One of the issues that has plagued the home performance industry is the availability of software tools for doing energy audits and predicting energy savings. Over the last 4-5 years, software companies have come and gone (some quite suddenly) while programs have spent far too many of their precious resources choosing horses in the audit software arena.
Amidst all this turmoil, the true cost and impact on contractors and auditors has been underappreciated. Switching products, dealing with ever changing financial business models and high costs for generating audit reports have been a significant distraction and challenge. All the while, we’ve been distracted from the most important thing: creating and delivering audit reports to homeowners that convert to home performance jobs.
Now, thanks to the stalwart efforts of some great people in the industry (hat tip in particular to Robin LeBaron at the National Home Performance Council), an emerging data standard called HPXML is about to be in place that should change everything. HPXML, which we wrote about when it was originally announced, should eventually lead to a great democratization of software. No longer will programs be forced to mandate software for contractors and auditors.
Here at the very start of the ACI conference, a big step has been taken by the good folks at Energy Savvy, makers of some of the most sophisticated and widely used software for utilities to run efficiency programs. Their Optix product is now compliant with the new data standard and they have multiple software suppliers (including CEE, Optimiser, Snugg PRO and Auditor) committed to the standard. This should be a big driver of the market. See the full Energy Savvy blog post here.
Finally, the day is in sight where contractors and auditors can focus on doing great diagnostic work, helping homeowners understand the information, and moving the needle on audit-->job conversion rates.
Well done dinos!