We're environmentalists, gardeners and ecologists, by nature. But living in a series of cold, drafty houses got us thinking: Others probably were, too. Now we help home and business owners make their buildings a lot more comfortable and much more energy efficient. We serve communities in and around Tompkins County, NY including Ithaca, Dryden, Trumansburg, Danby, and Watkins Glen.
It's simple. Reduce building energy use and improve comfort in ways that make sense for our customers and the planet. That's it, but there are some core values that drive us:
Dazzle our customers. We seek to delight customers not just with the technical quality of our work but with their entire experience, from initial contact to installation to life in a transformed home. We want every customer to recommend us enthusiastically to their friends and family.
Do it right. We seek to meet (and, when we can, to set) the highest standards of workmanship, installing quality materials so that they perform well for decades to come.
Take care of the planet. We seek not only to reduce energy use but to specify environmentally benign products, minimize waste, and extend the useful life of buildings. As a Tompkins County certified Rebusiness Partner, we are committed to minimizing business and construction waste.
Take care of our people. We seek to develop and retain highly trained and purpose-driven professionals in all positions in our company by providing a safe, fun and rewarding work environment. We are a Living Wage Employer certified by the Tompkins County Workers' Center, and we provide on-going training, health insurance and retirement benefits to our employees.
Never stop learning. We invest in training and research to keep our company at the forefront of the industry. We measure our results and incorporate feedback to continuously improve our operations. We are members of the Ithaca Green Building Alliance, local Chambers of Commerce, and the Sustainable Enterprise and Entrepreneur Network.
We are qualified.
Snug Planet is accredited by BPI.
As certified Building Performance Institute (BPI) Building Analysts, we are trained in BPI's rigorous house-as-a-system approach and keep conscientiously up-to-date on certification. We are certified to conduct blower door tests, combustion appliance inspection and repair, air quality testing including carbon monoxide detection, duct testing and airflow testing in addition to our other contracting services. For more information about BPI's standards, see their Technical Standards for Building Analysts (PDF). All of our energy audits are done by BPI-certified building analysts, and our contracting work reflects the latest knowledge and advances in building science.
We are an ENERGY STAR Partner.
Home Performance with ENERGY STAR® is focused exclusively on upgrading the energy efficiency of existing homes, and Snug Planet is proud to partner with ENERGY STAR. Snug Planet is a BPI Accredited Contractor and an EPA Lead-Safe Certified Firm.
Who We Are
The Snug team is a small, highly-trained group of home performance professionals. We focus on customer satisfaction and keeping our staff trained, certified and educated on the latest in home performance. We are a locally-owned business that depends on your good word for our next job.
Originally trained as an ecologist, Jon got hooked on energy efficiency in 2000 — and he has worked as an energy auditor, installer, and trainer ever since. In 2006, Jon founded Snug Planet with the vision of a company centered around technical excellence and exemplary customer service. Jon holds multiple certifications from the Building Performance Institute and his articles on energy efficiency and green building have appeared in Home Energy Magazine and several local newspapers. When not at work, Jon enjoys bicycling, reading and exploring natural areas with Elisabeth and their sons.
Elisabeth, a self-described knitting nerd, is the voice of Snug Planet! Her passion for saving energy and her background as an educator make her the ideal person to talk to when you call. Because she loves to connect with people, you know that Elisabeth will help you through your project in a friendly way. "Having an energy audit is the beginning of a relationship with Snug," says Elisabeth. "Working with homeowners is better than working for them."
Garrett, originally from Dryden, does not rest. He splits his time between Snug and The Good Life Farm as its resident orchardist, teamster & infrastructure guru. His farming background includes time at North Carolina’s Turtle Island Preserve and Mark Shepard’s New Forest Farm in Viola, Wisconsin.
Blake brings a degree in physics, a background in building science, and strong project management skills to Snug. A former Peace Corps Volunteer and educator for the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum, Blake now calls Trumansburg home. As one of Snug's auditors, Blake lives by certain maxims: "Different things are important to different people," "Read the instructions," and "Clean things work better."
James, probably our most eco-minded Snug, lives completely off the grid in an earth-sheltered home, on a homestead surrounded by state forest. He, his wife and two daughters keep a cow, goats, chickens, and ducks, and cultivate vegetables, flowers, and fruit. When not milking his cow, his passions include energy efficiency and automobile fuel economy, and he routinely gets 55 MPG in his non-hybrid internal-combustion Honda Civic.
Jake has a degree in conservation biology from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, and his family owns Red Dog Farm in Moravia, where they raise grass-fed, certified Angus beef as well as all-natural pastured poultry and hay. A former lead guitarist with a touring heavy metal band, Jake is a whiskey aficionado, sci-fi fan, and trout hunter.
Meg believes that if we all wrap up in handspun woolens we can reduce our reliance on fossil fuels, so she tends her flock of Icelandic sheep at Wolftree Farm (along with chickens, bees, flowers, herbs and blueberries) and teaches knitting classes to Elisabeth and others. Prior to farming, Meg was an environmental educator in New Hampshire's White Mountains and an educator/deckhand on a Delaware Bay oyster schooner. Her favorite place to be is outside, watching her bees gather nectar and pollen from the succession of blooms around the farm.
Currenly on sabbatical through-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, Phil has worked in the home performance field since 2008 as an installer and energy auditor. He's a BPI certified Building Analyst and Heating Professional, with a degree in Sociology and Anthropology from West Virginia University. Previously a Park Ranger in Canyonlands National Park, Phil loves spending time in the woods hiking, snowshoeing and backpacking. Follow his journey on his blog!
A graduate of SUNY Potsdam (elementary education, mathematics, and a master's in elementary education), Maria's been homeschooling her children here for the last ten years. She has taught many age groups in public school, Montessori school and at the Northern Light Learning Center. Maria is detail-oriented, a good communicator and enjoys being organized and thorough, which contributes to her wicked-sharp administrative skills and her favorite hobby, knitting. Together with Elisabeth and Meg, Maria will knit the world to a better place.
Raised in DeRuyter, NY, Myron grew up dairy farming and developed an affinity for the environment at a young age. He studied Environmental Science, became a Naturalist, and has extensive experience with graze dairy farming, commercial landscaping & construction, and many trades. He’s a lifetime hunter, fisherman, and at-home chef with a dream of one day having his own sustainable restaurant, but in the meantime he plays guitar & Frisbee with his dog and visits National Parks. (Yellowstone and Acadia are his favorites.)
Mary Kate Wheeler
After double-majoring in Environmental Studies and Architecture & Urban Studies, Mary Kate worked as an installer for Snug before embarking on a series of adventures through Central America, Vermont and Washington. Her passion for connecting people to place has led her to work as an environmental educator, farmer and community organizer. Now back in the Finger Lakes, she can paddle her homemade kayak to her heart's content. Stop by the Snug office and you may be greeted by Albert, Mary Kate's big-eared canine companion.
Jacob is a graduate of Morrisville State College’s Renewable Energy Technology program, where he studied energy efficiency, solar PV, solar thermal, wind energy, micro-hydro and bio-fuels. He then went on to work as a PV and solar thermal installer for a local Ithaca company and has participated in small wind turbine installations. Prior to his work in the energy field he worked in many aspects of construction, while earning a Bachelor of Arts in English from Buffalo State College.
Sarah is an Environmental Science graduate from Ithaca College where she did research on the wetland remediation site that IC built, was involved with Gardens 4 Humanity and played on the varsity lacrosse team. If you have young children you may recognize Sarah from the Sciencenter, where she greeted you on the way in, delivered a science program or sold you a membership. Now she's happy to have found a practical and accessible way to make positive change, both for the planet and for the people who want a more comfortable, safer home. When not at Snug, Sarah is hard at work having the most fun possible. Every free moment is spent enjoying Ithaca, including hiking, softball, zumba, theater, live music, snowboarding...you name it and she’s probably doing it this week.
Born in Burma, Wailin came to the US when he was 16. His first stop was Iowa, but that only lasted 3 months because in Ithaca, he found a strong Asian community and the BOCES carpentry program. He has studied European masonry techniques in the Netherlands, speaks three languages (Burmese, Thai and English), likes to work on homes, and is saving up to go back home to Burma, build a general store, and live above it.