CHS updates

What does a certified energy specialist do?

Man wearing Premier Cooperative shirt standing next to propane tanks

Addison Arndt, energy division business manager at CHS member cooperative Premier Cooperative, says the key to his former role as a CHS certified energy specialist was building relationships.

May 19, 2023

An interview with Addison Arndt, who was a CHS certified energy specialist for three years before moving into the role of energy division business manager at CHS member cooperative Premier Cooperative in Mt. Horeb, Wis., in April 2023.

What’s a certified energy specialist (CES)?

A CES is an employee of CHS who supports a CHS member co-op – in my case, Premier Cooperative. We help farmers and homeowners with their energy needs, answer questions and provide expertise on CHS products and services. 

What do you do on a daily basis?

I focus on relationship management in my role. A portion of that deals with current customers, answering questions and helping with any issues. Another portion deals with new and prospective customers, working with them to grow our business. Our typical customer at Premier is a farmer, but we also specialize in residential home heat. We’re the propane experts, accompanying a customer from the initial phone call through the installation of a safe propane system, developing an ongoing relationship to provide them with the best experience possible.

What do you like most about your job?

I like the breadth of what we do. We touch so many lives in different ways. I have always loved rural Wisconsin – it’s a beautiful place and it’s fun to drive around and talk to people who share a passion for agriculture. I also really value the teamwork with my coworkers and trying to do the best for co-op members. It aligns closely with my values.

What does it take to be successful as a CES?

The ability to enjoy talking to people is the biggest thing. Every day, we’re building relationships with people.

What kind of training does a CES receive?

CHS has great training programs for refined fuels. In their action selling sales program, you learn everything from “listening to listen” to how and why it’s so important to build a relationship with a potential customer. CHS is able to work with member cooperatives like Premier to provide all-encompassing educational opportunities that, at the end of the day, made me a better salesperson.