Avoid the "Sales Pitch Audit"
There are two types of energy audit services available. One is provided by One Stop Shopping companies and the other is done by independent audit companies. The One Stop method has one company do the audit, recommend upgrades, do the upgrades, and do the quality control to decide if the work was done properly. I call these audits “Sales Pitch Audits.”
The purpose of these “Sales Pitch Audits” is to get you to do your work with the company that does the audit. Often times the audit is greatly reduced in price or free. These companies will do anything to get in your door to do an audit so they can sell you what they offer. Don’t be fooled, the audit price is made up in the installation fees. There are even energy auditing software companies that promote their programs as quick and easy so that while auditors are at your house they can spend less time on their audit and more time trying to sell you their installation services. These “Sales Pitch Audits” are often superficial and are completed in an hour or less.
There are serious drawbacks with these “Sales Pitch Audits”. One is that the companies will only recommend what they sell. Window companies push new windows, insulation companies push new insulation, and heating companies push new heating systems. They push what they can profit from, not necessarily what is the most cost effective solution for your home. Another problem is that the company that does the work also tells you if the work has been done properly. The fox is most definitely guarding the hen house with these companies.
The independent energy audit company avoids these conflicts of interest. An independent audit is done by someone that does not sell anything else. The auditor has no financial gain in making recommendations. Their only purpose is to design the most cost efficient plan to upgrade your home. Their recommendations are not shaped by what they can sell you later. All of the independent auditor’s time at your house is used collecting detailed data for the audit. These audits can take over 3 hours to perform properly.
Once the audit is done the independent provides you with a full report and a referral list of contractors that is customized to match what you need to have done at your home. Upon request, a skilled independent auditor will also design a plan that allows you to do some or most of the work yourself. That most certainly will not happen if you have a “Sales Pitch Audit”.
When the work has been completed the independent auditor provides the all important third party verification which ensures that the contractors have completed the work properly and left your home in a safe condition. The contractors that I refer to have agreed to my “Quality Assurance Pledge” which states that they will not take final payment until I verify that the work has been done properly.
Protect yourself, prevent shoddy work, and save money by avoiding these Sales Pitch Audits. An independent represents you in your quest for energy efficiency savings. There is no conflict of interest with an independent audit company.