Apr 22, 2014
I love the proposal. My only quibble is that you cannot keep anyone "out of the information loop." Just won't work. Instead, you have to stay one step ahead of those who will be against this. Know what their arguments will be, and frame the argument before they make it. Get to the media before they do. As you said, this is something all sides could potentially agree on. Just have to make sure the idea doesn't get framed as being representative of one side and not the other.
Apr 22, 2014
I read again, and another issue is that you talk about your income, but you're really talking about your "revenues". You will have costs that you haven't included. How do you propose to increase the efficiency of these houses? Increased insulation? Dual-pane windows? New furnaces, water heaters, etc? The materials and time for any of these will cost you. And then there's the cost of maintenance. Who's going to take care of these things? I would guess that the homeowner's going to expect you to do the maintenance. You need to flesh out the costs to come up with a realistic expectation of income; and, therefore, economic viability.
Apr 23, 2014
Hi Brooke, Your idea is an important one. If I understand it correctly, the concept is to create a market for energy efficiency services that gives energy efficiency service providers direct access to the capital saved through whatever building efficiency measures they implement. Some questions I found myself pondering when thinking through the idea: 1) What type of incentive might a homeowner need beyond the promise of potential monetary savings in order to allow such a service provider into their home? 2) What models currently exist that are similar and are already out there for doing this? 3) Do energy retailers and utilities that have energy efficiency mandates currently create markets for this type of activity? 4) And if there are similar companies/markets providing such services, what barriers are they facing and how might your energy efficiency service company differentiate and overcome these barriers? Keep up the good thinking! -Shane
Apr 29, 2014
Following the posted comments, I'd like to add a few thoughts: Increasing a building's energy efficiency usually requires capital investment. You need to carefully calculate the payback, and make sure you have the resources to begin with. And if the provider gets 100% of the savings, what would motivate the building owner to collaborate?.. they may enjoy better thermal comfort, but arguably they can also keep wasting energy on heating or cooling (if anyway they pay the same). I think you may want to consider a more moderate approach, in which the owner gets to benefit from at least some of the savings, or maybe the company only gets to reap for the first years to cover the expenses and provide some profit, and later on the building owner has it all. It's kind of like having a company from another country build you a subway train system, have them collect all the revenue for 20 years, and then they leave and your city owns the system, takes care of operating and maintaining it, and also collects the revenue. Here's an interesting company that does something similar, taking advantage of incentives from the state gov't and the utility companies: http://pages.nextstepliving.com/Energy_MA?referring=001C0000018oIVY&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Energy_MA&utm_content=&utm_term=next%20step%20living&utm_device=c&gclid=COGQ_NGDhr4CFaN9Ogodq0YAYw Cheers !..
May 1, 2014
The main issue here is who and how the savings will be assessed. The energy usage pattern is variable and if my bill is reduced, how can we tell it is due to I tend to turn the AC on for lower hours, use the dish washer less frequently or is it due to the energy efficiency service. This is not simple as it might seem. But I must confess that the business idea is quite innovative.
May 27, 2014
Dear valles, I like the win/win approach and having campaigns to attract people from different political views. To improve your proposal, you may give specific examples of possible campaigns. These maybe customized based on the different regions of US. Also, taking your grandma's house as a baseline is a good start to point out the possible savings, but you have not mentioned how the carbon emission could be reduced. Saving dollars is of course a benefit, however should not be the only purpose of this application. Best wishes, Gunesh
Jun 3, 2014
Hi Valles, Thank you for your proposal. There are some great thoughts here which I think you can take a few steps further. I agree with the previous comments, especially those around understanding the costs involved, and would like to add a few thoughts: - It would be worth it to look into the Energy Service Company (ESCO) industry. There are several existing firms working along similar lines. The industry hasn't taken off as hoped though and it would be good to have an understanding of why so that you can address those issues upfront. - I also think there has to be some benefits to the homeowner in order for them to agree to the program. If they get no benefits other than the efficiency, what is to stop them from using even more energy and decreasing the potential savings? This is a behavioral component which could be addressed by allocating some of the savings to the homeowner as is done in the ESCO industry. -It would also be a good idea to look into State and Federal Level incentives for achieving energy efficiency. Individual states have their own programs. Picking which state to run your test project in may have a big effect on your overall costs and payback period (making them less than what would be encountered in a neighboring state). Good Luck!
Aug 6, 2014
The idea is good one. For decades now, companies have worked in the large commercial and industrial sector offering a similar business proposition. Known as energy service companies, these organizations implement energy efficiency measures, estimate savings, and share the savings with their customers. I assume that this proposal intends to take this business model to the household and small business level, which right now are not served by such companies. My main concern about the proposal, and it's a big one, is that it's completely lacking in details about how the idea would be implemented. How would savings opportunities be identified and analyzed? How would they be installed? How would savings be evaluated? How would the proceeds be split between the company and the building owner (I suspect that 100% going to the company would not motivate many building owners)? How much would all these activities cost? How would those costs compare to the proceeds such a company could generate? Instead of dealing with these questions, the proposal talks about an advertising campaign paid for by the government. What it is that would be advertised is a mystery. My suggestion is that instead of spending time and money on an advertising campaign, that the entrant focus on answering some of the questions above, and perhaps try out the concept on a few houses.
Sep 3, 2014
This proposal was not advanced to the Finalist round. The Judges thought the concept of using profitability to drive energy efficiency (EE) was intriguing and could be an effective one. While the proposal is full of interesting ideas, it lacks some of the more tactical elements (e.g., breakdown of costs) needed to effectively evaluate its actual implementation. Also, the proposal pre-supposes (and even requires) that home owners are knowledgeable in EE and that is true for only a small fraction of people. The author may also want to explore the success of ESCOs at the commercial / industrial scales as opposed to just the residential level.