Overcoming Barriers to Building Electrification

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Over on LinkedIn last week, I shared a GTM article arising from a Rocky Mountain Institute summit, “Experts Discuss the Biggest Barriers Holding Back Building Electrification“.

I suggested this was a good starting point, but that it didn’t go far enough. The article says:

“The group highlighted the need to convince plumbers, HVAC technicians, and building contractors it’s in their ...

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Designing Effective Home Efficiency Programs – A Recap

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Collecting a series of tweets of archival content over the past 10 days, I thought it would be worthwhile to provide a quick recap. Home performance programs have cited difficulty in attracting contractors and getting certain types of projects delivered. Contractors are often hesitant to participate in efficiency programs, especially more comprehensive programs.

A few years ago, I featured a series of articles on Home Performance program design, focusing on the elements that programs themselves rarely talk about. In addition, ...

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2018 is Half Done. How Are You Doing?

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You should be closing the books on June in the coming days. (Many successful companies close their books by the 10th of each month.) And if you’re like most contractors, whose fiscal year matches the calendar year, so ends the first half of the year.

How are you doing? Have you looked? You ought to be doing this AT LEAST monthly, but the halfway point is a good time to check with a deeper dive into whether you’re moving forward ...

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Keeping good employees…It’s not just about the money

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Money can be a motivator. Or a de-motivator if done poorly and people perceive it to be unfair. However, we also know that it’s not just about the money. Ask anyone who’s ever worked for a complete asshole (sometimes that’s just the best word to use) and they’ll tell you.

Wait a second. Last week I suggested that perhaps one of the reasons we have a hard time attracting enough good folks to a contracting business is because we ...

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Comfortable, quiet, dust-free: qualities that people care about

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You’ve heard me talk about it again and again. The market–most consumers–aren’t as passionate about the energy performance of buildings, of homes, as you and me are. And for far too long we’ve ignored that.

To reinforce that point, here’s a quote from the owners of a Passivehaus, a home meeting a very high standard of verified performance for us energy nerds:

“Although we are pleased by how it looks, the main benefits of the house are that it has improved ...

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Recruiting and retaining: Are you paying your team enough?

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Perhaps the single biggest and most frequent issue I hear contractors wrestling with these days is finding and keeping good people, from installers and techs, to office staff and sales people.

What attracts people and keeps people excited about working for your company is by no means limited to the compensation you offer. For some, that may not even be the primary factor (I’ll talk about that more in a later post about other ways to keep good employees). But ...

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Quality Requires System Thinking

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Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.
–John F. Kennedy

Change sets before us on all boundaries. Communication, computing and consumption are advancing at a pace never seen before. Economics and climate change demands the change we see.  There will be no part of our lives that will not be affected. We all know the famous Einstein saying, “We cannot solve our problems with the ...

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Not in a Home Performance Peer Group? You’re Missing Out!

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Dog Pack“What sort of gross margins should I expect from our insulation division?”

“How can we boost our installer recruiting?”

“What do you think of this marketing plan?”

How did moving to a 4-10 work week affect production?”

Pop a question to the network of home performance contractors about ASHRAE 62.2, or what’s wrong with the utility program they work in, or whether ...

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Don’t let sunk costs rule your business

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Watch out for the sunk cost trap.Contractor: “I hate our new CRM system system.”

Me: “What don’t you like about it?”

Contractor: “It’s too hard to modify for our business. And the mobile app is clunky. Half the time the guys can’t use it and they’re either calling into the office or just missing things. I can’t really blame them though–it is hard to ...

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