The US Department of Energy has encouraged nonprofit Weatherization program delivery agencies to capitalize on the knowledge base, workforce and management capacity to provide for-profit services. There is a fundamental unbundling of resources — labor, equipment and material — that must take place within the agency in order to legally establish a for-profit entity. The distinctions between the parent nonprofit agency and the new for-profit entity must be clearly attributed to each organization in terms of all the business functions. These processes are elaborated on in the materials and from the experts assembled together in this section. Experts caution that the consequences of establishing an enterprise without conducting due diligence, market research or not separating the private and government accounts and activities could jeopardize the parent agency. These resources provide those who do have an interest in being able to have the tools to make the determination whether or not fee-for-service is the right model for them.
Should Weatherization Assistance Program Delivery Agencies Leverage their Skills by Offering Services to the Private Market? – Considerations on the issues and risk assessments for agencies
Starting and Growing the Agency’s Fee for Service-NCAF Annual Conference (2011) – Ken Robinette and Susan White – Included in this zip file are a number of handy, separate templates and examples of forms that are typically used in a fee-for-service operation. The business plan that Ken Robinette used to create the fee for service entity from his CAP base is available here.
Adding Fee for Service in Your Grant Funded Organization – David Trudeau provides additional agency perspective on developing fee for service model. Links from the Small Business Administration SCORE toolbox offer a wide variety of resources and information.
NY State WAP Manual (pp. 35-37) – Good example of summary information regarding conducting fee for service activities included in the official state WAP manual.
Helpful Experts at Efficiency First – Efficiency First is a trade organization dedicated to building a market for home energy professionals. It does require an annual membership fee ($300 for nonprofits) to fully participate but many of its archived resources are available for free.
Examples of two successful fee-for-service entities and a wholesale business that have been formed from agencies in Idaho, Vermont and Alaska.
WAP Fee-for-Service – NASCSP Mid-Winter Conference (2011) – Ken Robinette provides an overview of establishing a fee for service entity. The slides provide commentary on the federal statute citations for program income, equipment and supplies that are important for the proper transition from non-profit to profit activities. Additional legal steps are described in how one fee for service entity was established.
WAP Fee-for-Service – Central Vermont Community Action Association (2010) – "Social Enterprise" is an alternate name given to a fee-for-service business that this CAP conducts. The presentation captures the highlights of the agency’s learning curve-sharing important information for those who may be interested in starting a separate for profit business. Contact information is also provided.
CAA Energy-Related Businesses: Beyond Weatherizing-NCAF Annual Conference (2011) – David Hardenbergh explains how a for-profit entity grew out of the non-profit agency over a period of several years. The for-profit entity Rural Energy Enterprises Inc. now serves a network of over 200 retail businesses in Alaska and Canada with a staff of 12 employees and over $10million in annual revenue.
Fee for Service Marketing Plan-NCAF Annual Conference (2011) Sandra Bell – Dr. Sandra Bell, consultant to the GA Community Action Association, provides an overview of the components of a marketing plan as well as strategic marketing ideas. These concepts are condensed into a helpful flow chart that describes the logical sequence of implementing a plan.
Demand for whole house Weatherization by building owners who can pay is expected to grow because the new financing information tools and quality guarantees put in place through the Recovery Through Retrofit strategy. Most Weatherizers will have the requisite skills and equipment.