Power Moves Profile: Bases Covered
When an opportunity arrived for Julie Serletic to join the Power Moves® team, she leapt at the chance.
She already knew quite a bit about the program – she taught some of the training necessary to kick-off the program.
Serletic is the project specialist for Franklin Energy, an energy efficiency program coordinator for more than 60 utility and government organizations in the U.S. and Canada. Franklin Energy processes Power Moves rebate applications for businesses served by the 23 electric distribution cooperatives that receive their wholesale energy from Wabash Valley Power Alliance. The Power Moves program offers a variety of prescriptive rebates for energy efficiency upgrades; the Power Moves team can even work with businesses on custom rebates for unique energy systems and needs, such as for manufacturing or data centers.
“I love talking with people from different businesses receiving rebates and learning all of the different things going on, especially with the agricultural systems that qualify for rebates,” Serletic said. “I learn a lot about what is going on and what is coming in the future.”
Serletic, a diehard Chicago White Sox fan who is based out of Northwest Indiana, worked in multiple customer service roles before joining Franklin Energy in 2012. She worked on energy efficiency programs offered by other utilities, which gave her the experience to help with the needed training to help Franklin Energy colleagues to begin processing Power Moves commercial and industrial rebate applications.
The Power Moves team receives applications from businesses in virtually every industry, including biomedical labs, logistics facilities, churches, schools, farms and even a dinner theater. The three-person team processes rebates for a variety of heating and cooling system upgrades, such as geothermal systems; lighting upgrades, including LEDs; and even variable frequency drives, which control the flow of electricity flow to only that which is needed for large equipment to minimize energy use.
“The main thing for me when I got into this field was just learning about it,” Serletic said. “You always want to help people. When you don’t know the answer, you have to find the answer.”
Serletic also learned about electric cooperatives through working with the Power Moves program. Electric cooperatives were created by and are locally owned by the members and businesses they serve. Each co-op’s board of directors is elected during annual meetings, and profits – or the cooperative’s margins – are frequently returned to the co-op’s members as financial conditions allow.
“When something happens, or if there are questions about an application, I go to the co-op first before I contact applicants,” Serletic said. “A lot of times, the co-ops will know their member’s situation. It’s very personal, and a lot of the energy advisors who I contact know their co-op’s members very well.”
She’s even connected with rebate recipients. She has toured facilities and businesses to see some of the systems that earned Power Moves rebates. In one instance, the family of one applicant with a medical office contacted her with multiple questions while applying for a rebate. In the process, he developed a rapport with several members of the Power Moves team.
“He knows us. He invited us out to his office and wanted to show us the project when it was done,” Serletic said. “It was a lot of fun. I love the customer service aspect of my job.”