Step 2: Incorporate Stakeholder Feedback

HPXML can be a powerful tool to facilitate trade ally and contractor choice in software systems while delivering consistent and reliable data. It provides a great opportunity to improve contractor satisfaction and operational efficiency.

To maximize your potential for success, it is important to establish a method for collecting feedback from trade allies, contractors, and the software community throughout the HPXML implementation process. You may want to collect feedback and cultivate support for the HPXML goals you have established for your program in Step 1: Set Implementation Goals.

Trade Ally Feedback

Consider working closely with your local trade ally network, trade associations, or energy-efficiency contracting network to collect feedback important to your planning process. For example, some program administrators have hosted lunch and learning meetings prior to starting the design process. This has allowed the program administration team to identify the highest priorities for trade allies and cultivate support for the new program design. Ultimately, this has helped focus the project scope to deliver successful results.

When engaging your contracting network, consider a few key topic areas:

  • Pain points for data collection and reporting
  • How program goals will impact contractors’ businesses
  • Priorities for program design and subsequent rollout
  • Early adopters who can assist in testing and give feedback on initial designs
  • Functionality and user experience desired from the new program software environment

Identifying a representative group of trade allies and contractors that can assist throughout the process will be important in later steps of the implementation plan. Many successfully implemented programs have coordinated with contractors by setting up regular meetings, hosting dinners to collect feedback, or working closely with representatives from local trade associations.

Software Vendor Coordination

As the program administrator, you need to decide on the minimum qualifications for software to participate in your program. It is recommended to begin communication with software vendors as soon as your project plan is developed. The HPXML Working Group can help connect you to all of the software vendors that are currently coding to HPXML. Since many of these vendors have implemented in other jurisdictions, they can offer valuable support for a program’s planning process.

Programs that are considering opening the market to multiple modeling software tools may want to review the various features of HPXML-compliant energy modeling and data collection tools. Requesting a demonstration from each of the vendors is a good place to gain a general understanding of how the tools work. Each vendor takes a unique approach, which promotes innovation, and helps contractors deliver high-quality proposals and energy savings feedback to customers. Reviewing how each of the tools work will give your program an understanding of the current HPXML features software vendors are currently supporting. This will enable your program to be well prepared for the next step of determining data needs.