What we’re building at Sealed Same Mission, New Approach to Home Decarbonization

We’re launching Sealed Pro to make energy efficiency projects more affordable for homeowners, more profitable for contractors and more accountable for governments and utilities.

We’re launching Sealed Pro to make energy efficiency projects more affordable for homeowners, more profitable for contractors and more accountable for governments and utilities.

For more than 10 years, Sealed has been a leader and innovator when it comes to the home energy retrofit market. We developed the first residential energy savings guarantee, the first home performance financing product, and the first remote, direct to consumer home energy retrofit company. Through all of this work, our passion for decarbonizing homes has been at the heart of what drives us, and will continue to propel us forward. 

It’s time for a new chapter, and it starts with the contractors working in the home. 

Sealed is now focused on empowering contractors to sell more energy-saving projects. The key to scaling home energy retrofits is winning the battle of the kitchen table. The decision to buy clean or dirty appliances typically comes down to what the contractor recommends. And what the contractor recommends comes down to their ability to confidently offer a compelling, economically attractive project that they can stand behind. 

Sealed helps contractors stand behind energy efficiency projects by leveraging our data, analytics, software, and financing solutions. And by focusing on contractors, we can help more homeowners than we ever could have directly.

We are excited to announce the launch of Sealed Pro, a software platform for accelerating home energy improvement and electrification projects. It is initially focused on solving the slow and painful processes of securing rebates for home energy contractors installing weatherization and electrification projects. 

Empowering Contractors to Sell More Energy-saving Projects

More than $2.5B is spent each year by states (typically via their utilities) on residential energy efficiency Historically, many contractors have struggled to sell with rebates – free money isn’t free when it comes to highly regulated programs. There are large costs to offer rebates, starting with administrative and sales friction to collect, calculate, and submit data. We are also supporting contractors who shift their focus to heat pumps by providing education and marketing materials to them and their customers, and in some cases connecting them to homeowners directly via program partnerships.

The IRA is a historic opportunity to transform the market

The IRA didn’t create this opportunity but it did open our eyes to it. Following the ratification of the IRA, we came up with the idea for a contractor-facing tool for streamlining access to energy efficiency rebates. To accelerate the development of the concept, we moved to acquire Infisense, a wireless sensing and software company that collected hard-to-reach data from buildings. By the end of 2022, we had solidified our post-IRA strategy and were optimistic about the future, even as the U.S. economy faced intensifying headwinds.

With more than $8 billion dollars being invested in the next several years via the IRA, this is a major opportunity for states to leverage these rebates to transform the market for home energy retrofits like heat pumps. States have the opportunity to include a “measured savings” program option that gives out rebates based on actual energy savings instead of estimated savings as is standard in the industry today. 

This is potentially revolutionary because it aligns home efficiency dollars with performance for the first time, leading to accountability and innovation in equal measure. Policymakers can guarantee that public dollars receive the promised benefits from energy savings. Contractors receive a low friction rebate process and rewards for higher performance. And it also creates the potential for states to invest in Virtual Power Plants by giving out rebates based on time, location, and/or greenhouse gas emissions in addition to total energy savings

A Successful Program Launch

We started the process of shifting to a contractor focused business last summer via participation as an aggregator in the 3C-REN FLEXmarket, a measured savings program in California that focuses on peak energy reductions, decarbonization, and equity. 

We started by introducing the tool to a handful of contractors who loved the product. One of them had been participating in the program but was planning to leave because it was too hard. Another family-owned contractor company said they had never considered participating in 3C-REN due to the administrative burden. We’ve seen that Sealed Pro does not just make it easier for contractors already in the program, but actually accelerates the energy efficiency market by bringing on contractors that typically do not participate in energy efficiency programs. 

In fact, more than 80% of the contractors we are working with were not active in the 3C-REN program before Sealed. Sealed alone has more than doubled the program volume, and this is just the beginning – we have talked to contractors all over the country about how Sealed can help them grow their business.

A New, More Nimble, More Scalable Sealed

Before the IRA passed, we didn’t expect Sealed to pivot towards building a solution for contractors, but after 5 months of being exclusively focused on Sealed Pro, it is clear that this was the right decision to make. We have an opportunity to help contractors retrofit hundreds of thousands of homes in the next few years by making energy efficient projects more affordable for homeowners, more profitable for contractors and more accountable for governments and utilities.

One of the hardest parts of Sealed’s evolution to focusing on contractors is that it required us to transform the company. In October, we reduced Sealed’s staff from 105 team members to just over 40, and closed our sales and marketing departments. These were some of the toughest days in our company history, as many of those who we let go had worked tirelessly for years to build up the business.

The market is changing and Sealed is changing along with it. The kitchen table conversation is the last mile of home decarbonization, and Sealed plans to do everything we can to empower contractors with the tools they need to grow their businesses by selling and installing more home improvements that stop energy waste.

Lauren & Andy

March 14, 2024