What to Understand Beforehand
Proposals can be tricky. While in the end it may result in a sale, the task of putting one together can be quite cumbersome and time consuming. We’re going to provide you with an overview of important points to include in an energy efficiency proposal to help you get your customers to say “yes” faster.
Any proposal should easily and clearly communicate its purpose and make it easy for recipients to immediately see the goals they could achieve if they choose to agree with your terms. It should also provide sufficient details to explain the plan for achieving those goals. Be sure you know your audience; understanding their objectives leads to creating a proposal that solvestheir specific problems.
The proposal structure is very important. It takes the reader on a journey that starts with why they need what you are offering and ends with showing them how it can help them become more energy efficient. By breaking the proposal down into sections from the start, it is easier to get everything finished. For help with the basic structure, Download our Energy Efficiency Proposal Checklist.
Once you have the basic structure of your proposal outlined, it is time to home in on the most important parts: The efficiency levels the customer could achieve, the savings they could receive, and why you are the right person to help them reach their goals.
Now, let’s go over how to improve these core aspects.
The Project Scope
The bulk of your proposal will come after your introductory items, like the Cover Page and Executive Summary. This part is called the Project Scope. It should include charts, graphs, schematics, or other visuals to clarify, illustrate, and support the material you will add. Here’s a list of points you may want to cover in this section:
- Building information
- Current condition energy analysis
- Project energy analysis and comparison
- Proposed solution
- Cost-savings initiatives
- Budgetary data
Tip: If you are including a lot of technical data, add a note that explains it in layperson’s terms.
How to Write a Detailed Savings Summary
Within the project scope, is the heart and soul of an energy efficiency proposal: The Savings Summary. It is vital to effectively lay out the savings your customer will experience. To do this, first compare your customer’s existing annual energy usage with the proposed annual energy usage that your lighting solution can provide. It is good to have an easy-to-understand bar graph that shows the energy savings percentage. For example, the image below includes these aspects, showing the savings experienced when retrofitting a 96W 3-bulb fluorescent fixture with our GEN3 Claris 4ft LED strip kit.
After that, include a Payback Period section that features the available rebates. It is important to:
- Have a simple chart that shows their payback period in months or years.
- Show utility rebate estimates, demonstrating the reduced upfront costs and payback period.
- Include a second payback period chart, with the rebate savings factored in.
The examples below show one method of illustrating the estimated Payback Periods and Rebates.
Propose a Solution
Introduce your proposed lighting solution by relating it back to the general project scope and separate all your recommendations so it is easy for your client to read (for example: a part for replacing high bays in a warehouse and another for updating panel lighting in an office). It is important to include the client’s budget limit here; doing this will let them know you are listening to their needs.
Within the solution section, list the estimated development costs, which can include:
- Monthly and/or yearly fees
- Miscellaneous expenses
Tip: You can subtract the estimated utility rebate savings from the costs to show an alternate estimated amount. Many utility companies will also cover some labor costs of a lighting install if the product cost falls below the rebate amount allocated.
Provide a Case Study and/or Testimonials
Your reputation speaks volumes. If you have some quotes from past clients who received utility rebates, energy savings, and a quick break-even point, that will establish how your company can help people with a great energy efficiency project – this is very convincing for demonstrating why you’re the right choice.
The LED Living case study featuring our TFive Retrofit Kit is a good example of how to break down different aspects of a project and explain how the customer benefited from the lighting upgrade.
About Us/Meet the Team
By adding information about your company and team members, including photos to make it more relatable, you can show your potential clients that you’re someone they can trust. Check out our company profile for an example of writing about your company in general.
Some Things to Think About
While writing your proposal, it can be beneficial to think of some objections that the client might bring up. Try to answer these questions in the proposal before they even have to ask. Here’s a short list of things a client may mention:
- We do not have the budget to fund this project.
- Installing this equipment seems like it would be disruptive.
- We aren’t sure how long we’ll be located at this building.
As with all great proposals, good planning lays the foundation for success. Clearly stating the benefits is the key that will lead to your customers signing faster. By following these steps, we hope you can simplify your process and have greater successes with energy efficiency proposals.