Rhoads Energy Shifts Ownership Stake to Employees

The Rhoads Energy Family of Companies, a regional energy and HVAC services leader, today announced a plan to give company ownership to each of its 160 employees.

Rhoads created an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), a benefit program for employees that enables them to own part of the company they work for. The company will begin to transfer partial ownership to employees during the spring of 2022. The ESOP benefit will be in addition to the 401(k) program that has been offered to employees for years.

Under the Rhoads ESOP, each employee will be given an account that holds shares of stock in the company. The company will routinely contribute shares to employee accounts. Each employee will receive stock that vests over the course of six years.

Rhoads created an accelerated vesting schedule to reward its many long-term employees — some of whom have been with the company for decades.

The company has been family owned since its founding in 1917 by Jerome H. Rhoads. Today, affiliated brands serving Central and Southeastern Pennsylvania include Rhoads Energy, Boyertown Oil & Propane, E.G. Smith Inc., Mack Energy, and Reilly & Sons.

For CEO Michael DeBerdine III, the shift toward employee ownership is the next logical step to ensure that the company continues — and broadens — its 100+ year tradition of local ownership and control.

“Since the very beginning, our company has focused on nurturing our connections with the community,” DeBerdine said. “The ESOP is a game changer because it rewards employees directly for our success, and because it spreads ownership to the people who live and raise families in the region we serve.”

DeBerdine believes the ESOP will offer Rhoads a powerful tool to attract and retain talented workers. Rhoads will be one of only two energy providers in the entire region to offer an ESOP.

ESOPs offer benefits aside from a sizable financial benefit for employees. Companies with ESOPs enjoy higher productivity, greater job satisfaction, and improved employee retention compared with their non-ESOP competitors, according to the National Center for Employee Ownership.

“The history of ESOPs shows that they drive employee engagement and creativity,” DeBerdine said. “We believe that the program will encourage our team members to think more like owners:  bringing fresh insight to challenges, looking for cost savings, and boosting profitability.”

Rhoads and its affiliates offer heating oil and propane delivery, natural gas, HVAC repair and installation, commercial and fleet energy services, among other offerings.