home about energy solarheater informational contact
Donnie and Rosellen Nolley, a husband and wife team in Deltona, FL (50 miles northeast of Orlando), sell approximately 150 Solar Water Heater systems each year. The Nolley operation embodies the principles of the insurance agent model described in the text.
With 30 years experience in home energy as an installer and salesman for solar water heaters and insulation in Indiana and Florida, Donnie Nolley is a talented sales man who establishes instant rapport with homeowners. He usually visits two homes per night and performs a free energy survey, recommends “do it yourself” measures (such as cleaning the coils of air conditioning systems), and attempts to sell a package of goods and services that save homeowners money by improving energy efficiency.
Rosellen supports Donnie’s sales effort with a team of part time telemarketers. She develops leads by driving through neighborhoods and recording data used to qualify potential homeowners, such as sunny roofs and large families. The leads are then cross-referenced with commercially available telephone lists and given to the telemarketers, who contact homeowners to schedule free energy surveys. In a typical week, two telemarketers work a total of 16 hours and schedule 10 home surveys.

The Nolleys also launch regular “door knocking” cam-paigns in which they personally visit homes in a given neighborhood to schedule the free energy surveys. They receive no financial support from any outside organization. Their financial success depends entirely on generating sales leads, visiting homeowners, and selling Solar Water Heater systems. Their ability to do this has generated an income that is well above average for the Orlando region. Nolley’s sales effort focuses on the total energy efficiency of a home, not on Solar Water Heater alone. He attempts to persuade homeowners of the benefits of improving the energy efficiency of their homes so that they qualify as four-star or five-star Home Energy Rating System homes, thereby saving money for homeowners and qualifying for energy-efficient mortgages.

To reach the necessary level of savings, Donnie Nolley supplements his Solar Water Heater sales with additional products and services such as blower door test and duct repair, compact flurescent lamps, low-flow shower heads, and routine maintenance of appliances. The Nolleys focus their operation on sales. An independent company provides Solar Water Heater systems and also offers consumer financing.

A licensed contractor installs the systems. Supplemental energy efficiency measures are provided by others, often including the homeowner. For example, blower door tests and duct repair are performed by independent contractors subsidized by the local electric utilities. Nolley distributes coupons for routine air conditioning services offered by small HVAC companies. And he educates homeowners on“do it yourself” projects such as installing solar film on windows

With Nolley’s package priced at a few thousand dollars, he would be unable to make any sales without consumer credit. Nolley currently offers 9.9% “revolving credit” financing through the firm that provides the Solar Water Heater systems. This lowers the monthly payments by homeowners to several dollars per month below the guaranteed savings on their electricity bills an equation central to Nolley’s sales approach. Nolley believes that his sales would increase even further if he could offer lower-cost financing such as energy efficient mortgages.