A Conversation with Vermont Contractor John Carter

We recently sat down with John Carter, owner and operator of Arctic Air, to ask him a few questions.

How long have you been in the business, and what led you here?

JC: I actually started off with a degree in culinary arts, and through working in restaurants realized there was a huge demand for skilled refrigeration contractors. Seeing an opportunity there, I went back to school, learned refrigeration, and I’ve been in the field thirteen years now. I’ve had my own business about six years.

When someone calls you with a broken freezer and you can fix it, you’ve just saved their day. And when you do renovation projects, it’s great to see how happy it makes people. They’re saving money, the equipment works better, their sales often go up... It just makes people really happy and I find that personally rewarding. I know my employees feel the same.

What’s the secret to your success?

JC: Honestly? It’s nothing technical, and it’s certainly not a secret. It’s that I make things easy for my customers, by managing the project for them and letting them know about the Efficiency Vermont incentives that are available. This can help close a project.  If finances are tight, we can float them the amount until the job is done, so instead of a rebate it’s a discount. And if they need financing, there’s a financing company we often work with, and I’ll help them with that as well.

Projects come with paperwork, and I do it for them. I download Efficiency Vermont rebate forms, fill them out, get their signatures, and then I mail it in for them, so they don’t have to.

How does Efficiency Vermont factor into the work you do?

JC: Efficiency Vermont accounts for probably 90% of my business. Their rebates make refrigeration upgrades affordable. A lot of the businesses we work with couldn’t replace old, inefficient equipment without them. And they certainly couldn’t install the energy-efficient high-performance components that Efficiency Vermont provides rebates for. 

But beyond that, Efficiency Vermont has technical expertise that we rely on. I know I can trust their recommendations and rebate estimates, and my customers can trust it, too. We don’t have to do all the homework looking into the energy efficiency of various products, because they’ve already done it. Efficiency Vermont doesn’t have an agenda other than making sure people save energy. I know that, and my customers know it.

Anything else you’d like to add?

JC: Just this: contractors can make things easy for their customers. People hate paperwork. At this point, I know Efficiency Vermont’s rebates by heart. It’s no big deal for me to fill out a form, and it makes all the difference in the world. The more you can do for a customer, the more they’re able to do with you, and the happier they’ll be.

John Carter is the owner and operator of Arctic Air Refrigeration, a commercial refrigeration contracting company that operates across northern Vermont.

Making Vermont more energy efficient is a collaborative effort, and would not be possible without a strong network of independent contractors. In 2014, Efficiency Vermont created the Efficiency Excellence Network in order to better support and encourage Vermont contractors to provide energy-efficient solutions in the field. There are currently 132 member contractors, including Arctic Air Refrigeration out of Newport, Vermont. Interested in becoming a part of Efficiency Vermont’s Efficiency Excellence Network? Visit the Efficiency Excellence Network page to learn more about the participation requirements and to register for upcoming contractor trainings.