It’s based on the price of oil (energy in general).
I don’t know if you remember back when gas prices shot up and General Motors quit making big SUVs for a while (you should have with all the monster SUVs in Salt Lake City). When gasoline got to five dollars things went ballistic around here. Then it settled down a little bit and everybody went right back to the same old stuff.
There is a magic number out there, but I don’t know exactly what it is where people will react significantly. It has to do with income and outflow ratios.
One thing you should consider if you want to be on the leading edge of the industry when it does evolve (because I can guarantee you the price of fuel will go through the roof sooner than later) is that this energy auditing stuff is about giving a building a mile per gallon sticker like you get on a new car. It means absolutely nothing.
These numbers are needed to collect government money, but if you are working in this scope of the energy business you are working for less than minimum wage.
The ultimate goal is to be able to fix people’s problems, not just identify or rate them.
Buying new windows and air conditioners have no payback. They cost too much, interest rates on loans are too high (even at 3%), maintenance or replacement is needed before you get your money back. If you want to save energy, quit using it.
I have been living off of energy auditing pipe inspections for the last eight months. A basic home inspection is in the ditch! The issue is that energy auditing information is directly related to building destruction and health issues. The big commercial jobs I work on are about building destruction, but I use the energy efficiency criteria in the process of identifying and correcting their problems.
It is my opinion that no one is going to make any significant money on a traditional energy audit program. The learning curve and equipment costs are prohibitive.
When someone calls you because they can’t afford their fuel bill, how can they afford an odd it and then how are they going to afford to fix it?
Government rebates: don’t even scratch the surface in reimbursement though they give a perceived notion of getting something for nothing.
I had a job last week where they went through all the government programs and were about to have the government do a test out on the building to get their 500 bucks back. There were still uneven temperatures experienced within the building. The client, though rather anal was unsatisfied with the results. In actuality they did a very good job finding problems and trying to fix them. But they left behind a couple of issues difficult to identify which I was able to, document and recommend repair. This was significant enough to not satisfy the client. It cost the client his 500 bucks that he is getting back from the government to figure out the final information which required the use of $27,000 worth of test equipment.
You are not going to pay back $27,000, $150 at a whack. Equipment replacement will be necessary before you finish paying off. However, if you have it and you do $6-$8000 jobs with it you may as well use it on the little bitty residential projects. People that live in those little bitty residential projects work at the big projects. Advertising expense…
We can chat more about this in New Orleans, Brandon.