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

What strategies can help my program retain qualified contractors?

Recruiting, developing, and maintaining a network of qualified contractors is an ongoing, labor-intensive activity for program administrators. If there is a high turnover rate for contractors (i.e., contractors stop participating or infrequently submit jobs) then the program needs to spend additional funding to recruit even more contractors. It is more cost-effective to retain dependable qualified contractors, but it can be a challenge to maintain that relationship. Common strategies to retain contractors are to lower contractors’ cost to participate and address common contractor frustrations by streamlining program processes, avoiding frequent program design changes, and providing opportunities for open communication. Offering quality leads, training and recognition are benefits that contractors value and may encourage them to continue to participate in your program.


Learn more with the following Solution Center resources:

Topical Resources

  • Author: Courtney Moriarta, SRA International, Inc.; Emily Levin, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation; Tiger Adolf, Building Performance Institute; Brad Geyer, Fayette County Better Buildings Initiative; Sammy Chu, Suffolk County Department of Labor; Sam Flanery, Building Science Academy
    Publication Date: 2012

    Presentation on five steps to building a profitable contractor base. The steps include sensible program design and administration, certification and credentialing, communicating with contractors, contractor requirements (business vs. trade), and training and sales support.

  • 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.

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

    This peer exchange call summary focused on best practices for building and maintaining a robust contractor network.

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

    This summary from a Better Buildings Residential Network peer exchange call focused on strategies for contractor training.

  • 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: 2012

    This peer exchange call summary focused on sales training assistance programs for contractors.

Examples

Tools & Templates

  • Author: Efficiency Maine
    Publication Date: 2014

    A short, checklist-style form that contractors complete to participate in Efficiency Maine. The form allows contractors to verify whether they meet basic program requirements, identify their specialized service offerings and qualifications, and describe other information about their businesses.

Handbooks

Last Updated: 
August 9, 2017