Genie Energy, Ltd., was founded by Howard Jonas, Genie’s Chairman, in 2004. The company is headquartered in Newark, New Jersey and is led by its CEO, Michael Stein.
Genie’s principal businesses provide electricity and natural gas to residential and business customers through its portfolio of energy suppliers. These suppliers successfully compete against public utilities and their affiliates by offering a diverse portfolio of services to meet the diverse needs of their customers. The company’s advisory and brokerage business supplies larger commercial/industrial customers and municipalities. The offering includes traditional supply and environmentally friendly green electricity and carbon offset natural gas. Genie’s solar businesses provide traditional rooftop and community solar supply options including projects featuring cutting-edge bi-facial solar panels. Suites of essential home and business solutions such as security and monitoring, automation, high-speed data, wireless phone and connectivity, satellite services and more are also available.
“The best ideas typically come from those who examine old problems from a new perspective.”
An innovation driver
Sustainable solutions are always top of mind for Genie Energy. Today, Genie companies serve over 525,000 residential customers, and tens of thousands of businesses across the globe. In addition, they provide Solar power to thousands of customers throughout the US and Scandinavia. In all, over 50% of Genie customers’ consumption rely on Solar electricity generation or have their usage backed by Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) or Carbon Offset natural gas. In addition, the company provides solar power to thousands of customers throughout the US and Scandinavia. “Our commitment to consumer choice and ability to tailor solutions to meet the unique preferences and requirements of our customers is our USP across our channels and markets,” says Stein.
Genie recently launched “Petrocycle,” an Israel-based oil recycling company which has developed a unique and proprietary process to clean and purify used motor oil. The process cleanses the oil of its accumulated impurities, including sulphur, without ‘hydrotreating’. Hydrotreating is an inefficient and expensive process that until now, has been the standard for recycling oil worldwide. Petrocycle expects to begin recycling hundreds of thousands of liters of used oil per month beginning this September with the ambitious goal of reducing the world’s dependence on new oil exploration and production.
With Genie supply companies already actively supplying electricity in many municipalities throughout IL, NJ and MA as part of state run aggregation programs, Genie’s energy advisory companies are also developing new ways for large consumers to reduce their energy bills. Recently, a large county in New York asked Genie whether there was any way it could help to reduce the high energy costs incurred by its municipal buildings. “Typically, a county will simply issue an RFP inviting suppliers to bid on their energy consumption, following the familiar aggregation model,” shares Stein. “Given the size, and the municipalities’ risk profile, our team recognized that there was an opportunity to do something extraordinary with a more creative approach. We worked with the County’s municipal stakeholders over many months to provide them with direct access to the wholesale markets for their supply. This access allowed them to generate substantial savings by cutting out the “middleman” supplier. We also designed a risk management program that minimizes their exposure to the inherent volatility of the wholesale market.”
Genie Energy-Where talent meets opportunity
Genie Energy’s corporate culture provides robust opportunities for its employees to innovate and create, while adhering to a rigorous code of business ethics and transparency. Genie strives to create and foster a work environment where everyone feels challenged and satisfied at the end of the day. The company encourages employees to develop new skills and expand their expertise to areas that suit their interests. The Company’s emphasis on continuous innovation and efficiency encourages all to share ideas, with an assurance that their input will be appreciated and rewarded. “The best ideas typically come from those who examine old problems from a new perspective. By encouraging creativity and blue-sky thinking, we work to achieve an environment where everyone thinks about and can suggest innovations in areas outside their span of responsibility,” remarks Stein. “We have our eyes and ears open and encourage our downline managers to operate similarly.”
“Moreover, we encourage our people to take creative risks and support them with the appropriate input, guidance, and support,” emphasizes Stein. “We want people walking around thinking, ‘Wow, Genie is full of new ideas and innovation! I can make anything happen here, and I can be a part of it.”
Genie recognizes the extraordinary contributions made by those who have served the country’s armed forces or who must overcome disabilities through its “Veterans and Special Needs Program.” The program incentivizes Genie’s sales and business development partners to offer robust incentives for veterans and individuals with special needs in their employ.
“Our management team constantly reminds our colleagues, and vice versa, that if the goal is not lofty it is probably not worth pursuing.”
The COVID-19 pandemic has challenged our conventional operating systems and methods, and pushed us to innovate processes enabling our colleagues to work more effectively. New collaborative tools not only enable us to work outside the office, but they have also allowed us the opportunity to forge closer connections with our current customers and in particular our commercial prospects. “The coronavirus pandemic has provided our industry with an interesting opportunity to adapt and innovate – and that’s a challenge we love,” says Stein. “In response, we have further diversified our product set and sales channels.”
After the onset of the pandemic, Genie introduced a portfolio of well-recognized essential home and business services like security/monitoring, broadband internet, streaming services, satellite TV, and wireless offerings for its residential customers. As a significant portion of America’s labor force transitioned to work-from-home, these connected services became top-of-mind for upgrades and improvement. Genie leveraged its considerable buying power to negotiate terms helping many of these workers upgrade these essential home-based services while reducing costs.
This spring, Genie also began offering access to community solar projects in New York State. Community solar solutions can provide residential and business owners, AND renters, significant savings — around 10-20% — on their monthly electric bills, which is especially important when so many are struggling with reduced employment. Best of all, the savings come without the need for investment and financing of traditional programs to build, install and maintain solar arrays at the customer’s premise, since the arrays are built to serve the needs of entire communities from remote but nearby locations. Community solar also strengthens local economies by creating local jobs.
“In addition, commercial customers of all sizes can take advantage of services provided by our sister companies offering point-of-sale services, affordable payment processing, and even international money transfer,” shares Stein. “The bottom line is that Genie Energy products and services work well at home, and can be taken to work with you too…!”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, many energy supply firms are struggling with old business models that are either less productive or which no longer function at all. Genie, on the other hand, has confronted the challenge head-on and is better serving its customers and expanding its business. “Our management team constantly reminds our colleagues, and vice versa, that if the goal is not lofty it is probably not worth pursuing,” says Stein.
Genie strives to make philanthropy and community involvement a core part of the company culture. Outside of the office, the company supports organizations that contribute to the community and encourages its employees to do the same. In fact, three Genie employees including CEO Michael Stein volunteer their personal time as EMTs for ambulance corps in their neighborhoods, and have each personally answered hundreds of calls during the pandemic. Our ranks also include foster parents, youth mentors and leaders in local houses of worship. As a company, Genie supports food pantries, healthcare organizations, and at-risk youth programs with direct cash support. Through personal and corporate initiatives alike, Genie is giving back to communities as it becomes a leader in the worldwide renewable energy supply space.