I received the company's fixed price quote today. Interesting reading... I have some questions about some of their measurements and proposed actions. They want to meet with me personally to discuss the proposal, but I prefer to do it by email.
I always prefer to take company salespeople out of their comfort zone (talking a lot off the record). Responding to email questions, they have to answer the questions and I have the email to read and re-read a few times to make sure I see what they are evading (if anything). And it gives me time to consider more questions.
For example, I've noticed they over-estimated my current annual bill by 20% (and I showed them my last 12 month bills), they overestimated my "conditioned" (meaning heated and cooled) residential square footage (added in my unheated garage as a "conditioned" area), added an extra exhaust fan to be sealed, etc.
So I will compose a list of questions for them to answer. They should be pleased. Their salesperson is 30 minuted away from me and planned a 30 minute visit to explain the quote. I'm helping them do it in about 10 minutes. Yes, I'm being a bit sarcastic... I was a salesman once and know the value of talking face-to-face, sliding around questions, and not have anything in writing except the actual contract (with all the fine print).
Mostly, I know what works for ME. I bought my last car by email, and it sure saved me a lot of time AND money. No sitting around while the salesman pretends to "see if I can get the Manager to go for this low deal". And with everything in writing, there were no "little surprise add-ons" afterwards. I got the car for $500 above the dealers actually cost (according to the Consumer Reports Car Report I bought for $12). And the car will be 10 years old In October. So I like negotiating at a distance.
Back to the energy savings quote... The total quote is for $5100 (with a $2000 subsidy from my electrical supplier bringing it to $3100). The estimated savings is about 30% (in line with what I've found at seemingly neutral internet sites about such projects. My last year energy cost was almost $3000, so that means $900 per year and a payback of just under 3.5 years. And that's assuming energy costs don't rise (and they will) so it will be closer to a 3 year payback.
After I get them to make some reductions in their quote, and given their Angieslist "A" rating on both quality of work AND price, I think I will just have them do the work without getting competitive bids. And there are a few smaller cost-effective things I can do myself...