The Bottom Line March/April 2021

August 13th, 2021 by Nathan Hobbs

6 Tips for Selling Energy-Saving Films

By Tony Prater

When it comes to big projects that cost big money, you often run into multiple barriers to closing the sale. That’s when this list of tips will come in handy. It includes effective ways to help customers see how solar control film creates advantages for them–even the skeptics.

1.Work the numbers. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that one-third of a typical building’s cooling load comes from solar heat gain through windows. That single number powerfully illustrates how much energy savings can be realized using solar film technology. Reducing the cooling load can mean 5-15% savings on energy costs. That amounts to a potential payback on a window film investment of 3-5 years from the initial installation, depending on location, glass and film type.

2.Offer an analysis. If your customer needs more specific numbers, ask your film provider to conduct a Building Energy Analysis. This allows you to provide a more solid foundation during the project‘s decision-making processes, since the analysis is based on the building’s specific mechanical and HVAC system, electricity and gas usage, utility rates and rebates, total building floor space, and overall window area/orientation. An analysis like this offers great justification for the use of solar control film on a project, based on industry-wide standards set by the DOE guidelines.

3.Talk LEED points. It’s true that this measure of a building’s “greenness” is used almost exclusively for new construction, but customers with retrofit projects and heightened environmental concerns will find it convincing to hear that window film can assist with obtaining up to nine LEED points by optimizing energy performance, improving thermal comfort, eliminating light pollution, providing daylighting, views and more.

4.Find a balance. Go beyond energy savings and consider a product with the ideal balance of both performance and aesthetics. As you discuss both considerations, you’ll want to share the general rule that darker, more reflective films typically provide stronger energy-saving performance. Darkness and reflectivity can have a significant impact on the exterior look of a building, and they also affect how occupants experience window views. Be sure to talk with your customers about how these factors will affect post-installation results, so they can make an informed choice
based on their priorities. Introduce customers who prefer their building remain mostly unchanged to spectrally- selective film technology. These films deliver significant energy savings with a less noticeable effect on aesthetics.

5.Give expert advice. Should your customer become concerned about the compatibility of their window system and energy-saving window film, call on your film supplier for reinforcements. They’ll know the ins-and-outs of every product application—especially if they’re also a top-to-bottom (or full line) window film manufacturer. At my company, this means extensive analysis and testing to validate the safety and performance for a wide variety of film-to-glass combinations.

6.Offer exterior solutions. You may run into a situation where your customer is fully convinced that solar control film application is a great investment and be ready to sign, only to be surprised by a building access barrier, making interior installation impossible. Don’t walk away. Instead, discuss the option for “exterior film” installation. Although generally at a premium price point compared to interior installations, exterior film application delivers excellent solar heat rejection performance along with a reasonable return on investment. The window film industry has been seeing, in fact, an upwards trend in this type of film installation over the last decade.

Whether this list was a reminder or a crash course, I hope it helps you add some major sales in the future. You’ll save your customers some cash in the long run, and make the world a greener place, too.

Tony Prater works in Architectural Business Development for Eastman.

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