Step 1: Set Implementation Goals¶
HPXML can drive value into a program. Administrative costs associated with data entry, project review, incentive processing, reporting, and quality assurance can be reduced by adopting national data standards. Program administrators implementing HPXML may also elect to open the market to multiple data collection and energy modeling tools that comply with HPXML, allowing contractors to use the tool that best meets their business needs. The key to delivering this value is to determine the goals and scope of the project as early in the process as possible because these decisions will shape your implementation tactics. To start, identify the following information:
- What is the baseline now and where do you want to be? For example, if you want to “reduce the data collection burden for program partners,” you will need to know how much it currently costs contractors in time or money to participate in the program. Then work with partners to identify a goal.
- What are some of your program’s current pain points? Are there specific elements of your current program implementation that drive customer or contractor dissatisfaction? Are there any procedures in your process that create opportunities for errors or mistakes?
- How will this help achieve overall program goals? What is the current number of projects per year and what is the target number of projects you would like to complete? If you are focused on volume, you may want to automatically generate Home Energy Score or the Home Performance Certificate to promote a market-based strategy to increasing residential energy efficiency.
- Are there local rules or regulations you need to consider? Utility program regulators may require specific project details to be reported. You should coordinate with your local experts in these fields to help identify potential issues that will need to be addressed.
- Which aspects of our overall goal should be prioritized? Information technology (IT) solutions are often implemented in phases. Prioritizing your needs and implementation will help you save money and better manage resources. It is also important to engage stakeholders affected by the project (e.g., trade allies and contractors) to better manage expectations. This will also help reduce the pressure on the industry.
- What is a realistic timing and rollout schedule? The balance of the implementation document will help you identify the tasks you must complete to implement HPXML. Give yourself plenty of time to complete these tasks and, if possible, plan your testing and launch schedule in the low season in order to reduce contractor burden.
By thinking through the questions strategically and identifying your project goals, you should be prepared to design the balance of your implementation plan.