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Reframing the Savings in a Residential Setting



Selling efficiency in a residential setting has its own set of challenges. In many cases, the energy savings are not particularly compelling on paper. It can be difficult to convince a homeowner to invest time and resources to pursue an efficiency project that will not produce huge savings. In past blogs I’ve mentioned plenty of different angles you might choose to take when reframing an efficiency project. Today, let’s explore an education angle. 

Suppose your prospect is a young couple with a newborn. Based on your calculations, the project you intend to sell them will lower their utility bill by about $100 a month. $100 is not a very large amount of money these days. Coffee drinkers can easily spend that and more each month on their daily cup from Starbucks. Bottom line, it’s not a very compelling figure, so you have to find a way to reframe it. 

You could say, “You’ll save $100 a month if you approve this project.” Compelling? Not really. What if instead you said, “If you use the $100 per month savings we’re projecting to start a college fund for your new baby, by the time she’s ready to apply you will have saved over $20,000 that you can use to help pay for her first year. In fact, that college fund should grow much faster considering that energy prices are likely to rise significantly between now and then, which will increase your monthly savings. Wouldn’t it feel great to have a $20,000 or more head start on funding your daughter’s higher education? Oh and by the way, we’re talking about saving more than $20,000 after-tax.” 

What you’ve done is turned $100 into a far more significant amount of money that actually has the potential to affect your prospect’s family in a positive way. You should always be on the lookout for creative ways to reframe savings – particularly when the savings are not necessarily very compelling on their own. This reinforces the fact that it’s crucial you gain knowledge about your prospect before you propose a project. Simply knowing that your prospect has a newborn (as in this example) gives you the leverage you need to reframe potential utility savings in a powerful way.

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Posted by Mark Jewell