Doing Business The Baker Way


By Sheila Adkins


Mike Teresso, President of Baker Electric Home Energy, sheds light on the company’s Torch Award-worthy business practices.

Around the globe, the solar energy industry is booming, and no one knows this better than Baker Electric Home Energy (formerly Baker Electric Solar) in Escondido, California. The residential business arm of Baker Electric Inc., Baker Electric Home Energy is committed to delivering premium solar and home battery systems, smart home solutions, and heating and air-conditioning systems to homeowners across Southern California. The family-owned and -operated company prides itself on doing business “the Baker Way” — requiring a solid set of ethics including honesty, integrity, and responsiveness.

I sat down with Mike Teresso, President of Baker Electric Home Energy, to talk about the impact the company has had on its market and the surrounding community. He also shared what it felt like to win a 2017 BBB International Torch Award for Ethics.

Adkins: How has Baker Electric Home Energy remained successful in an industry that has attracted so many competitors?
Teresso: We have many fine competitors and, of course, healthy competition keeps us sharp. But the challenge is to differentiate Baker in ways that resonate with homeowners. The fact that we’re built on 80 years of electrical contracting expertise, have over 8,500 customers, and approach doing business the Baker Way makes sense to customers and has served our company well. The Baker Way is a clearly defined and rigorously monitored set of business ethics that starts with how we work with our Baker colleagues every day. It extends to our business partners and, of course, our customers throughout Southern California.

Our partnership with BBB and our deep respect for its mission to support consumers and businesses alike convey huge credibility to homeowners. Real, sustained success depends on many factors, but for us, exceptional ethics are the foundation.

Adkins: What is your business doing today to ensure continued growth and development in the solar industry?
Teresso: We recently rebranded Baker Electric Solar as Baker Electric Home Energy. The new brand reflects an expanded set of advanced energy products and services for homeowners. We’re executing our strategy with a clear vision for helping our customers generate, manage, and optimize their energy use. We believe that owning and controlling your energy can create a lifestyle that everyone deserves.

Our new company is founded on our core solar plus home battery business and now provides smart home solutions and advanced heating and air-conditioning products. We’ve vetted technologies from world-class companies like Tesla, Lutron, Nest, and Panasonic. The innovations coming onto the market from these companies and others give us the ability to now offer our customers an integrated set of outstanding solutions that will save them money while providing comfort and convenience.

Adkins: What impact does the Baker Way of doing business have on your employees and surrounding communities?
Teresso: The Baker Way starts at the top with senior management. Each of these individuals has a clear understanding of and appreciation for the need to demonstrate exceptional business standards every day. These managers require those same standards of respect, kindness, honesty, professional responsibility, responsiveness, and an outstanding level of expertise from their staff. The gratifying thing is that our employees take great pride in and see the many benefits of implementing these values with each other, our customers, and partners.

Bringing these same values to the community through our work with schools, the Baker branch of the Boys & Girls Clubs, the Jacobs & Cushman San Diego Food Bank, the TERI organization, and others is an important company legacy and one we have great passion for.

Adkins: In an industry that is sometimes viewed as dishonest or unethical, how does Baker Electric Home Energy build trust with its customers?
Teresso: We’re fortunate to have served homeowners for well over a decade, and, of course, Baker Electric has been in business since 1938. In addition to our longevity, we’ve used the tenets of the Baker Way to guide our business practices. The result has been customer trust, loyalty, and a very strong referral business. We listen, we communicate honestly and often, and when homeowners aren’t satisfied, we make it right. Customers know that as other companies similar to ours go out of business, convey misleading information, or leave them with incomplete or shoddy workmanship, Baker is a company they can rely on. We’ve worked hard to build a reputation that reflects our ethics and will continue to refine that in the years to come.

Adkins: What does winning a 2017 BBB International Torch Award for Ethics mean to you and your employees?
Teresso: We were incredibly honored by this rare acknowledgment from BBB! This prestigious award has proved to me, as well as our employees, that the Baker Way is a powerful and effective blueprint guiding our Baker team as they serve homeowners across Southern California. It’s been an inspiration to continue to do what we do but even better!

Sheila Adkins is responsible for managing Council of Better Business Bureaus conferences and events that serve to promote Better Business Bureau’s vision and mission and build greater engagement and involvement among business communities. She has over 25 years of association and nonprofit experience in event management, community outreach, media relations, and internal and external communications.