Does anyone else find the $300 membership fee a bit rich for a business consisting of only one self-employed owner?

At $100 I might consider it, but at $300 they've pretty much prevented me from affording it.

What has Efficiency First done for me that warrants $300/year membership? To date, not a thing. I find this fee to be quite exorbitant and as a result, I don't think I'm going to renew this year.

I've sent an email to info@efficiencyfirst.org asking them what justifies this cost, but haven't received any reply for 10 days now... Sealing the deal of no renewal.

Anyone else find this rate excessive?.

Tags: efficiency, first, membership, overpriced

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I do. We have to think efficiency first when we spend our hard earned dollars, and it.s not efficient to pay $300 a year for  a club membership. Don't let the dot org fool you this is a business whose main concern is profit, not education.I always get e-mails from them to "attend the latest webinar" $50 for nonmembers and approved for "x" credit hours from BPI. I also find it laughable that you get credit hours for marketing, sales etc. We should get credit for not paying for these bogus "continuing education credits" I gain valuable insight on our profession right here from seasoned veterans who know what their doing and explain things in a very straightforward and understandable manner. My hats off to Home Energy Pros website we share knowledge for free.

Here here for Home Energy Pros!

Incredibly excessive! So excessive, in fact, that it would cover 4 of my home electricity bills, perhaps 6 in the near future. Let's keep our our annual and monthly costs down so we can enjoy a movie out once in a while!

To be fair, after resending my original email, Coby from EF called almost immediately and left a message followed by an email with his take on the worth of the membership price. Apparently my first email fell between the cracks, no malice intended. Coby is and has always been a champion for that organization. I also need to be very clear that I'm not against the organization whatsoever, I simply have issue with the price of membership. Here is the response Coby sent:

 

Hi Rod,

Sure thing -- thanks for taking the time to put your thoughts in writing and follow up with us on this. I'll try to address the items you mention below about direct value pieces -- please let me know if you have any questions or would like to follow up on anything
 
Regarding discounts on diagnostic equipment (and other products and services): If you haven't already, you may want to take a look at our list of member benefits: http://www.efficiencyfirst.org/join/memberbenefits_preview/. Efficiency First members get discounts on products from a couple of diagnostic tools retailers (Energy Conservation INstitute and TruTechTools), as well as discounts on ACI conferences, home performance marketing services and other items. For some members, the discounts more than cover their membership fees, but of course it depends on the company, the types of products you purchase most, whether you attend ACI conferences, etc.

We don't currently offer discounts on business insurance (though we do offer a discount on first-year EGIA membership, which does offer a business discount). And we're constantly looking to add benefits that will be valuable for companies and help people's bottom line (so it's helpful to know that business insurance discounts are a priority for you).
 
Membership also includes our webinar series, which has been very popular with EF members. You can view the list of upcoming and past webinars here: http://www.efficiencyfirst.org/resources/. Many of our webinars also qualify for BPI CEUs (when they are viewed live), which can be a financial value for those looking for CEU opportunities.

One clarification -- Efficiency First membership dues are based on a company's gross annual revenue from home performance work, so companies with more employees do tend to pay more in membership dues (because they have more revenue). You can take a look at the dues structure here: http://www.efficiencyfirst.org/join/ (on the right-hand sidebar).
 
This list isn't static -- so we want to hear from you and others in the industry about the kinds of benefits and services that would provide value (financial and otherwise) back to you, in addition of course to the work we do on industry growth initiatives (even though those efforts don't always result in quick success).

Hopefully this helps answer some of your questions. I'm around today if you would like to follow up, then will be away from my desk tomorrow and back at the office mid-next week as well. Or feel free to call the main phone line (415-449-0551) if you would like to connect with someone while I'm out.

Thanks again,
 
Coby
_____________________
Efficiency First info@efficiencyfirst.org
main: (415) 449-0551
On Thu, Jul 26, 2012 at 11:21 AM, Rod Fox a title="mailto:rod@amgi.net" href="mailto:rod@amgi.net" target="_blank">rod@amgi.net>wrote:
Hey Coby, thanks for the reply. I was away from my phone when you called, so sorry about that. And thanks for the personal reply as well.
Outside of a phone call, and outside of the normal canned responses about what Efficiency First does for the home performance industry, I'm specifically looking for an answer to how this $300 benefits me directly as a small business owner of an energy auditing and weatherization consulting business? I've had two years prior of membership and can't say I benefitted from it at all, even after working tirelessly on the GoldStar program with local NM politicians. That never came to fruition. I mean, if my membership were to get me a $300 discount on liability insurance with errors and omissions protection, I'd consider it. Or if I could get $300 off diagnostic equipment, that would be great too. But the offerings that EF has shown me in the past didn't add up to $300. So I ask again, how does this $300 benefit me directly? And why is it that a company of 12 can pay the $300 for all employess to be members, but a hard-working, struggling guy like myself has to pay the full $300? That doesn't add up...
 
Rod

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