Russ: This is PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Russ Capper, this week’s guest host, and I’m coming to you from the Gulf Coast Regional Family Forum. I’m very pleased to have as my guest now, Richard Gruber, Co-founder and Chief Commercial Officer of MERIT SI. Richard, welcome to the show.

Richard: Thank you, Russ.

Russ: You bet. Tell us about MERIT SI.

Richard: MERIT SI is a two-year-old firm headquartered in Houston. Our focus is developing renewable strategies and solutions for energy, water and chemical companies to help them drive lower costs, reduce their emissions and improve their overall stakeholder awareness.

Russ: Ok. So, renewables, are we talking about solar and wind?

Richard: Principally, solar and solar with battery storage, and typically with advanced controls. And located at their points of demand for these companies, so where they consume it is where we site it.


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Russ: This is the PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook. I’m Russ Capper. This week’s guest host, and I’m coming to you from the Gulf Coast Regional Family Forum. I’m very pleased to have as my guest, Jason Ballard, co-founder and President of TreeHouse. Jason, welcome to the show.

Jason: Happy to be here.

Russ: Tell us about TreeHouse.

Jason: TreeHouse is a home upgrade company focused on helping homeowners make their homes better; whether it comes to design, the way the home looks and feels, or performance, the way it uses energy and creates comfort or the outdoor landscape. The real underlying mission of the company is around health and sustainability, both for people and the natural world.

Russ: How old is the company?

Jason: Seven years old.

Russ: So, if you look at that, you know, landscaping outside, or making the home sustainable, or energy, how would you divide those up as far as how much business you do in those categories?

Jason: It tends to be really evenly split across the company. We tend to do about half of our business around design. So, kitchen remodels, helping expecting parents repaint a nursery, these kinds of things. Then, about half of our business is performance related. So, whether it’s like, I’m a card carrying member of the Sierra Club and I want to put solar energy on my house, or my energy bills are killing me and I want to put solar energy on my house, or I just want to make and investment in my home and so I’m going to do some insulation and some smart home stuff. The business tends to be really diversified in that way, kind of half and half.


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Russ:  This is PKF Texas Entrepreneur’s Playbook, I’m Russ Capper, this week’s guest host, and I’m coming to you from the Gulf Coast Regional Family Forum.  And I’m with John Berger, Co-founder and CEO of Sunnova Energy Corporation; John welcome to the Playbook.

John:  Thank you Russ, nice to be here.

Russ:  You bet.  Tell us about Sunnova.

John:  Sunnova Energy is a residential solar and storage service company.  We operate from near Japan and Guam, Saipan all the way through California, Texas to Puerto Rico and all the way up far north as Massachusetts.  What we do through a network of locally owned businesses, dealers and contractors is they’ll go out and source customers on our behalf and sign them up to our service and then install our equipment per our specifications on the customers’ homes, and then we provide for those customers for 25+ years cheaper power, cleaner power obviously with solar onsite, and increasingly – and just recently – a better service with storage, with batteries.  Onsite they’re working with the solar system and then have more complex IT systems and such so in effect we’re creating wireless power.

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