Part 1: How were my guesses for 2015?

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13982836004_b64f5eff21_zThere’s no telling what is going to happen in that wacky Republican presidential primary contest (well—I am quite confident Donald Trump will continue his bluster-filled bullying and make some outrageous statements). But this week, I’ll make some guesses about the home performance market for 2016.

First, though, it seems only fair that I take a look back at last year’s thoughts on what would happen in 2015 to see how things panned out.

“Savvy HVAC Contractors Will Continue to Expand into Home Performance (and vice-versa)”

I think this is true. HVAC contractors adding additional services to their suites of offering is one of the few areas where I’ve seen growth in home performance in 2015. And I know several companies with diagnostics, insulation and air-sealing considering bringing HVAC in-house. I’ve also seen self-identified home performance contractors (I don’t call them that if they don’t routinely address HVAC systems, too. See “Observations from an Energy Audit Mystery Shopper”, for example) that are struggling. Indeed in the last few weeks I’ve learned one of the biggest home performance contractors in California is shutting down.

“Energy Prices, Up and Down”

Well, it was easy for me to be right with such as all encompassing statement! And we have seen electricity rates go up in many places. At the same time oil prices and natural gas prices dropped very low, and then went lower.

“Solar PV Continues to Grow More and More Mainstream”

Yep. And we even saw a flurry of activity before Congress passed legislation to extend the solar investment tax credit (ITC) earlier this month.

“PACE Reborn”

Holy cow, I expected PACE to be strong. But I didn’t expect us to cross the  $1 Billion mark by November! Very strong numbers by Renovate America and Renew Financial! And contractors who figure out how to incorporate PACE financing into their projects are doing quite well.

“Passive Survivability and Resilience will drive more consumer action”

This idea didn’t really catch fire in 2015 despite some more extreme weather through the year.

“Connected Thermostats will change the conversation”

Growth in the smart thermostat arena has been huge, led by Nest and Ecobee, and even faster than I anticipated.

Tomorrow, I’ll call out some trends and some specific predictions for 2016, and a few things to watch out for.

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About the Author:

Mike Rogers is the President of OmStout Consulting. A nationally recognized expert in residential energy-efficiency, he works with contractors and programs to scale sustainable market approaches to improving homes. More on Google+

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