Long-time Green Mountain employees reflect on 17-year anniversary

Green Mountain Energy Staff

Happy anniversary, Green Mountain customers! This month marks 17 years since we began offering renewable energy.

VIDEO: Our Story

In August 1997, Green Mountain Energy Resources, L.L.C. set up shop to bring renewable energy to our customers far and wide. Our headquarters were in Burlington, VT, in an old airplane hangar across the street from the Magic Hat Brewery.

Holtz Family
John Holtz and his kindergarten-age daughter
Bethany at the opening celebration of the
Green Mountain Energy Wind Farm in
Garrett, PA, in May 2000. She’s now a
20-year-old college junior, and her dad
still keeps this photo on his GMEC desk.

We’re proud to be the nation’s longest-serving renewable energy retailer, and we remain committed to our original mission to use the power of consumer choice to change the way power is made.

Currently, we serve residential and commercial customers in states across the U.S., including Texas, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Maryland and even Oregon via our partnership with Portland General Electric.

Our longest-tenured employee, John Holtz, joined Green Mountain on Nov. 9, 1998, as a Government Policy Advocate to help us open the Mid-Atlantic region to retail energy competition.

“When I told work colleagues, family and friends I was joining Green Mountain Energy Resources, the typical reaction was along the lines of, ‘You’re going to work for a bunch of flannel-shirted, sandal-footed tree-huggers selling green power?!! Holtz, you’ll be looking for a job in three months.’ Well, 17 years later, I’m still drawing a paycheck from Green Mountain Energy Company . . . and by the way, we wear socks now.”

He now manages government and regulatory affairs for Green Mountain, but he recalls a time when job titles mattered little.

“At one point (in the early years), we each took weekly shifts as Customer Care reps answering calls in the evening, when we grew more customers faster than expected. The only silos back then were on a corn farm.”

Holtz credits his coworkers for their resiliency in making renewable energy a mainstream choice.

“No one knew about using green power for their homes and workplaces (in 1998), nobody gave us much odds of surviving, the mighty utilities tried to squash us,” he said. “Today, everyone – from the folks in the house on the corner to the White House – talk about wind power, solar power, green energy, sustainability, and energy independence. We started it!”

Rob Bevill, who started with Green Mountain in February 2000 at our office in South Burlington, began as a Customer Care Specialist taking escalated calls from California and Pennsylvania customers. He now is Director of Operations in the government and regulatory affairs department.

This 17-year milestone is meaningful to Bevill because of the adversity he witnessed the company overcome. In 2000, market conditions in California and Pennsylvania had Green Mountain on the brink of closing its doors.

“We had to completely start over,” he said. “When we relocated from Vermont to Texas (in July 2000), there were only about 15 employees that decided to remain with the company and move down to Austin. The remaining employees’ tenacious perseverance, combined with the well-designed Texas competitive energy market, and the rising tide of public awareness and support for renewable energy, saved Green Mountain.”

We’ll always be grateful to our customers for the vital role you’ve played in our success. Thank you for believing in our mission. We look forward to many more years of serving you with 100 percent clean energy!