While opportunities for those who didn't come early to the party are limited-to-nonexistent, CT is not really behind the country in Building Performance. See this.
Energy efficiency struggles to be a priority. No victory settles the matter once and for all. Policy making was more complicated than you guess.
Yeah the utilities are a major problem. The Act concerning energy efficiency was heavily opposed by NU from the begining. We know how some preferred vendors are in bed with NU or owned by previous utility program retirees. I stopped in the neigbor to neighbor office last week, their staff said their seeing demand pick up for requests on audits. Statewide HES is hitting 2000 homes a month...
WX is finally making adjustments to the antiquated CSG program being used. I have a feeling NU intervened early on with the state/ DSS to prevent them from implementing better software for WX (which will fall off a cliff very soon)
Do you have a link or any information on the EPA allowing Connecticut to become a part of the Home Performance with Energy Star program? My company does many HPw/ES jobs in downstate NY areas (NYC, Westchester, Putnam, Duchess counties). Every so often we do some work in areas such as Greenwich, Stamford... etc and it would be great to be able to offer the program to those customers.
I'm not sure whether CT truly is behind other states.
Gary, did you go through the 2011 RFP for HES? We recently joined as a HES vendor, so I also shared your frustration with "the system." Now that I'm in the system, I recognized the complexity of it all and can understand (somewhat) why CEEF/UI/CL&P constrain the number of vendors. (I'll do my best NOT to defend "the system.")
That said, I also have learned that there is extraordinary business opportunity outside of HES...it's just riskier. Without going into too much detail, the HES customer experience has been defined -- for better or worse -- by those vendors' crews. Prior to HES, most of our retrofit jobs -- which is where the real money and fun are -- resulted from HES audits where a crew air-sealed, light-bulbed, aeratored, got their reductions, and split. For whatever reason, actually fixing their homes was not a priority. People are willing to pay to get their homes fixed, and as you point out, HES performs 2,000 (likely more) audits per month. This suggests that there are over 50,000 homeowners who've been HES'd (are endowed with the rebates/incentives/etc. and know their homes have problems) but still require T2 retrofit.
In short, by accumulating financial resources, focusing marketing dollars, and investing to generate the T2 retrofit work, the system can work for non-HES vendors as well. Please pray for our success, but we will invest to brand and market our own building performance practice, not HES. Why? CEEF/HES budgets are getting squeezed and the program is evolving. The marketplace still awaits more comprehensive (T2 retrofit) solutions from providers with incentives beyond the scope of HES. And, as we know, the need for building performance and energy efficiency becomes only more acute with escalating energy costs.
You seem to understand some of the HES program/vendor-related weaknesses. Consider transforming those into your advantage. Good luck.