Looking Back on the First Year of the Insulation Energy Appraisal Program How Are We Doing?
Over the past 12 months, 215 industry professionals have earned the title of "Certified Insulation Energy Appraiser." The Insulation Energy Appraisal Program (IEAP) was developed last year and has now been taught in eight cities across the country. What does that mean to you? Well, it could mean that your company now has a very valuable new resource (a Certified Appraiser) that will ultimately generate new business. And, it means that your company will benefit as the level of awareness and education rises amongst end users. Either way, having the first batch of energy appraisers out there in the field conducting appraisals is great news for our industry.
What does this IEAP training teach exactly?
The Insulation Energy Appraisal Program is a major industry initiative designed to give facility/energy managers a better understanding of the true dollar and performance value of an insulated system. The program is a tool that quantifies the amount of energy and actual dollars a facility is losing with its current in-place insulation system. Students learn how to: determine the optimal insulation thickness and corresponding energy and dollar savings; interview customers to gather information for the appraisal; conduct a facility walk-through; use the 3E Plus® computer software program; determine the amount of greenhouse gases saved through the use of insulation; analyze and complete the appraisal spread sheet; complete a final customer report; and market their new skills to potential customers.
Sounds great but how do you go about setting up an appointment to get in the door?
Appraisers have reported that getting your foot in the door is easier when providing a full explanation of the appraisal process to the client. Clients were receptive to the process after hearing the explanation of what an appraisal involves, the amount of time it takes, and about the confidentiality of the results. Targeting existing accounts for appraisals is another method some appraisers use to set up appointments.
Has there really been new business developed from just conducting an appraisal?
Yes! Many certified appraisers have received new business from performing appraisals. Appraisers have reported that, in some cases, they have received more than $50,000 in new business. However, the first and primary objective the appraiser conveys is how much in energy and dollar savings exists with the present insulation.
Who is the best person in my company to take this course and become certified?
The best person is someone who is probably responsible for business development and has several years in the industry. They must have experience in the commercial and/or industrial construction, process and maintenance industry or related fields; be able to read construction drawings and relate them to insulation specifications; understand the principles and fundamentals of insulation and insulation systems; be able to recognize potential basic safety concerns during facility visits and insulation system inspections;
be able to recognize the different types of insulation products and their basic limitations and proper uses; be mathematically inclined; and have basic computer literacy.
Do you have any materials and tools that will help an appraiser explain this program or explain the benefits of insulation to the customer?
YES, we do. You can't try to sell your house without putting a 'For Sale' sign up or listing it with a realtor! Every student who takes the training will learn how to make the appointment, conduct the facility walk through, gather the information, prepare the final report, present the final report and finally, follow-up with recommendations. The training also provides an entire Marketing Kit. This kit includes: an energy appraisal marketing brochure, sample press releases for the new certified appraiser, sample articles, sample business card designs, and sample letters to use. NIA also has an insulation awareness PowerPoint presentation entitled "Putting the Power of Insulation to Work" that is available to all NIA members. This turnkey presentation has several modules and speaker notes that enable the user to tailor the presentation to fit the needs of the meeting. Modules include: Introduction & Benefits of Insulation; NIA Training & Education Programs; Certified Insulation Energy Appraisal Program; National Insulation Training Program; NIA Involved in Tax Credit Legislation; and NIA's Industry Resource Tools.
Okay, so we built the program and the students came
This program was developed to train our members on a new method to generate business and to ultimately educate end users. Now that we have a work force out there conducting appraisals, we will actively market these appraisers and their expertise to encourage end users to utilize this valuable service. All members of NIA that are certified appraisers are listed in a searchable database on NIA's website, http://www.insulation.org/pages/appraisers.cfm. All calls that NIA receives requesting this type of service are directed to this database. The Department of Energy also lists all of our Certified Energy Appraisers on its website. Is your company represented?
This is just another way that NIA and the Growing the Insulation Industry are working for you. Congratulations to all of the Certified Appraisers.
More information on the program
This article appeared in the February/March 2002
issue of NIA News.