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  1. #1
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    Question Home Energy Tune-uP - Inspections

    With the "Green / Sustainable" "inconvenient frenzy" it seems there is a market opportunity for energy audit service / inspection!!!

    So, I am looking at the Home Energy Tune-up training / program. Home Energy Tune-uP® - A Leader in Residential Energy Efficiency (CMC Energy Services)

    Has anyone trained and implemented the energy audit inspection program?

    What is your overall opinion? Is the training thorough? Have you had success in marketing this in your area?

    In Santa Fe, NM we have a lot of in-floor radiant heat boiler systems here… so there are fewer forced air systems (less air infiltration issues).

    Typical construction is slab on grade, flat roofs (no attics), 2x6 walls (R19) and (R38) roof (pocket roof) insulation.

    Any feedback is appreciated.

    Thank you.

    Similar Threads:
    Elite MGA Home Inspector E&O Insurance

  2. #2
    William Brady's Avatar
    William Brady Guest

    Default Re: Home Energy Tune-uP - Inspections

    Hello Charles,

    I have given it some thought to and decided to look further into it before lay out cash. If you have any good research on the market and the cost of doing business in it I would like to hear about it. I should think your area just might be a good place to test out just how the inspection would be accepted.


  3. #3
    Benny Stewart's Avatar
    Benny Stewart Guest

    Default Re: Home Energy Tune-uP - Inspections

    Charles
    If you are a home inspector I would check with your state licensing board first to determine if the 'energy audit' would fall under their licensing board of authority. The TX Real Estate Commission has determined that this energy audit falls under TREC Standards of Practice. We are required to get permission from the client to deviate from the TREC standard inspection form required for all home inspections. As a licensed home inspector I have to tell the client that he will be getting two reports from me - the first is the TREC inspection form which identifies the client and address and in all the item categories of the report is a comment stating the client has agreed for the inspector (me) to not report on these item categories of the home inspection report. The second report he will get is the actual energy audit.

    Now, just how much more confusion can anyone get in trying to explain to the client that I will not be inspecting these items according to TX Standards of Practice. Is my client going to think he is getting short sheeted? (Go to TREC web and read the standards of practice and take a look at the mandantory form we use. This is a minimum 5 to 7 page report that sayes absolutley nothing of value to my client).

    I just finished the class at Kaplan. I thought the class was good and I see so many opportunities for this type of inspection either in conjunction with a home inspection or as a stand alone. Again, check with your local licensing board to see if there are any issues that need to be addressed prior to starting. I should have done my due diligence prior to taking the class so I wouldn't be blind sided with TREC.

    Anyway, using CMC report generation will cost you $20 per audit. Suggested pricing is from $75 to $250 depending on stand alone or in conjunction with a home inspection, size of residence, number of HVAC units, travel time/distance, etc,. The suggested time is 20 minutes when doing a HI and 1 1/2 hour as a standalone.

    Bottom line - I see this as another service offering I can offer my clients. I'm also looking into a thermo cam of augment this service as well as my mold assessment service. Additional Services - Additional Revenue!

    Hope this helps


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Home Energy Tune-uP - Inspections

    I took the training, which was excellent. I think it's a valuable service, and, depending your home inspecting style, can be a good added income stream. I don't do them because I don't want to make my inspections EVEN LONGER, and, a significant fraction of my inspections seem to result in the deal going south, so why would someone want the added expense of the energy inspection when they may not be buying the place anyway? But I recommend the training. I learned a lot and got some education credits.

    "There is no exception to the rule that every rule has an exception." -James Thurber, writer and cartoonist (1894-1961)
    www.ArnoldHomeInspections.com

  5. #5
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
    Nolan Kienitz Guest

    Default Re: Home Energy Tune-uP - Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Stewart View Post
    ... The TX Real Estate Commission has determined that this energy audit falls under TREC Standards of Practice. ...
    Benny,

    Do you have something in writing from TREC legal that indicates such?

    I would be careful about making such statements unless you have something from TREC that you have specifically asked them about ... which is not a bad idea at all.

    Doing a "stand-a-lone" energy audit is not a problem ... from my conversations with my legal contact at TREC.

    Gathering the data while I am doing a normal HI and populating the energy audit report and producing two documents is also not a problem ... as far as I understand/read from the TREC SOP. Also ... from my conversations with TREC Legal.

    Your thoughts and input?


  6. #6
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    Default Re: Home Energy Tune-uP - Inspections

    I had my home tuned up and it still runs rough and smokes.

    rick


  7. #7
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
    Nolan Kienitz Guest

    Default Re: Home Energy Tune-uP - Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    I had my home tuned up and it still runs rough and smokes.

    rick

    Maybe it was a flaky distributor cap and points?


  8. #8
    Benny Stewart's Avatar
    Benny Stewart Guest

    Default Re: Home Energy Tune-uP - Inspections

    The following is the reply from TREC legal:

    "As a licensed professional inspector, any sort of inspection or property condition consultation performed for a buyer or seller is considered an "inspection" if you are providing a written or oral opinion as to the condition of improvements to real property, regardless of what you call it. Therefore, any such service is subject to Chapter 1102 of the Texas Occupations Code and the TREC Rules.



    Inspections of one-to-four-family residential property (for a buyer or seller) must be reported on the TREC REI 7A-0 form, even if you do not intend to do a "typical" Standards of Practice inspection. (As you know, there is no required form for other types of properties.) However, that does not mean that you must always provide the full Standards of Practice-type service every time someone wants to hire you to provide energy efficiency inspection services. Section 535.227(c)(2)-(4) of the TREC Rules (the departure provision) clarifies that you may provide a more specific type of inspection by agreement with your client. By agreement with your client, you may depart from the Standards of Practice in full. However, there is no provision for "departing" from the standard form, so the REI 7A-0 must still be used even if you depart wholly from the Standards of Practice. It would be fine to note in the Additional Information section of the standard form that the energy audit is a part of that report but in a separate computer file.



    Please feel free to forward this information to anyone else who may find it helpful.





    Devon V. Bijansky

    Staff Attorney

    Enforcement Division

    (512) 465-3960

    fax (512) 465-3962"



    Don't misunderstand my previous post. In order to protect the client TREC legal has rendered an opinion on this type of service and in general any and all inspections, audits or any other service a home inspector will be performing for a perspective buyer or seller. In other words, if a homeowner is thinking about selling his home later (or maybe just to reduce his energy consumption) and decides to get an energy audit the inspector has to provide the client both reports. The reason, I believe is we are licensed as home inspectors. I'm just wondering - what about those who are not licensed as a home inspector?

    Anyway. Just some more thoughts to ponder.


  9. #9
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    Default Re: Home Energy Tune-uP - Inspections

    (bold and underlining are mine)
    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Stewart View Post
    The following is the reply from TREC legal:

    "As a licensed professional inspector, any sort of inspection or property condition consultation performed for a buyer or seller ...

    Inspections of one-to-four-family residential property (for a buyer or seller) must be reported on the TREC REI 7A-0 form, ...
    That not does address the question of doing an "energy audit service / inspection" for an "owner" who is neither a buyer (already bought the house) nor a seller (already owns the house and is not selling at this time). I.e., this is not for a "real estate transaction".

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  10. #10
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
    Nolan Kienitz Guest

    Default Re: Home Energy Tune-uP - Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    ... That not does address the question of doing an "energy audit service / inspection" for an "owner" who is neither a buyer (already bought the house) nor a seller (already owns the house and is not selling at this time). I.e., this is not for a "real estate transaction".
    Message below is what I received from Devon (TREC Legal) this morning. Helps clarify a tad.


    If the "energy audit" inspection is being performed for someone other than a buyer or seller (someone who already owns the property and is not having the inspection performed in anticipation of selling), then it would not be within TREC's jurisdiction, and the standard form would not be required. Otherwise, and assuming the energy audit involves reporting on property conditions, then it would be within TREC's jurisdiction, and all of the usual statutes and agency rules apply.
    We hope this information is helpful to you.

    Devon V. Bijansky
    Staff Attorney
    Enforcement Division


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Home Energy Tune-uP - Inspections

    I posted a series of questions to TREC regarding the Home Tune-Up program and reporting.

    The full context of the emails can be viewed at:

    **HOT** Texas Inspectors use of REI-7A-0 - InterNACHI Message Board

    Last edited by EmmanuelScanlan; 12-11-2007 at 05:49 PM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Home Energy Tune-uP - Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by Nolan Kienitz View Post
    Message below is what I received from Devon (TREC Legal) this morning. Helps clarify a tad.

    If the "energy audit" inspection is being performed for someone other than a buyer or seller (someone who already owns the property and is not having the inspection performed in anticipation of selling), then it would not be within TREC's jurisdiction, and the standard form would not be required.
    I think I heard that someplace before.

    Otherwise, and assuming the energy audit involves reporting on property conditions, then it would be within TREC's jurisdiction, and all of the usual statutes and agency rules apply.
    We hope this information is helpful to you.

    Devon V. Bijansky
    Staff Attorney
    Enforcement Division


    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  13. #13
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
    Nolan Kienitz Guest

    Default Re: Home Energy Tune-uP - Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    I think I heard that someplace before.

    I know that I also "heard" that someplace before ... thought it was timely to get the response from Devon and to post just to confirm what you "heard".


    Good one Jerry. !!!


  14. #14
    Benny Stewart's Avatar
    Benny Stewart Guest

    Smile Re: Home Energy Tune-uP - Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by Nolan Kienitz View Post
    Message below is what I received from Devon (TREC Legal) this morning. Helps clarify a tad.


    If the "energy audit" inspection is being performed for someone other than a buyer or seller (someone who already owns the property and is not having the inspection performed in anticipation of selling), then it would not be within TREC's jurisdiction, and the standard form would not be required. Otherwise, and assuming the energy audit involves reporting on property conditions, then it would be within TREC's jurisdiction, and all of the usual statutes and agency rules apply.
    We hope this information is helpful to you.

    Devon V. Bijansky
    Staff Attorney
    Enforcement Division


    As part of the energy audit you make comments on the windows, HVAC, insulation, etc. Am I missing something - that sounds like I'm making a comment on the condition of the property and therefore requires the use to the TREC report. I'm not trying to be difficult, I'm just trying to get the reporting requirements right. On one hand if the energy audit is for a seller or buyer as part of the real estate transaction I understand the use of the TREC form.
    Where there is a conflict is for those other tranactions that are not part of the sell of real estate and TREC legal provides the following response - "Otherwise, and assuming the energy audit involves reporting on property conditions, then it would be within TREC's jurisdiction, and all of the usual statutes and agency rules apply"

    It still sounds like to me that if a condition of a system is reported in any type of transaction, either for a seller or buyer or for a homeowner who has no intention of selling his home we are still required to provide the TREC report and the energy audit as part of the TREC report.

    Maybe it's the interpertation of the word 'is'!


  15. #15
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    Default Re: Home Energy Tune-uP - Inspections

    If the "energy audit" inspection is being performed for someone other than a buyer or seller (someone who already owns the property and is not having the inspection performed in anticipation of selling), then it would not be within TREC's jurisdiction, and the standard form would not be required. Otherwise, and assuming the energy audit involves reporting on property conditions, then it would be within TREC's jurisdiction, and all of the usual statutes and agency rules apply.
    We hope this information is helpful to you.

    Devon V. Bijansky
    Staff Attorney
    Enforcement Division


    Benny, let me take a stab at it. The red and bold above are mine.

    TREC says unless the energy audit is done as part of a real estate transaction they don't have authority to regulate it.
    Otherwise it is just an extension of the standard inspection and you have to follow their (TREC) rules.

    Does that help?

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Home Energy Tune-uP - Inspections

    Nolan,

    Got another question for you ...

    Let's say that you do a "Maintenance Inspection" for a homeowner who is not currently selling their house (know one knows what will happen in the future as *everyone* "eventually" becomes a seller, so the presumption is that it is not currently offered for sale), that inspection too, then, is outside the purview of TREC ... right?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Home Energy Tune-uP - Inspections

    I won't speak for Nolan, but the answer is yes.

    If the "energy audit" inspection is being performed for someone other than a buyer or seller (someone who already owns the property and is not having the inspection performed in anticipation of selling), then it would not be within TREC's jurisdiction,
    Now, how we are to know what a property owner is "anticipating" is another story. I would guess this is where Jerry is headed...

    Jim


    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  18. #18
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
    Nolan Kienitz Guest

    Default Re: Home Energy Tune-uP - Inspections

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post
    Nolan,

    Got another question for you ...

    Let's say that you do a "Maintenance Inspection" for a homeowner who is not currently selling their house (know one knows what will happen in the future as *everyone* "eventually" becomes a seller, so the presumption is that it is not currently offered for sale), that inspection too, then, is outside the purview of TREC ... right?

    Jerry,

    Jim answered as I would ... assuming I am reading your question clearly. Yes, it would be outside of TREC's control.

    As for Benny's comment the CMC Energy Audit does not go into any depth of 'function' of the systems (IE: HVAC). All you do is determine approximate "age" and try to get the "efficiency" value of the units. So all you do is read a nameplate. As for a TREC inspection you "operate" the systems and provide an opinion.

    Food for thought: In a TREC inspection you note in the report a dual pane thermal window with a broken seal. In a CMC Energy Audit you "can mention" it if you like, but it has absolutely no impact on the Energy Audit one way or another.

    That being said it is very difficult to "note it" in one report and "not note it" in the other report. If I were the client and got the two reports and compared the two I would be asking questions.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Home Energy Tune-uP - Inspections

    Jim, Nolan,

    That was my answer too, hence the .

    Why not market "Maintenance Inspections" and semi-intentionally make sure that no one tells you the home is 'for sale' and they are having you do a 'pre-listing inspection' ... (of course, you would not want to see a 'For Sale' sign there ... )

    That way, you are not limited in what you inspect nor in how you report it. You are dealing 'with the owner' of a property, which to your knowledge 'is not for sale', and thus outside the grasp of controlling influences like TREC.

    Yes, I know, the same problems of 'disclosure' for the seller would plague this 'Maintenance Inspection', but you would be outside the grasp of TREC and instead of making sure you cross your 't' and dot you 'i' to fulfill TREC's requirements, you could spend your time on actually inspecting and reporting on what you think is most important to your client. No hanky-panky to please TREC of the real estate agent (to your knowledge, they are not 'involved' yet).

    I know you saw this, or something like this coming (from my questioning), but it might work as another avenue for business?

    Heck, would you even need to be a TREC licensed 'home inspector' for those inspections which are done outside the scope of TREC?

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

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