Insulation Energy Appraisals: One Company’s New Frontier

November 1, 2010

Many NIA members have taken NIA’s Insulation Energy Appraisal Program (IEAP) training course and become Certified Insulation Energy Appraisers in the past few years. This class is filled with fantastic information, equipping insulation professionals with all the information they need to show customers how to save significant energy costs by insulating un-insulated or under-insulated piping.

With all the emphasis placed on energy efficiency by the stimulus and government initiatives, some amazing opportunities have opened up for contractors to put the IEAP to use. For instance, L & C Insulation of LaCrosse, Wisconsin, has teamed up with Focus on Energy of Wisconsin to help customers obtain funding for energy savings identified through energy appraisals.

L & C Insulation has supplied hospitals and manufacturing plants with energy appraisals on their steam, steam condensate, and heating hot water systems. This includes identifying un-insulated valves, valve bonnets, traps, strainers, pumps, and other equipment in a thorough plant survey. Once all these items are identified, the company develops the energy appraisal report for the customer, as well as a quote to supply insulation for the items identified through the appraisal.

L & C Insulation has also worked with Focus on Energy of Wisconsin to identify information (in this case, therms saved) necessary to secure government funds used to give the customer energy credits toward their fuel cost. Focus on Energy of Wisconsin will fund between 0 and 30 percent of the project cost.

Finally, the appraisal data is put into the Simple Payback, Rate of Return, and Emissions Calculator in the Mechanical Insulation Design Guide to run the numbers out to 20 years and show the customer how much their investment will save their facility, just as if it were an investment in a piece of equipment. This is the deal maker. (Coming soon is the Financial Calculator, which will provide simple payback, internal rate of return, net present value, and annual and cumulative cash flow for an overall project or a small investment such as insulating a valve.)

Previously, the customer representative would usually take the information from the energy appraisal and submit it to the “higher ups,” and the process ended. They are always bombarded with projects that will “pay for themselves.”

The difference now is that the customer is getting free money to help pay for the project and also can see how their investment grows over the years. Once they find this out, the project has a new life.

For L & C Insulation, this has turned into a new type of work. There are many organizations like Focus on Energy throughout the country; every state has some type of energy savings program available to customers. Contractors should research these opportunities and work with these organizations, which will enable them to also develop another line of work. This is an untapped market available only to companies with energy appraisers on staff.

To become a Certified Insulation Energy Appraiser, visit or contact To locate a Certified Insulation Energy Appraiser in your area, visit and click on “Find a Certified Insulation Energy Appraiser” on the left-hand menu.