineering solutions.
  3. Our online retail store will have products that have been scientifically in-house tested and analyzed. Product fitness values will be determine for climate (e.g. temperature, humidity, etc.) and energy (e.g. production, consumption, independence). Individual fitness values will be weighted based on customer input (e.g. geographical location) to determine overall fitness. Our search algorithms will rank results on a cost per overall fitness basis.
  4. In addition to specific product searches, users will also be able to designate a budget and get algorithmically optimized solutions (i.e. packages of products) that aim at making the customer more carbon neutral and/or energy independent.
  5. Our consulting work will be priced by solutions, and our online retail store will collect referral fees.
  6. By combining consulting with online retail, we will be able to offset overhead associated with product evaluation, since this will be important for both parts of the company. To offset overhead further, customers will need to “commit to buy” or subscribe to our website for details on search results.
  7. Our company plans to transcend the culture wars in America by focusing not just on “green” but also on “self-sufficiency”. By also providing the option to have assessments based purely on energy self-sufficiency, we will widen the market for many cleantech products.


 


Team
Business model

Overview: 

Energy Survival Solutions, LLC (ESS) will be an online retailer and consulting firm that is a one-stop-shop for increasing individual energy independence and/or carbon neutrality. As a chimera of three different types of businesses (online retailer, consulting, and architectural firm), ESS will become a hub for cleantech. 

Mission:

We have three objectives: 

  1. Helping individuals become more energy independent and/or carbon neutral in an easy and efficient manner, allowing for any type of budget.
  2. Widen the market potential of cleantech and transcend America’s culture wars by offering “self-sufficiency” in addition to “green”.
  3. Creating a cost per fitness incentive for future cleantech products by rigorous ranking results.

Structure of ESS: 

ESS will consist of a unique specialized online retail store and consulting firm.

Online Retail Store: 

  1. Our expert consulting team will assess all cleantech products and rate their fitness in terms of geographical location, energy efficiency, energy expense, energy production, carbon neutrality, and energy independence. Each fitness value will be weighted based on customer input. Our online search algorithm will rank results on the basis of cost per overall fitness. We will offer two different types of user interfaces: 
  2. Customers can search for a specific product and the results will rank available products on the basis of cost per overall fitness.
  3. Customers can input their lifestyle habits and the amount of money they want to spend on becoming more energy independent and/or carbon neutral. Our online search algorithm will suggest packages of products and rank each package on the basis of fitness.

Consulting firm: 

We will offer a full assessment of the customer’s energy use and provide detailed solutions. This includes a range of assessment levels from household appliances to a complete analysis of the architectural design of the customer’s home. For the most comprehensive service, we will provide unique engineering and remodeling solutions. We will work with local contractors and subcontractors to implement construction solutions. We will offer both existing home solutions and new home designs. 

Unique Marketing Strategy:

While the green market is strong and growing (est. retail sales for Dec. 10th: $381 billion), the “green” consumer tends to be female and affluent (source: Mintel 2011). Consistent with these statistics, psychological studies show that females tend to have “higher levels of socialization to be other oriented and socially responsible” (source: Zelezny et. al. Journal of Social Issues, Vol. 56, Issue 3, 2000. Cited by 198). In addition, males tend to cite disbelief of product efficacy as a reason for not purchasing green products (source: Mintel 2011). We seek to address these issues and expand the market:

  1. Our rankings will be systematic and based on a scientific approach with little room for subjective reviews. 
  2. We will allow the option to focus on individual energy independence for product rankings, providing another incentive besides social responsibility to buy many types of cleantech. This marketing approach will also draw in ideological critics of global warming validity. There has been little market research in the “self sufficiency”, “survivalist”, “preppers” market, but Google Insights for the US may indicate a growing interest. 
  3. In addition, search patterns may indicate a link in many people’s minds between “civil war” and “global warming.” A recent Huffington Post article (Feb. 11, 2011) illustrates this: “Going back a millennium, they uncovered a ‘strikingly high’ correlation between temperature variation and the number of wars.” By offering the option for individual energy independence, we are targeting our services to address the concerns and beliefs of this audience

Unique Profit Strategy:

Online Retail Store: Referral fee 

Our company would deduct referral fees for each purchase. However, because our company would use expert testing for rankings rather than customer reviews, our overhead will be much more than the normal online retail store. Having an in-house consulting firm will off-set this cost in part, as consultants will already need to be well versed on different products. However, we will also need to have slightly higher referral fees. To prevent customers from using our rankings to buy from competitors, we will  provide two options:

  1. Commit to Buy: Customers will not be able to see detailed search results. In order to see full detailed results, which would include seller and manufacturer information, the customer must commit to buy at least one of the results. 
  2. Subscription: Customers who just want to use our search results and expert ratings can subscribe to our website for a fixed monthly fee.

Consulting firm: Project Based

Our consulting team will assess the customers needs and develop solutions, giving them an estimate on how well the package of solutions will work in making them more energy independent and/or carbon neutral. Customers will purchase the package of solutions. 

Conclusions:

ESS will add a much needed service to the cleantech industry: helping consumers determine the best solution for their circumstances and appealing to a larger consumer base.


 

 




 

 

Competitive advantage

Uniqueness of ESS:

ESS is unique in many ways. We wish to highlight three of these:

  1. We will be a hybrid, a chimera, of three different types of businesses (architectural design, consulting, and retail). By merging aspects of each, our company will not only be a hub for cleantech, but the primary access point for clear and concise information, making it easy for the consumer to become more energy independent and/or carbon neutral.
  2. Our online retail store will have products that have been in-house tested and analyzed by experts. Our search algorithms will rank results on a cost per fitness basis.
  3. Our company plans to transcend the culture wars in America by focusing not just on “green” but also on “self-sufficiency”. By also providing assessments based purely on energy self-sufficiency, we will widen the market for many cleantech products. 

Viability of ESS:

Online retailers and consulting firms have thrived in the current market. Most online retailers use customer reviews to rank results and provide information. At our company,  experts will be testing and evaluating products rather than customers. Our combined approach of online retailer and consulting firm and our unique profit strategy will allow us to off-set overhead associated with this. 

Cleantech Job Creation by ESS:

  1. Our company would employ people. 
  2. Our search algorithm would create incentives for more cleantech products, as well as increase the market potential of cleantech products.
  3. Our consulting firm would provide solutions that might include construction, the hardest hit job market in recent years.