U.S. Department of Energy Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy U.S. Department of Energy Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy

What have my peers done to help contractors sell home energy upgrades?

Many residential energy efficiency programs have confronted the challenge of how to improve conversion rates of customer interest into completed upgrades by working with their contractors. Participating contractors are a primary face-to-face link between customers and the program, and many program administrators have taken steps to empower contractors to market program services through sales training and co-marketing. Programs have found that offering sales training can significantly boost sales and improve customer experience and conversion rates. During sales training, technicians commonly learn about the program’s upgrade process, how to sell using non-technical language with customers, and other techniques for transforming assessments into upgrades. For many programs, contractor sales training resulted in more effective sales approaches, increased conversion rates from assessment to upgrade, and increased revenues for contractor businesses.

Co-marketing, meanwhile, can help both contractors and programs.  Contractors who use customized program-provided materials have more resources to market and differentiate themselves, and they can gain credibility in the eyes of the customer by being directly associated with the program.  A program can leverage contractors’ in-person contact with customers and their existing customer base to increase its reach. Marketing and advertising guidelines for contractors, especially when the program name or logos are used, plus review by the program can help ensure consistency in program-branded marketing materials.


Learn more with the following Solution Center resources:

Topical Resources

  • Author: Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
    Publication Date: 2011

    This Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Clean Energy Policy Brief describes how adding sales skills to contractors' existing technical expertise helps convert more assessments into comprehensive home energy upgrades. It profiles Efficiency Maine's contractor sales training and includes a list of resources.

  • Workforce Development and Sales Training for Energy Efficiency Contractors
    Author: Elizabeth Stuart, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
    Publication Date: 2011
    Presentation, Media, Transcript

    This webcast reports on the energy efficiency services sector workforce size, expectations for growth, and training needs and features a case studies from Efficiency Vermont and Efficiency Maine.

  • Author: U.S. Department of Energy
    Publication Date: 2016

    Energy efficiency programs can communicate with jargon and technical terminology, which puts off homeowners. However, marketing best practices suggest wording based on improved consumer experience is more effective. Based on expert meetings and public review, DOE developed the Building America Building Science Translator that converts technical jargon to a language of value for hundreds of home performance measures.

  • Author: U.S. Department of Energy
    Publication Date: 2015

    This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focuses on how mentoring on sales skills and business management helped one contractor increase sales and become more profitable. The call also covered top tips for supporting contractors, such as helping contractors develop systems to be more efficient in completing projects and creating a service plan with customers for additional improvements in the future.

  • Author: U.S. Department of Energy
    Publication Date: 2014

    This guide assists with developing an implementation plan for a Home Performance with ENERGY STAR program. It covers key elements of the plan, including the scope and objectives of the program and the policies and procedures that will ensure its success, including workforce development and support (section 3) and quality assurance (section 6).

  • Author: Mike Rogers, OmStout Consulting, LLC
    Publication Date: 2013

    This presentation provides guidance to contractors on business fundamentals, marketing and lead generation, successful consultative selling and closing, and measuring and improving performance.

Examples

Handbooks

Last Updated: 
August 9, 2017