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    1st Rule of Decarbonization is Don’t Speak About Decarbonization

    Feb. 16, 2024
    Do no harm and always act in the best interests of the customer, which starts with NOT confusing them.

    More than ever, homeowners are tuned into station W.I.F.M., as in, What's in it for me? Therefore, avoid using any confusing jargon or introducing any potential political landmines. When it comes to “green” the client’s favorite flavor is almost overwhelmingly money, namely theirs. “Electrification” is really what we’re talking about when it comes to residential homeowners. (Don’t say that word either!)

    HVAC (another word no homeowner has a clue what it means) is really all about comfort. If they wanted to cut utility bills to $0 they could just turn it “off”. Why don’t they do it and save all that moola? One word: C.O.M.F.O.R.T.

    Buying comfort systems is already a grudge purchase. Nobody really “wants” to buy one. We’re in the business and I’ll bet either we and/or our staff don’t all own the latest, greatest systems available. Government mandates can possibly make it more “grudgey” because nobody likes to be told what to do.

    Electrification for HVAC all boils down to installing heat pumps someway, somehow. For any markets that are not already HPs, that makes a complex sale more complex. A confused mind always says “No”, so we can run the risk of more objections than usual. Homeowners may need to think about it more… do more rearch… get more opinions… Ugh! It’s also a basic pocketbook issue because whether heat pumps or hybrid or dual-fuel systems, they’ll likely cost more upfront, are more complex to maintain, and don’t last as long because they run year-round instead of seasonally. Yeah, yeah, tax credits, but that’s just more complexity for the average homeowner.

    Decarbonization isn’t really new, it’s just the latest shiny object in a new wrapper. The whole home approach has been around for decades, focusing on “Reduce Before You Produce” by optimizing all the sub-systems that make up the total home comfort system. Even the best, most efficient system, fossil fuel or electrified, is only as good as the installation itself.

    Bottomline – do no harm and always act in the best interests of the customer, which starts with NOT confusing them.


    Tom Casey is Chief Quality Officer at Griffin Service, Ponte Vidra, Fla. He was inducted into the Contracting Business Hall of Fame in 2022.