Accelerating the Delivery of Home Performance Upgrades through a Synergistic Business Model

Stacey Rothgeb, Tom Schirber, Cindy Ojczyk, Stacey Rothgeb (NREL Technical Monitor)

Research output: NRELSubcontract Report


Achieving Building America energy savings goals (40% by 2030) will require many existing homes to install energy upgrades. Engaging large numbers of homeowners in building science-guided upgrades during a single remodeling event has been difficult for a number of reasons. Performance upgrades in existing homes tend to occur over multiple years and usually result from component failures (furnace failure) and weather damage (ice dams, roofing, siding). This research attempted to: A) understand the homeowner's motivations regarding investing in building science based performance upgrades; B) determining a rapidly scalable approach to engage large numbers of homeowners directly through existing customer networks; and C) access a business model that will manage all aspects of the contractor-homeowner-performance professional interface to ensure good upgrade decisions over time. The solution results from a synergistic approach utilizing networks of suppliers merging with networks of homeowner customers. Companies in the $400 to $800 billion home services industry have proven direct marketing and sales proficiencies that have led to the development of vast customer networks. Companies such as pest control, lawn care, and security have nurtured these networks by successfully addressing the ongoing needs of homes. This long-term access to customers and trust established with consistent delivery has also provided opportunities for home service providers to grow by successfully introducing new products and services like attic insulation and air sealing. The most important component for success is a business model that will facilitate and manage the process. The team analyzes a group that developed a working model.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages48
StatePublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Work performed by NorthernSTAR Building America Partnership, St. Paul, Minnesota

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/SR-5500-65333

Other Report Number

  • DOE/GO-102016-4812


  • Building America
  • customer networks
  • direct home sales
  • energy audits
  • home inspection
  • home performance
  • home security
  • home service providers
  • lawn care
  • lead generation
  • NorthernSTAR
  • pest control
  • residential
  • Residential Buildings
  • synergistic business model
  • utility based energy programs


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