Recurve Nails the Science of Selling Home Energy Retrofits

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construction crews have a four-day window to complete retrofitting job, or risk upsetting the next month’s schedule. (Each crew is scheduled 10 jobs deep, Golden says.)

And Recurve isn’t keeping its auditing software to itself: home performance contractors in other regions can subscribe to the Web-based system (which also works offline when there’s no Internet connection). Golden says the company plans to focus its own growing auditing and retrofitting operations on California for the time being, where there’s a more predictable set of rebates in place. But it can sell the software nationally, while it waits for utilities and policymakers to set up the mechanisms needed to support forward capacity auctions and other overarching mechanisms for getting more homeowners to retrofit.

“We have lots of different business models open to us,” he says. “The goal has always been, how do we get this into the mass market, so that we can achieve environmental goals. Two or three years ago, before Obama, things were moving a heck of a lot slower. But the reality is that huge players are getting into this industry. And if our goal is to create scale and a return to our investors, we don’t have time to build a huge national footprint. So, to leverage the IP we have most broadly, packaging the software for all players makes a lot of sense.”

Meanwhile, there’s still one energy improvement Recurve can’t help you with: installing solar panels. “It’s the one thing we don’t do,” says Golden. “To be honest, solar is really easy compared to doing this kind of work. There aren’t very many moving parts. And to compete in the solar industry these days, you need to be very, very focused.” Which is one of the points I’ll emphasize in a piece on Oakland, CA-based Sungevity, coming later this week. So stick around, and enjoy the Bay Area’s cool early-autumn weather—no heat or air conditioning required.

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Wade Roush is a freelance science and technology journalist and the producer and host of the podcast Soonish. Follow @soonishpodcast

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3 responses to “Recurve Nails the Science of Selling Home Energy Retrofits”

  1. Ted says:

    I wouldn’t knock solar as much, it is a great way to save energy as well. Energy Audits are the most affordable though, it is a great way to figure out where the most energy and money can be saved.

  2. Mike says:

    I agree with Ted, energy audits are the most affordable. what i’m most excited about in all this, is energy auditing is taking off as an industry. my company paid for me to get BPI certified through a training course at CleanEdison, so now i am performing energy audits for a living, it should create a lot of jobs nationwide as well. to me, job creation is the most important objective right now. solar is great, don’t get me wrong, but it is very expensive and it takes some time to pay itself back. energy auditing can layout a bunch of options for the homeowners/business. Great article though

  3. I in no way meant to knock Solar. Solar and other renewable energy sources are absolutely core to reaching our energy and climate goals as a country.

    When I said that solar is the last thing a homeowner should do, what I meant is simply that we should be doing all the cost effective reductions first (or at the same time), and then by all means solar is a great tool to offset what remains.

    We need to both reduce and produce on every house if we hope to reach our goals.