Roberto Martínez, certified mechanic and founder of El Mofles de Hillsboro.
When Roberto Martínez opened his mechanic shop in Hillsboro, he had one specific service in mind. To offer his customers an environmentally friendly business that installed new catalytic converters and mufflers, performed maintenance and Department of Environmental Quality vehicle emission tests.
Martínez, who is of Mexican origin, became a certified mechanic from the Los Angeles Institute of Technology. Martinez opened El Mofles de Hillsboro in 2001. Hillsboro, which has a large population of Latinos, welcomed his business with open arms.
Business at El Mofles grew quickly, as customers—many of whom prefer to support Latinx businesses—appreciate the service and care that Martínez delivered.
“Although there were shops here before, they didn’t have communication with Latinos,” said Martínez. El Mofles de Hillsboro quickly established itself as one of the main exhaust specialists in the community.
As a small business owner, Martínez looked for opportunities to reduce his energy costs. “Most of us are overwhelmed by the price of energy consumption,” said Martínez. “For as long as I can remember, my family has said, ‘turn off a light and save a little.’”
For Martínez, it started with an email he had received from Portland General Electric last winter. “I received an email inviting me to get $50 for completing a walk-through survey,” Martínez said. A few days later “An energy specialist showed up and gave me a $50 gift card and offered me savings on energy consumption if I replaced my bulbs for LEDs.”
The experience proved to be a positive one. “I had an excellent experience with the people who came to install the lights. They took me into account; they worked with me so that I felt satisfied,” Martínez said.
The new LEDs have had a positive impact on Martínez’s wallet. His business is seeing a great reduction in energy costs. Since the upgrade, Martinez expects to save 6,300 kWh and $460 off his energy bills annually.
Since upgrading this lighting, safety and work accuracy has improved amongst the El Mofles team. Now in a well-lit environment, Martínez said he feels more comfortable and has felt the positive impact on his vision. “They lit up the place very nicely,” said Martínez. “My son said it used to look like a cave.”
Looking into the future, Martínez can’t help but smile. He hopes that other companies will follow suit and get to enjoy the many energy-saving benefits Energy Trust and PGE have brought to his business. “Well, I recommended this program to several Latinos who have businesses because I think I have heard that they spend too much money on electricity consumption,” Martínez said. “And if they get a chance to have this program work for them, that’s great!”
To see how Energy Trust can help your business run better with energy-saving tips and resources, visit www.energytrust.org/forbusiness/lighting.