That will be a real thorn in the side of the real EA business. Those Best Buy guys will be selling their products and that's their bottom line. They won't know a lick about leaky homes or air movement through the building. What a sham in the making. Yikes!
I think they have a chance to get people to start thinking about homes on a system level as it relates to utilities. I'm quite interested to see how they make the model work. I also wonder what modeling program they've decided to use.
I'm curious to see if they even model, or simply do a clipboard walk-thru. That can be OK -- not ideal but OK -- if it's done by properly certified people. Yeah, their protocols will be interesting.
Let's see, a computer tech should typically be making $30 to $50 an hour (minimum), and remember that's 40 hours a week with plus benefits. So, how much time can this tech spend in someones home measuring rooms, peaking behind wall plates, and measuring flue gasses for the (I assume) low cost Geek Squad Special? I have to be careful here, as I'm not derating the geeks, but pointing out that a real audit is time intensive and computer techs are supposed to be expensive. In addition, this source of labor comes from the fully employed population, which means health insurance, paid holidays and paid vacation, and typically a few other benefits that all add up to triple what the tech is being paid. A rough estimate would put the per hour cost of a well trained geek at over $100 per hour, including drive time.
Makes me wonder if the computer repair business is that slow. Or maybe they're just hoping to make a big SCORE.
I spoke to an associate who went to the San Carlos Store this past weekend and met with some of the Best Buy folks. In short it appears they are going to be working on the smart home technology, getting peoples whole house electronically tied as a system. Geek squad will be spear heading the electronics portion as it ties to the stuff they sell (naturally). There might be an influx of smart thermostats on the Best Buy shelves. They are also going to be working with contracting companies, hopefully home performance contracting companies to get people the smartest solutions for their smart home. -Sounds cool to me, lets see what the market says.
I also would like to see their model for business practices. I would love to know what the management had planned
for the homes where access to attics is impeded by years worth of clutter around attic hatches or where
detection of air infiltration is hampered by minimal (if any) acumen in thermagraphic imaging by their
purported experts. This is ultimately a sales ploy- these nerds for rent ( salesmen er, evaluators) willl sell
an array of items. I doubt they as - electronics retailers, could master comprehensive lighting audits .Let alone
a full test in - test out BPI audit for a entire house or bldg.. Can they
do a survey and try and sell LED lighting ? Sure, but would their abilities be more worthwhile than what
Seimens, Honeywell or Johnson controls do - probably not. Its all about pushing merchandise for the
Best Buys of the world. My take on it is they will probably not be top flight evaluators for any subset of energy
auditing. Rather than let a retailer come in and reconnoiter for would be electronics come ons- people would
be better served by doing 10 common sense - moderate cost approaches to reduce energy waste.
Best buys retailing leaves alot to be desired - and they think their services will be highly regarded- I know
many that would be doubtful there would be a value to the home owner- this is about merchandise & sales.
My hope is that they raise awareness - then fall flat on their corporate faces. I like the task of tightening up
every structure, just not in this approach.