Today, we’ll talk about simplicity.
Put simply (no pun intended this time), the experience of home efficiency is extremely confusing. Homeowners are often given extremely technical and jargon-filled documents with which to base their decisions.
To pick just one example, many contractors in New York are required to give homeowners a Comprehensive Home Assessment (CHA) report produced by a company called Conservation Services Group that contracts with the state. Based on some combination of company DNA, institutional history and state requirements, the CHA report is anything but simple and straightforward. No fair-minded person can say these were designed to maximize homeowner understanding.
Among the many things you would need to understand (or have explained to you), are the following terms:
- Estimated payback
And that of course assumes that you actually read the dense print.
In fairness, many contractors do not rely on these state-mandated reports and produce their own, manually generated reports, but that can sometimes create even more confusion, with two reports instead of one. Plus it is yet another administrative step that takes away from profitability.
And while CSG or similar companies may not be in the best position to produce these types of reports, in fairness to them, they are trying to meet different requirements across the many states in which they operate. Each state has its own particular requirements of what to include, which leads to including every piece of possible information rather than prioritizing what is important and focusing on good design.
But no matter who is to blame, there is obviously a problem here. How are homeowners supposed to make decisions on thousands of dollars of home investments based on jargon-filled text?
So how can Sealed help?
First and foremost, Sealed believes in bringing clarity and transparency to the choices homeowners must make. This is done by providing software to the contractors that are performing the home energy assessments and proposing work to make the home more efficient. This software will make the assessment results and choices much more clear.
Unfortunately, we can’t show you what this software looks like yet because we are still building it, but we will share them in future blog posts.
Secondly, Sealed believes that the experience after efficiency improvements should be just as good, if not better. Right now, homeowners receive very little follow-up information except for a bill every month. Good contractors will keep in touch to make sure the homeowners is still happy, but by and large folks are left to try and figure out whether they came out ahead.
Sealed focuses on improving the post-improvement experience, explaining to homeowners in clear terms why their bill changed and how much they saved. We also provide helpful recommendations on how to stay comfortable, and explanations of why energy prices have changed recently.
Below is an example of the monthly energy report that homeowners receive every month:
Compare that to your existing energy bills, which are notoriously complicated and confusing (see here). This again comes from a state regulatory process that does not put homeowners first, but rather makes the homeowners try to think like regulators and utilities (more on that in later posts).
In summary, Sealed focuses on putting the homeowner first in every single aspect of the efficiency process. We not only guarantee the economics, but also make them simple.
Next we’ll talk about how complicated it can be to actually receive efficiency improvements, and what Sealed is trying to do to help (hint: it’s the hardest part).