We believe a well educated consumer is the best customer for home performance. There are so many myths and wives tales to overcome, getting people beyond them before the first meeting saves huge amounts of time and increases likelihood of success.

Nate Adams spent a significant portion of the last two years creating this book.

Before he began the book Nate looked for a building science/home performance book written specifically to appeal to the homeowner and found nothing. There are a lot of building science books, but they are mostly written for the contractors audience or the auditor audience.

Nate felt putting the science and common misconceptions into a consumer facing book was crucial. Consumers response so far is really good!

Two choices, digital and hard copy - bit.ly/HCBbothchoices

Our closing ratio and average job size attest to this. Closing ratio is in the 80% range, job size is $27,600. House size is in the 2000 SF vicinity, (so not particularly wealthy people), and paybacks average 50-250 years.

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Comment by Kent Browning on January 4, 2018 at 2:26pm

Nate - I agree with you. If you want to "sell", talk about comfort. People will buy comfort. People are suspicious of energy savings or payback claims. But if you tell the client they are looking at a 50 to 250 year payback, most of them will die of old age before they get paid back. I would think long payback periods would cause people to never buy your service.

Comment by tedkidd on January 4, 2018 at 2:20pm
Do you track savings and payback?
Comment by Nate Adams on January 4, 2018 at 2:18pm

If you lead with a payback like that, heck no. If you carefully find objectives and pain, develop a realistic budget, and provide cohesive plans to solve those pains within the budget, payback usually doesn't matter. That's the point. =)

Besides, we find energy savings from these projects to be in the $200-400/year range. 10 year paybacks would max at $4K. It's tough to do a really effective job for that. 

Page 12 of the book rather strongly tells people if they are looking for payback look elsewhere. That narrative has held the industry back because it ties us to fuel prices. Stay far away from payback and things get easier.

Comment by Kent Browning on January 4, 2018 at 2:17pm

Hmm. I asked a direct question and got a question in return.

To answer your questions - 

Closing ratio is almost 100%. We don't "sell" our services. Our customers come to us when they know they have a problem and need a solution.

Average project size - we don't track project size. We have done buildings as small as 800 sq feet. and large as 550,000 sq feet. Most common is 10k to 15k sq feet.

Now - do you really mean FIFTY year payback???? Or TWO HUNDRED FIFTY year payback??? I would love to hear how you "sell" those.

Comment by tedkidd on January 4, 2018 at 1:50pm
Kent. What is your closing ratio? What is your average project size?

Just because you can't do a thing doesn't mean it can't be done. Doesn't necessarily even mean doing it is very hard.
Comment by Kent Browning on January 4, 2018 at 12:19pm

Is there a typo in the last paragraph? Not many people will be interested in a "50 - 250 year' payback.

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