Home Performance And RSI: The Perfect Match For Success
There has been a lot of talk about home performance contracting (HPC) for years. With all this chatter, it can seem that HPC is cumbersome and expensive for contractors to get involved it. So, I’d like to clear that up and share with you a unique way to gain the competitive edge in the market.
First, as contractors we can always come up with an excuse to not do something. The truth is, HPC isn’t the wave of the future, it’s the now. And by making excuses for not doing it isn’t going to help you out in the long run.
Second, yes, there is some cost involved in getting involved and started with HPC. You can look at this this cost as an expense or an investment. It all depends on whether you are looking for excuses or opportunities.
Third, and this is the biggest misconception I want to clear up, HPC helps us, as contractors, better serve our customers by delivering on the comfort we sell them. And the best part of this is we have so many resources to make this happen.
At my company, Minnick’s, Inc. in Laurel, Maryland, we are using ACCA’s Residential Service & Installation (RSI) accreditation program to help further our HPC efforts.
The RSI program is built around ACCA’s Quality Installation (QI) Standard and then adds on a verification component after the work is completed. And one of the best ways to get all the information you need to perform a proper Manual J Load Calculation (the first part of the QI Standard) is doing a home energy audit (here is the start of your HPC component). Once you have the audit complete, not only do you have all the information to do your load calculation, you also have the information you need to show your customer how they can make their entire home work better as a system.
Here are the steps to marrying HPC and RSI:
- Perform a home energy audit, or work with an auditor, to gather all the information you need about the home.
- Perform a correct Manual J Load Calculation.
- Use the Load Calculation results to select the proper sized unit for the home following Manual S.
- Make sure that the ducts are properly sized using Manual D. If your Manual J calculation showed that zoning would be best for your application, this is where you would want to break out Manual Zr.
- Use Manual T to make sure that returns, registers, and grilles are all sufficient for they system.
- Install the system and then use Manual B to make sure it’s all correct.
- Perform a home energy audit test out, or work with an auditor, to do this.
- Work with a verifier to show the customer that what you sold them was accomplished.
If you are doing steps 2 – 7, then you are doing 99% of what is required for ACCA’s RSI program. But, once you have done all of that there is still one more step.
Step 8 is creating a plan for your customer for correcting the other issues that were discovered during the home energy audit. This step is critical staying in the customer’s home long term. For example, you may have learned that the home needs air sealing, increase installation, new windows, and new doors. The simple plan may look something like this:
2014: New heating and cooling system.
2015: Air Sealing & Upgraded insulation
2016: New doors
2017: New windows
With a plan like this, you will be top of mind for the customer for the next three years and you will have a stream of money coming in from the customer. Plus, the customer is happy, because they are more comfortable in their home and have lower utility bills. These happy customers will become your biggest cheerleaders and will drive even more business your way.
So, if you are already doing all of these things, or most of them, why are you still making excuses? Take the plunge and get started with ACCA’s RSI program and use it as gateway to your home performance success.
BECOME AN ACCA MEMBER