Community//

Scott Milne of National Energy Technologies: “Consumers seem to desire more for less”

Retail stores large and small have similar concerns attracting in-store shoppers during this pandemic. Retail operations must consider all basic safety strategies such as the temporary modification or elimination of the return policy. They should have a convenient disinfection wipe station for cart handles and most are requiring face masks to be worn. Some stores […]

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

Retail stores large and small have similar concerns attracting in-store shoppers during this pandemic. Retail operations must consider all basic safety strategies such as the temporary modification or elimination of the return policy. They should have a convenient disinfection wipe station for cart handles and most are requiring face masks to be worn. Some stores are limiting hours to allow staff more rest but busy stores should increase hours and offer special shopping hours for older or immune-deficient shoppers. Certain retailers might benefit from full-blown daily sidewalk sales, Can you put a taste of your merchandise outside and have staff return inside to retrieve additional colors or sizes. Most importantly retailers of all sizes can list their merchandise on their website and then deliver purchases touchless to the trunk.


As part of our series about the future of retail, I had the pleasure of interviewing Scott Milne, sole owner and operator of Rocky Mountain Efficiency Group AKA National Energy Technologies LLC; as well as ACI the Mexican Branch Corporation. He is certified by three of the Nation’s leading authorities of building efficiency inspection; BPI, RESNET, LEED, and was certified by NORMI (National Organization of Remediators and Mold Inspectors). Scott has served as, an air quality consultant, successful solar consultant, energy auditor and an energy technologist. He is knowledgeable on all aspects of facility maintenance, safety and efficiency. He is the editor of the popular “Efficiency Matters” newsletter and blog, and the Founder of the Denver Lodging Engineers Association. Scott sits on the board of Friends of Red Rocks Park and Amphitheater. He believes that it was his many summers as a Ocean City NJ Lifeguard that has inspired his desire to help others in harm’s way. Scott is also a skilled public speaker and educator. He has been featured as a key-note speaker in large paid events and has organized public Virus Defense Webinars, Podcasts and Conservation Expos.


Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to learn a bit more about you. Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

It was two motivating factors that inspired me to become a Facility Efficiency Consultant over a decade ago. The first would be my concern over global warming, as I realize that commercial, manufacturing, and government facilities are sucking up about 1/3 of our nation’s energy. In every large facility, there is ample opportunity for efficiency and public facilities are also the key to the electric car industry. One of my efficiency passions is safety and advanced air purification for interior space. I was inspired to pursue safety and air purification because I am from Philadelphia, the home to the birth of the legionella syndrome that killed 34 of our nation’s WWII hero’s. Caused by improper air conditioning system water chemistry, the solution is understanding and prevention. That facility was on my client list, and I am determined that mistakes that that and crisis like COVID-19 don’t harm the individuals that visit public buildings. Perhaps it was my 5 years as a lifeguard on the NJ shore that has instilled in me concern over the preventable loss of life.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career?

Over 3 years ago my company developed a customer service product for hotels. Called The Elite Room, it incorporated disinfection, insect infestation bedding, and multiple other spa-like amenities. The system came along with a customer service training program for staff and taught them to use this 19 dollars product as a giveaway to dissatisfied guests. Done properly, this would normally prevent any negative online reviews. How could I have predicted that this simple idea is the perfect solution for a struggling travel industry? Our patented 10 step guest room assurance upgrade will provide safe, hypoallergenic hotel rooms to weary travelers nationwide. Elite-Room.com

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson or takeaway you learned from that?

I was doing a lighting audit for a 47 story high-rise hotel. It had 4 stairwells in which I start at the top and count as I run down the stairs. Around and around I went with my clicker in hand, attempting to count and identify every fixture. How embarrassed was I when I got so dizzy that I had to go screaming to the nearest men’s room?

When the engineer awarded me the job he rewarded me with a pack of Dramamine.

Are you working on any new exciting projects now? How do you think that might help people?

In my observation of our nation’s response to the Covid-19 crisis. It was obvious early on that no one was educating the public on proper indoor virus defense. Yes, masks and hand washing are important but why wasn’t the media, CDC, or FDA talking about common methods that professionals were using already to sanitize drinking water, laundry, and air. So I wrote a book, called Win the War on COVID-19, Virus Defense Strategies for home and business. This information can and will save many lives and much suffering from SARS COV-2. The book describes business re-opening strategy and the equipment already available to reduce contagion. Since I am also aware that finding contagion reduction equipment is not easy in this time of crisis, I have established a new website where consumers can find UVC, negative ionization, photocatalytic oxidation (PCO), and ozone air and surface sanitation equipment. www.VirusDepot.com

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Any self-driven professional runs the risk of burnout. Firstly, they must enjoy what they are doing, it will lite their fire for their entire career. It also helps a great deal to remain focused on the good that your endeavors can bring to others. Remain focused on solving problems to help others. My two battles are easy, I work lake at night trying to save people from suffering from Covid-19 and Climate Change, our greatest planetary threat.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person to whom you are grateful, who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

I was a practicing home energy auditor before the solar incentives were created in my state. I had my sights set on helping larger commercial customers for larger pollution reductions. It was my mentor that introduced me to a few very powerful retrofit efficiency strategies that very few energy auditors or facility operators were even familiar with. I built a business around these powerful water and energy reduction methods and was determined to travel the nation teaching others. It is my mentor that taught me about the powerful disinfection ability of controlled natural ozone and interest in reducing harmful virus.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I have worked very hard to help educate others about the dangers of climate change and the benefit of pollution reduction. Now my mission has changed to something more urgent, virus defense, and the power of ozone. I serve on the board of a large all-volunteer non-profit to assist in the operation and preservation of the amazing and historic Red Rocks Amphitheater and Park. I adore this role and have met many great friends. I also help with my community trash pickup several times a year. It is a humbling and heartwarming feeling to know that you played a role in helping to clean the trash from your entire small mountain town.

Ok super. Now let’s jump to the main questions of our interview. This Pandemic has changed many aspects of all of our lives. One of them is the fact that so many of us have gotten used to shopping almost exclusively online. Can you share five examples of different ideas that large retail outlets are implementing to adapt to the new realities created by the Pandemic?

Retail stores large and small have similar concerns attracting in-store shoppers during this pandemic. Retail operations must consider all basic safety strategies such as the temporary modification or elimination of the return policy. They should have a convenient disinfection wipe station for cart handles and most are requiring face masks to be worn. Some stores are limiting hours to allow staff more rest but busy stores should increase hours and offer special shopping hours for older or immune-deficient shoppers. Certain retailers might benefit from full-blown daily sidewalk sales, Can you put a taste of your merchandise outside and have staff return inside to retrieve additional colors or sizes. Most importantly retailers of all sizes can list their merchandise on their website and then deliver purchases touchless to the trunk.

In your opinion, will retail stores or malls continue to exist? How would you articulate the role of physical retail spaces at a time when online commerce platforms like Amazon Prime or Instacart can deliver the same day or the next day?

Although online platforms can deliver quickly, instant is better. You can touch see and try the item for size, you can ask questions and compare to other available options. You can interact and build a relationship with a real person who at least pretends to have your best interest in mind. Some products and services lend themselves to personal interactions and some much less. It is my opinion that malls and shopping centers will also need some reinvention they will serve an important role after this pandemic, socialization. The need and desire for socialization are likely to explode when people feel safe again. Can shopping centers install features that will excite guests, elevate the fun and enable socialization? You may see inside malls removing walls and installing massive opening windows in an attempt to bring the outside in.

The so-called “Retail Apocalypse” has been going on for about a decade. While many retailers are struggling, some retailers, like Lululemon, Kroger, and Costco are quite profitable. Can you share a few lessons that other retailers can learn from the success of profitable retailers?

Consumers seem to desire more for less, coupled with convenience is a winning combination. This is why you now see food stores at Walmart and Target. Online options for food and perishables do not seem practical for most.

Amazon is going to exert pressure on all of retail for the foreseeable future. New Direct-To-Consumer companies based in China are emerging that offer prices that are much cheaper than US and European brands. What would you advise to retail companies and e-commerce companies, for them to be successful in the face of such strong competition?

The Chinese On-line retailers will continue to struggle with shipping times and prices, American companies must do better. The Asian companies are just not able to provide the support, product comparisons, or customer service of a US retailer. Us consumers are coming to expect an inferior product if ordered from less expensive Chinese suppliers and forget about returns.

Thank you for all of that. We are nearly done. Here is our final ‘meaty’ question. You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

My long term ambition is that we could all be on board to reduce global warming, but right now we have a crisis on our hands. My book describes the important disinfection ability of ozone, although the FDA has not yet studied Ozone’s effect on COVID-19. It has proven highly effective on other viruses like HIV, Ebola, Mersa, and SARS. I also outline a study from a hospital in Madrid Spain that utilized 600 units of Ozonated saline solution on 87 severe COVID-19 patients. It immediately began to help patients and within 10 days all patients were released well. It needs to be studied carefully here by our Universities because it cannot be made into a pill the pharmaceutical industry may have little interest.

How can our readers further follow your work?

Everyone needs to understand the safety concepts in my book. They can also find my social links or could subscribe to my newsletter www.RMEfficiency.com

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!


Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Community//

Stefan Hauswiesner of Reactive Reality: “Interactive and fun”

by Fotis Georgiadis
Community//

The Future of Retail Over The Next Five Years: “Delivery on your terms” With Anees Haidri of Zebra Technologies

by Fotis Georgiadis
Community//

Kate LaBrosse: “Brands also have a huge responsibility in this”

by Orlando Zayas
We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.