Explore energy-saving ideas in the Business Resource Center
7 Ways an HVAC Contractor Can Make an Energy Efficiency Project More Profitable
Being a heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) professional puts one in a unique position to help businesses become more energy efficient and more profitable. However, some business owners might be tempted to undertake an energy efficiency project without the help of an experienced HVAC contractor, thinking they can save money.
Those business owners may not be aware that working with an experienced HVAC contractor will likely save them money in the long run, and can actually reduce their upfront costs as well. If you are an HVAC contractor, it may be necessary to communicate your role and value to potential clients considering an energy efficiency project.
Why HVAC contractors are an important asset for an energy efficiency project
When initially talking to business owners, you should emphasize the many ways you serve as necessary assets for a successful energy efficiency project. It’s important to focus on the positives you can bring to the project.
Positive selling points may include:
- Previous examples of projects you’ve worked on, and how you were able to maximize a client’s profitability and energy efficiency
- Ways you can help the business owner avoid mistakes
- Being a collaborator to help them realize their vision
- Ability to tailor your skills to specific projects (e.g., restaurants or offices)
- The importance of being more energy efficient/environmentally conscious
- Customers show more appreciation and loyalty toward energy efficient businesses
- Environmentally sustainable companies and/or buildings are more highly valued
- Becoming energy efficient is much easier and less expensive than many business owners think
These are just a few basic positive selling points. There may be others that you have experienced or learned of in your career. If you focus on positives, it is much more likely that a business owner will hire you and trust you going forward.
7 ways HVAC contractors are integral to a successful energy efficiency project
Once a positive connection with the business owner has been established, it’s time to turn to specific areas where you can help them make the most of their energy efficiency project.
These are 7 of the most impactful ways an HVAC contractor can improve the chances of success for an energy efficiency project:
- Rebates and incentives: As a Trade Professional Alliance contractor, you can help business owners navigate their way through the myriad rebate and incentive options at their disposal. Business owners might easily become overwhelmed by their options. You can help them find the ones that are best suited to their specific project.
- Financing: Upfront costs can be the biggest barrier to beginning an energy efficiency project, but there are many financing options available that help to defray those initial costs. Qualified HVAC contractors can help business owners find and access financing options like zero-percent interest loans from PG&E’s On-Bill Financing program (PDF, 1.1 MB).
- Product knowledge: Each project has different requirements, even projects within the same industry (e.g., a diner versus a fine-dining establishment), and within the same type of equipment (a warehouse will have different LED lighting needs than an office). You can help a business owner select the products and equipment that will make their individual project the most successful at cutting energy use and financial costs.
- Experience and expertise: No amount of studying makes up for hands-on experience. Qualified HVAC contractors are going to know the ins and outs, the details that might be missed by people who haven’t handled the installation of energy efficient equipment.
- “Green thumb”: Ultimately, the goal of any energy efficiency project is to make a business more sustainable in a cost-effective manner. For business owners who have that goal in mind, there is no better way to achieve it than to work with an experienced HVAC contractor who can teach them efficient practices, show them how to properly utilize their new equipment and plan for proper energy use.
- Building codes and requirements: Few things scare business owners more than meeting government codes, requirements and regulations. California’s Title 24 rules are a perfect example. Being able to provide intimate knowledge of those codes, requirements and regulations makes an HVAC contractor an incredible asset for most business owners to have at their disposal. Visit PG&E’s Title 24 FAQs.
- Quality maintenance: No energy efficiency project is going to be truly successful if it isn’t monitored and maintained properly in the months and years after it is installed. In fact, monitoring and maintenance might be more important to the success of an energy efficiency project than the equipment. Selling quality maintenance also sets the contractor and business owner up for a long-term relationship that will be beneficial to both parties. Join PG&E’s Commercial HVAC Optimization Program as a participating contractor and earn incentives when enrolling customers into a quality maintenance plan.
For details on HVAC rebates, visit pge.com/businessrebates.
Energy Advisor eNewsletter
Sign up for PG&E's monthly Energy Advisor for Business eNewsletter to stay informed of the latest news and tools for managing your business's energy use and costs.