Training Approach

While the Efficiency Sales Professional Institute is only a few years old, it stands on the shoulders of EEFG, a nationally respected energy efficiency consultancy founded in 1993.

Originally known as Energy Efficiency Funding Group, Inc., EEFG’s initial business model was to raise capital that it would then offer to building owners who wanted to pursue energy efficiency improvements but lacked the capital to do so.

In its decade of operation, EEFG did not dispense a single dollar of capital. Why? Upon closer inspection of market conditions, it became apparent that the reason that building owners were not pursuing energy efficiency was not because they lacked capital. The overwhelming majority of building owners were simply not convinced that investments in energy efficiency were the best use of their capital. In other words, they had plenty of money; energy efficiency simply hadn’t been positioned as a compelling value proposition.

Over the years, EEFG’s business model morphed into pioneering and promoting new ways for framing energy efficiency as a path toward competitiveness, profitability, and value in the built environment. Early on, we helped the US EPA create and deploy the ENERGY STAR Buildings for Commercial Real Estate program, recruiting building owners and managers representing two billion square feet of commercial real estate into EPA’s voluntary pollution-prevention initiatives.

We then conducted about nearly a thousand energy efficiency audits over the course of fifteen years, which offered great visibility into how energy efficiency decision-making really occurred and which techniques were most useful in convincing the decision-makers to allocate precious slivers of their finite management bandwidth and capital to efficiency upgrades.

What did all of this experience teach us?  The efficiency industry desperately needed greater insight into how decisions were being made and how to frame efficiency opportunities for key stakeholders more effectively.  And with that realization, EEFG’s business model morphed once again.  For the last several years, our main focus has been on education and training, helping others become more successful at advancing efficiency initiatives.

Last year we taught nearly 5,000 people. We recently set an ambitious goal of teaching 50,000 people a year and creating a critical mass of inspired and fired-up professionals ready to take action. In the course of delivering and witnessing countless energy efficiency-related presentations, and based on feedback we have received from attendees along the way, we realize that we can’t accomplish this while continuing to do “business as usual.”

So we set out on a journey to “shake the Etch A Sketch” and draw a new path to energy efficiency education for the mass market, maximizing its potential to transform the field and change the world. We began by asking ourselves and others a lot of questions.  We had conversations with key stakeholders in our own industry.  We looked to other industries for successful approaches.  We solicited and analyzed feedback from our own attendees. The programs that we have created in the wake of all of these realizations have produced hundreds of affirmative testimonials from people who have taken our training and applied what they learned…Simply put, our approach to catalyzing efficiency is working.

We certainly don’t have all the answers, but we are moving forward with an open mind and a keen focus on our goals.  Throughout the process we always remember that “what got us here won’t get us there.”