Tuesday, November 14, 2023
3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Market Transformation for HVAC Services: Bringing Up the Rear and Reinforcing the Champions
Session ID
C6 - Workforce Development and Influencing Decision Makers
Behavior - based Programs
Kristin Heinemeier

Residential HVAC installation and maintenance services are often a race to the bottom: customers don’t recognize the added value of better-quality service, so they generally seek the lowest, contractors provide the lowest cost service they can do to stay in business. A California statewide program is launching in 2023 to prepare contractors and technicians to successfully market and provide higher quality services so that systems perform at their best. The program provides training and deep engagement with firms and workers to make sure that they know what quality services are and how to carry them out. It also prepares them to collect, understand, and communicate the value that they are providing, so that they can market these services to their customers on their own. The program provides incentives for doing higher quality bids (measurements and analysis needed up front to ensure that the right work will be done), installation (ensuring proper installation, adjustment, and testing), commissioning (deep system assessment prior to initiating a maintenance contract) and maintenance calls (periodic visits to assess system condition and performance, make service adjustments, and prepare recommendations for further remediation). Special incentives are provided for both “entry level” quality contractors and advanced contractors who only need help in differentiating their superior services. One of the key components of the program is the design of a behaviorally influenced report to explain to customers what was found and what it means, and to provide persuasive information designed to encourage them to make the most sustainable choices throughout the project. Disadvantaged workers serving disadvantaged communities are a focus. This presentation describes the design of the program and the theory of the market that led to critical design decisions. It provides early results: what worked well initially and what early course adjustments were needed to meet the program objectives.

Supporting Document 1