Why is Connecticut so behind the country in Building Performance?

This state is so crazy with the energy efficiency issues going on here. As a state, we have the Home Energy Solutions (HES) program sponsered through the utility companies. The only thing is, the utility companies don't open this up to BPI Accredited Contractors, but yet have their own select "prefered vendors" to work the program. The DOE has the Better Buildings program in Connecticut and they call it "Neighbor to Neighbor". That program falls in line with only letting the select HES vendors participate. One would think it would be open to BPI Accredited Contractors. Well, at least the EPA finally gave approval for Connecticut to becomae a part of the Home Performance with Energy Star (HPwES) program. What, they are only allowing HES prefered vendors to participate. Can someone please tell me why this is not open to BPI Accredited Contractors, but yet we have HES prefered vendors working these programs who aren't even BPI Accredited Contractors? One may wonder why Connecticut is stalling in economic development, job growth and carbon redustion, but at least not me. I can see that we clearly have to path to follow as utility compnies are making policy and the DOE or EPA is following along, while not requiring BPI certified technicians and Accredited Contractors to be implimenting the energy retrofit measures. This state is a mess, and after 30 years here, I think it's time to move to a state where at least work is offered through legitimate programs that are open to qualified companies.

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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)

 

 

 

 

Hi Gary,

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.

 

Thanks!

 

Timothy Geary 

You need to call NU as they are only allowing thrir HES approved vendors into this...as I see it right now.

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.

 

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