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2015 NEFI Set to Open Doors

WORCESTER, Mass. — The doors are about to open on the 2015 NEFI Energy Expo which is held every other year, and is scheduled to run June 10-11.

This year brings some notable changes, not the least of which was a change in venue from Boston to Worcester, Mass. In a recent FON interview with NEFI’s new Chief Operating Officer Martha Leshine, she noted that the move was driven by the expenses associated with Boston, for both exhibitors and attendees. The organization is working hard to make the transition not only seamless, but positive.

“Some of the vendors do dinners on the first night of the show a lot of folks aren’t familiar yet as to where they can go in Worchester,” said Leshine. “We’ve worked it out so that we can help them secure a venue through Destination Worchester. We’re identifying restaurants that have private rooms, or areas that can be set aside. We’re also working with some of the restaurant groups on various cost-saving incentives for the dinners. The same concept is being applied to our attendees. We’re working to come up with promotions such as meal discounts through the restaurants, for attendees who may not be invited to a dinner.”

A lot is happening on the education front as well. “We are going to offer buses to pick up technicians in all of the states and we’re going to teach them a class for NORA certification while they are on the bus,” Leshine added. “A 45 minute class, then they can go to the tradeshow and we’ll bus them back.”

Take a look at the full educational schedule below and keep in touch in the comments or on social media. We’d love to hear your thoughts about the 2015 NEFI show!

Wednesday, June 10

8:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

Data Compromise-Cyber Liability

Date breaches-the theft, loss or mistaken release of private information-are on the rise. Learn ways to minimize your risk of becoming a victim of costly and time consuming cybercrime. This is not just a BIG business problem.

Presented by Federated Insurance

The Cost Effective Strategies to Get More Customers

The most basic fact of business: Your company needs new customers to survive. Strategies presented will increase lead generation and new customer conversions at the lowest acquisition costs possible. Find out how to drive more potential customers to your company, streamline the enrollment and credit process, utilize your sales team more effectively, and create new customers-all for less than you thought possible!

Presented by PriMedia

Declining Distillate Values & Impact on Bioheat® Fuel

Explore consumer demand for a cleaner, less carbon intensive, more efficient home heating fuel and how the marketplace is reacting. What should marketers be doing today to ensure their customers will continue to be their customers tomorrow? How do current distillate values impact the use of Bioheat® Fuel? Will Bioheat® Fuel remain competitive as the US opens its doors to the world market?

Presented by Gene Gebolys, World Energy

Families in Energy A Panel Discussion

This will be a panel discussion on the everyday situations a family-owned business must deal with from hierarchy, management and operations. Keeping the business profitable for the next generation.

Moderated by Joe Ciccarello, Gray, Gray, & Gray

10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Evolution of Dealer Contracts

Learn how other NEFI members have benefited in the past year from the revolutionary “Own the Home” approach to service contracts developed by the ProGuard Plus Program.

Presented by Gary Missigman, Justine Falletta, & Jim Tyrrell of The Powderhorn Agency

PAYGO

What if you billed your customers after they actually used your fuel, just like the utility companies? Find out if this innovative marketing and finance approach could transform the future of your business.

Presented by Phil Baratz, Angus Energy & Rich Goldberg, Warm Thoughts

Talk to Me: Welcome to Your Bioheat® Fuel Town Hall Meeting

Welcome to a Town Hall Meeting and open discussion that will provide a forum to address a wide range of Bioheat® Fuel issues that you want to talk about. Topics such as: B20 heating oil ASTM specification, next generation high efficiency equipment, the Renewable Fuel Standard and future biodiesel production, supply management, blending requirements, etc.

Moderated by Paul Nazzaro, Nazzaro Group & National Biodiesel Board and Don Farrell, Indoor Comfort Marketing

Price Protection & Advanced Risk Management

The current downturn in the energy market has presented retail marketers with unique challenges. Explore the 2014-2015 market implications and how to prevent impact on an energy marketer when such market inversions occur.

Presented by Gary Sippin, Destwin

Thursday, June 11

8:30 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

Importance of Proper Record Keeping

The importance of proper documentation is paramount to the success of your business and safety of your customers. This presentation will focus on what type of data you should be collecting from the field and what to do with that data once it has been collected.

Presented by Kyle Koerber, Boston Environmental & Eric Leskinen, Pro-Dot Consulting

Demystifying Digital Marketing

You have a website right? But is it really helping you acquire new customers and retain the ones you have? Is it aligned with your overall business growth goals? What other digital tools, such as email marketing, social media, are you engaging? Learn the essentials of creating a comprehensive digital marketing strategy, and how to align it with the rest of your marketing strategy and business goals.

Presented by Megan Smith-Gill, Gill Marketing Group

Biodiesel Fuels: Sell Beyond the Arbitrage

For 20 years, the biodiesel industry has accepted every challenge thrown at it and prevailed. It’s cleaner, sustainable, and supported by scientific and field data. Where is biodiesel’s niche? Will biodiesel remain the petroleum light cycle oil or will it find its rightful place as a core fuel to power diesel engines and home heating systems?

Presenters To Be Determined

Navigating a Successful Transaction: A Panel Discussion

The sale of a business is an important time for an owner looking to retire and for a company looking to grow. The panelists will share their stories and challenges they faced in working on valuing their business, preparing and evaluating offers, financing structures and ultimately what killed or sealed the deal.

Panelists:

  • Jim Townsend, CEO, Townsend Oil & Propane
  • Cami Segel, CFO, Devaney Energy
  • Joe Ciccerello, Managing Partner, Gray, Gray & Gray
  • Paul Black, Senior Vice President, Santander Bank
  • Anthony Marts, Attorney

Presented by Steven Abbate, Cetane Associates

10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

Legal Issues Pertaining to Claims, Oil Spills, Subrogation

Have you been involved in an oil spill? Have you had spill claims from customers and had to invoke your liability insurance? Did you know heating oil dealers are becoming prime targets for claim subrogation from insurance companies? Found out how to defend yourself and your company.

Presented by Chris Foster, Robinson+Cole, & Paige Berry, Saul Ewing

Lessons from this Winter-Where do we go from here? A Panel Discussion

Between the extraordinary price drop and perilous levels of snow and cold, the effects of this winter will linger for some time. Examine how to close cracks in delivery and service, while enhancing profitability. Also, how do we coach our people to retain customers who do not think we dropped our price fast enough, or were locked into pre-buys?

Moderated by Ed Cardell, Warm Thoughts Communications

Propane in NE: Knowing the Regulations and Supply Chain

Regulations: Learn what are the pitfalls to facility sitings, propane tank ownership and other regulatory issues which vary depending upon your location. Supply Chain: Learn the important propane supply elements that are uncommon to the traditional heating oil supply world.

Presented by Sean Cota, Cetane Associates

Groundbreaking Study-Consumers’ Attitudes Towards Oil & Gas

To win the battle to retain customers with oil, you need to better understand what will keep them with you. This spring, Warm Thoughts Communications, LLC. undertook the largest oil heat market research effort in over a decade on behalf of several oil heat associations. They will share their critical insight and findings and the implications to fight this battle going forward.

Presented by Ken Reese, Warm Thoughts Communications & Chris Herb, CEMA

NEFI Service Technician Workshops

June 10 & 11, Presented by Wesson Energy and The School for Energy Efficiency

What is the Whole House Approach…and Why Should I Care?

Wed. 6/10 @ 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Every day service technicians work at multiple residences and use a blend of their technical skills and communication skills, to provide a technical product to the customer. Clearly, some are better than others at the communication part, but historically, that technical capability is what wins over the customer who learns to trust that technician and become loyal to their company. The costly aspect of heating one’s home, the concern for the environment and the desire for a healthy, comfortable home, has positioned the service technician as an energy expert with the customer. However, the actual training of a technician (what is required to be licensed) no longer goes far enough to be a real “energy expert” to your customer. The science of treating a home as a whole system and understanding the impacts of each system (heating, ventilation, insulation, air leakage and yes, even people) upon each other can no longer be just in the domain of utility programs or government programs. The HVAC industry should understand the whole house approach and integrate it into their everyday business model.

Today’s Ductless Heat Pumps

Wed. 6/10 @ 10:15 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

The technology used today on ductless heat pumps, are making them more adaptable to more home layouts and operate so efficiently, their energy costs aren’t scary! Learn how this new technology is making many homeowners turn to the ductless heat pump to heat and cool their entire homes or just one room. Don’t need the heat? Just want AC, these units can do that also. Learn how the technology makes this units think for themselves, run quietly and are easy to install. Customers love them, learn why so you can have that conversation with your customers.

Home Automation from the Technician’s Perspective

Thur. 6/11 @ 8:30 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

How many customers are asking you about Nest™ thermostats? How many customers don’t understand how Wi-Fi works with the thermostat or their refrigerator? How many technicians aren’t even sure how it all comes together? Learn how all this home automation works separately and together. What are the benefits to an energy company when a customer has a wireless thermostat? Learn what a service technician needs to know about these new systems and how they impact customer desire to stay on top of all the latest technology. The service technician will continue to be a reliable source of help and information to our customers, only if you stay current on technology.

Biofuels Made from Wood?

Thur. 6/11 @ 9:30 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

This session will be presented by Brookhaven National Laboratory & NORA

Brookhaven National Laboratory and NORA have been working to evaluate novel fuels made from wood and other cellulosic material (grocery waste, grass clippings, etc.) to see if they could be used in heating oil appliances and what needs to be done to the fuel and to the equipment to make this a potential reality. Finding novel sources and alternative ways of making fuels is vital in responding to global warming concerns. Dr. Butcher will describe the activities in this area, the fuel, and its potential changes, and seek your input on what needs to be done to bring this fuel into the market.

What the Service Call of Tomorrow Will Look Like…

Thur. 6/11 @ 10:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.

With biofuel now a part of every gallon of oil our customers get, you can expect some changes in what your next service call will entail. Customers have high expectations that their oil fuel is going to be more efficient, cleaner for the environment and easy on their heating system. And lower sulfur fuel is delivering that. What is the effect on the heating system? What is the effect on how the service technician will approach the service call and most importantly, what new services will you need to offer to stay competitive and on top of customer demands?

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