What started as an insulation company in San Francisco evolved into a window and door installer north of the city, in Petaluma. But though Save Energy was generating serious sales, it wasn’t sustainably profitable. So in 2004, Gorman joined Certified Contractors Network, the networking and educational organization for exterior contractors, and things changed. “They taught us how to run a business,” Gorman says. The company raised prices, instituted efficiencies, and systematized customer service.

Save Energy projects double-digit growth this year, partly because it is taking on James Hardie siding. It’s marketing better to bring in more window jobs. “We’ve worked hard every day to ensure our employees and customers get everything they deserve,” Gorman says. “It’s a commitment to doing the right thing all the time.”


  • Proximity to the manufacturing plants of suppliers allows Save Energy to order windows on Monday and take delivery on Friday, something it says no other area window company can do.
  • Rather than pushing product with a hard-sell sales approach, Save Energy uses a multi-step sales process that combines the sales visit with before- and after-measure calls. “We talk about our company, what it’s like to deal with us,” as opposed to just the window, Gorman says,
  • Regular, company-wide TQM meetings post the numbers on each job on a big screen for discussion. “It’s really helpful for the salespeople to get feedback from the crew,” Gorman says.
  • Customers who want to vet Save Energy's credentials can check out Diamond Certified, a customer satisfaction surveying company in Northern California where, for 10 years, Save Energy has consistently earned plaudits from a random sampling of those who buy its products. Save Energy answers its own phones, shows up on time, and cleans up after every job.

Listen: John Gorman discusses negative online reviews on Big50 Bites, our podcast on remodeling leadership and best practices.