Our History

Al Schmidt and Jack Zhou collaborated for years before forming A&J Energy Consultants in 2009. Al was a building industry consultant and trainer, while Jack came from a building science background and excelled in whole house energy simulations. Together, they have built a leading energy consultancy specializing in building best practices, energy efficient housing and labelling.
In A&J’s first year, the company evaluated and labelled 34 houses at Stonecroft Communities in New Hamburg. Since then, we have evaluated over 10,000 houses for more than 50 builders across Southern Ontario, ranging from Windsor to Bellville and Muskoka.
Though the company continues to grow, our mission statement “your success is our success” continues to be the core value driver of our business development. In recent years we have trained new staff members and developed relationships with utilities, government, and educational institutions in order to deliver the best possible service and support. With further growth planned, A&J will continue to deliver the best in energy efficiency and help our builders construct better, more comfortable, and more profitable homes.

Managing Partners

Al Schmidt

Partner, Kitchener Office

Al Schmidt has worked in residential construction as a carpenter, framer, cabinetmaker, builder, and consultant. For the past twenty years, Al has focused on independent consulting for private industry, utilities, and various levels of government, including a decade with A&J Energy Consultants.

Al specializes in achieving cost-neutral code compliance through ENERGY STAR® and other value-added performance paths by using smart building practices to reduce construction costs and waste, streamline the building process, and reduce service calls. He is a senior consultant for the Optimum Home Program, a market transformation program sponsored by Union Gas that promotes High Performance Housing to Ontario builders. He has also worked as a trainer with EnerQuality Corp for ENERGY STAR for New Homes, R-2000, GreenHouse™ Certified Construction, and LEED Canada for Homes, as well as working as a Lead Building Canada consultant and facilitator for the LEEP / TAP programs.

Within A&J, Al works as a managing partner and oversees company operations, as well as sharing business development responsibilities with Jack.

Jack Zhou

Partner, Richmond Hill Office

With a background in building science, Jack Zhou has worked in low-rise residential construction since 2004. Early in his career, Jack worked as a framer, insulator, drywaller, installed Hi-Velocity duct work, and performed energy simulation using HOT2000 and HOT2XP. He later earned the HRAI Residential Air System Design Technician (RASDT) Designation and Residential Hydronics Design Technician (RHDT) Designation, and started designing HVAC systems and performing energy audits for existing homes. He came together with Al Schmidt to create A&J Energy Consultants in 2009.

Jack specializes in using energy modelling to create practical solutions for builders to address energy efficiency requirements, both provincially and nationally. As he believes that ongoing education is key to excellence, Jack has obtained five professional accreditations to date and continues to study to bring the most current information to his clients. In addition to his consulting work, Jack teaches energy efficient housing techniques through both private and public sector organizations, colleges and universities in Ontario, British Columbia, the Republic of China, and South Korea. He also works as a Technical Committee member for Ontario Home Builder’s Association (OHBA), EnerQuality Corp, and Natural Resources Canada ENERGY STAR® for New Homes Standard.

Within A&J, Jack oversees the technical aspects of the business and is in charge of training and certification, as well as sharing business development responsibilities with Al.

Builder Support

Julia Claus

Administrative and Accounting Services

Julia Claus had been working as a teacher and artist prior to learning about the energy efficient construction business from Al Schmidt. On her own, and then with Al, she has completed many hands-on total home renovations. Al’s consulting business was growing so she joined him as an assistant and administrator for CTCS (Consulting Training Construction Services), prior to stepping in to help organize A&J Energy Consultants. She took over all of the administrative duties as well as assisted with site training. During the past 10 years, she helped with the development of a builder database and invoicing system. She is also on the consulting team for the Optimum Home Program.

Karen Langen

Administrative Services

As a business owner and former college instructor and photographer, Karen brings a diverse set of skills to her role at A&J. Karen has been a member of the team since 2012, and uses her business background and expertise in managerial and administrative positions to help the business excel. She currently coordinates enrolments in the ENERGY STAR for New Homes, EnerGuide, and SB12 Performance programs, as well as coordinating builder construction data with A&J’s operations team. Karen’s husband Jens, is a photographer who owns the very successful Langen Studio in Waterloo.

Associate Professionals

Sacha Klein

REA, Sacha Klein Energy Services

Sacha has a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sciences and a background in construction project management and is currently working towards his Master’s degree in Building Science at Ryerson University. In addition to being a Registered Energy Advisor with Natural Resources Canada since 2015, he is also a Quality Assurance Specialist (House & MURBs) and a Net Zero Energy Advisor. Sacha delivers many services, including energy modelling, site training, Energy Star & EnerGuide labelling, SB12 compliance verification and airtightness testing and troubleshooting. Sacha received the prestigious EnerQuality Evaluator of the Year Award in 2019.

Pooja Neupane

Manager of Building Permit and Energy Modelling, REA

Pooja is a graduate from Pokhara University, Nepal with a bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering. She has also completed a Graduate Certificate in Construction Project Management and Building Information Modeling from Fanshawe College, London, Ontario. Pooja is a Registered Energy Advisor, her responsibilities include energy modelling, permit applications and Net Zero Optimization.

Sarah Hussain

Program Compliance Officer, REA in Training

Sarah is completing her studies to become a Registered Energy Advisor. She is a graduate from Ryerson University with a bachelor’s degree in Architectural Science with a focus in Building Science and volunteers with Open Architecture Collaborative Canada. Sarah divides her time with AJEC between energy modelling and on-site evaluations. She is on track to become the youngest REA in Canada.

Ben Brophy


Ben joins AJEC as an intern while studying towards his Bachelor of Business Administration at Wilfrid Laurier University with a special interest in Entrepreneurship and Marketing. During the course of his internship, he will be immersed in the residential construction industry so that along with his strong communication skills, he can apply his experience to support AJEC marketing efforts. Ben’s work is made possible by the WLU faculty who have worked to facilitate the internship, and is supported in part by the Mitacs Business Strategy Internship.

Hiruni Weeratunga

Builder Liaison, REA in Training

Hiruni works with the AJEC team as she completes her graduate certificate in Building Information Modelling Management at George Brown College. Hiruni has earned her bachelor’s degree in Architectural Science with a focus in Building Science from Ryerson University and joined AJEC with freelance architectural work experience. Hiruni does energy modelling and is a valuable member of the team. Her employment is made possible in part through the Ontario Home Builders’ Job-Ready Program.

Serving Southern Ontario