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  1. #1
    Claire R's Avatar
    Claire R Guest

    Question Training needed to become energy auditor?

    I have an engineering degree (actually 2) and am looking at doing home energy auditing. This would be a LLC startup situation. The auditing would be blower door + IR imaging + software analysis of energy use. I have no interest in being an insulation contractor - just in finding where the energy losses are and what is cost effective to upgrade.

    I have looked at many web sites in the past few weeks, and have found an alphabet soup of certifications and training classes. Two that appear to be useful are Certified Energy Manager (CEM®) and HERS rate qualification. Obviously I would also need training in IR camera use, though I do have lots of diagnostic equipment experience.

    IF an energy audit counts as a home inspection here in PA (which it might not) I would be required to be a member of a professional organization an to carry insurance. Home inspectors can get liability and errors & omissions insurance through a well defined list of companies. What about insurance on $10K in equipment taken to job sites?

    Any energy auditors here with opinions on where one would start? All opinions appreciated.

    -Claire

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  2. #2
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    Talking Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Hey,
    Iknow here in Michigan, I got really lucky. There are only about 500 State CEA's and only 150 to 200 are active. I work for a group in northeastern michigan and cover 11 counties. There are only 2 of us for this area. I see a lot of guys that call themselves CEA's but when I ask them when they were in Lansing for their training. I get a deer in a headlight look. The state has a very tight leash on us. There is a small group in Lansing that covers the hole state. We are alway's going to Con't ed to keep us up to date. I enjoy it becouse I run my HI with my Energy Inspections alot of time. It's better for my Client's and puts a little more cash in the pocket to. Not sure about yhe Insurance in PA so I can't help with that. Good Luck


  3. #3
    Bob Spermo's Avatar
    Bob Spermo Guest

    Post Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    I think your best bet is to become a RESNET Certified Energy Rater. If a builder wants to build an Energy Star home he/she must use a RESNET Energy Rater. Many GreenBuilding program require a HERS score which requires a RESNET Energy Rater. There are week long training programs ($1200-1500) in NY, GA, KS, CA, TX and CO. Go to the RESNET Web page and view the requirements. In my opinion the RESNET Energy Rater is the best way to go if you want a certification that opens up many different avenues. It is an excellent fit for a home inspector that wants to go "Green".


  4. #4
    Claire R's Avatar
    Claire R Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Thank you for your response. It looks like BPI and RESNET training will be held in State College PA this fall, one week each.

    To complicate things, I am not a HI (yet) just an engineer!


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Claire R View Post
    ... IF an energy audit counts as a home inspection here in PA (which it might not) I would be required to be a member of a professional organization an to carry insurance. Home inspectors can get liability and errors & omissions insurance through a well defined list of companies...
    Claire - There is some kind of loop-hole for engineers and architects in the PA Home Inspection Law. I don't know the details, but I just wanted to make sure you knew about it.


  6. #6
    Brian L's Avatar
    Brian L Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Claire R View Post
    Thank you for your response. It looks like BPI and RESNET training will be held in State College PA this fall, one week each.

    To complicate things, I am not a HI (yet) just an engineer!

    Hi Claire,

    I am just wondering how you are progressing with the Energy Auditor training.....I am in the same boat, as in I am thinking of setting a LLC and going down the energy consulting route.

    any advice would be helpful!!

    Brian


  7. #7
    Herb Scott's Avatar
    Herb Scott Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    I found this post and wanted to re-activate it. I'm looking into getting HERS rated with "Northeastern HERS Alliance Training" .
    Has anyone out there gone through this training with Northeastern or any other training org. and how was it. I've been an ASHI inspector for 15 years and I'm a Level II Thermographer.
    Any advise / input would be appreciated.
    Thanks, Herb Scott


  8. #8
    Claire R's Avatar
    Claire R Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    You should look at the PA Home Energy Web site and talk with Kathy Greeley. PA Home Energy offers reasonably priced RESNET and BPI training several times a year. I believe you will need both RESNET and BPI to do HERS ratings with some changes they have in the works. (Though maybe you could just take the BPI exam?)

    By the way, we have an energy audit group on the Linkedin website - if you would like to join us there it would be great!

    -Claire R.


  9. #9
    Robert Kulakowski's Avatar
    Robert Kulakowski Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    This thread has been interesting. I am currently a Energy Tune-uP inspector from CMC Services.

    It is important to know that HERS rating apply to NEW construction only and do not relate to EXISTING construction. The training from a HERS provider is invaluable in understanding building science that contributes to Energy Usage Issues in an existing home.

    As a home inspector, you may wish to look into Tune-uP training. To become a HERS rater follow the instructions as described at the RESNET website. Be prepared to invest in training, equipment purchase (blower door and duct tester), software, signing a contract with a HERS provider, insurance.... Again for new construction.

    Choose your target market - exsiting homes or new construction - do your business case and go for it.


  10. #10
    Claire R's Avatar
    Claire R Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Actually, there is a use for HERS rating with existing homes. The Keystone HELP Loan program for whole house improvement (in PA) requires a "certified energy audit" ... something that requires a HERS rating provider. Right now I am focusing on existing homes - just what I prefer doing.

    There has been some talk of RESNET and BPI having a combined certification process, but I am not sure how close that is to happening.


  11. #11
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    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Sorry to mess up the conversation but I see bad news in these energy audits. Tightening up homes will lead to increased indoor pollution and respiratory problems for their occupants. I've been through the energy classes and they are seriously lacking in good sound information - mainly because their instructors are poorly trained in IAQ.

    No doubt that energy audit inspectors will make money. But also no doubt that homeowners will be left with new problems. But, "optimistically," that will open some other new field down the road for inspectors to jump on.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  12. #12
    Claire R's Avatar
    Claire R Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    In NY state, there were some CO deaths when contractors started air sealing houses. This and other things led to the Building Performance Institute (PBI) ... we have very well defined standards for making sure the combustion appliances are operating properly before suggesting air sealing work. Also, if a certain air changes per hour level is not reached, mechanical ventilation needs to be installed - usually ERV or HRV.

    I would rather have energy audits check out the equipment first, then have houses sealed really tightly without any testing. The alternative is to leave houses leaky, and have unaffordable heating costs for many.


  13. #13
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    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Barker View Post
    Sorry to mess up the conversation but I see bad news in these energy audits. Tightening up homes will lead to increased indoor pollution and respiratory problems for their occupants. I've been through the energy classes and they are seriously lacking in good sound information - mainly because their instructors are poorly trained in IAQ.

    No doubt that energy audit inspectors will make money. But also no doubt that homeowners will be left with new problems. But, "optimistically," that will open some other new field down the road for inspectors to jump on.
    I have to agree with Eric. I did energy audits back in the early and mid 1990's when their popularity was waining. Had the blower door, duct blaster, etc. Then in the late 1990's and early 2000's I did work with an environmental consulting firm who specialized in sick homes and buildings. 90% of the problems we found were caused by negative air pressure in the structure and improper use of insulation materials.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Claire,

    Obviously you've been studying and broadening your knowledge. My hat is off to anyone who makes such an effort. It's by no means a quick study which is why so few properly understand it. If you come across a forum that gets into such topics I'd be interested to know about it. I have yet to find one - the IAQA forum is pretty much unused.

    Eric Barker, ACI
    Lake Barrington, IL

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Kulakowski View Post
    This thread has been interesting. I am currently a Energy Tune-uP inspector from CMC Services.

    It is important to know that HERS rating apply to NEW construction only and do not relate to EXISTING construction. The training from a HERS provider is invaluable in understanding building science that contributes to Energy Usage Issues in an existing home.

    As a home inspector, you may wish to look into Tune-uP training. To become a HERS rater follow the instructions as described at the RESNET website. Be prepared to invest in training, equipment purchase (blower door and duct tester), software, signing a contract with a HERS provider, insurance.... Again for new construction.

    Choose your target market - exsiting homes or new construction - do your business case and go for it.
    I'm curious as to what type of fees folks are getting for HERS ratings on new homes? How much time do you have invested in an audit?

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  16. #16
    Bob Spermo's Avatar
    Bob Spermo Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Scott,

    I do HERS ratings for new homes. I am a RESNET Certified Energy Rater. I also do the phase inspections for these homes which helps to cut down on trips. Since I have a copy of the blueprints, the list of specifications and all of the numbers for the mechanical equipment the predicted HERS rating (computer program input) takes me from 1-2 hours. I do the pre-insulation inspection when I do the mechanical recheck! Might add 15-30 minutes to my time. I make a special trip after insulation before drywall. I try to combine my final inspection with my blower door and duct blaster test. This takes awhile! I then do the final HERS index computer report which takes very little time as long as they built it to plan. I charge $.20 sq/ft of living space. I think I am underpriced as many guys charge either $.25 sq/ft or price by the number of air handlers. Hope that answers your question.

    To answer Eric's concerns. You are absolutely correct in that many people doing "energy audits" do not have the required knowledge. The training received at BPI or a RESNET approved school is excellent. The air exchange rate is very important and without good cubic feet numbers and a blower door test that rate is unattainable. To tighten up a house without checking the appliances and without knowing the air exchange rate is irresponsible. The RESNET energy audit program requires that the auditer be trained by RESNET or BPI. I have a real problem with programs such as Home Tune-Up because their training is superficial at best and no real test equipment is required.


  17. #17
    Claire R's Avatar
    Claire R Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    We have an Energy Audit discussion group on the Linkedin.com web site. It is just for Resnet/BPI auditors and student auditors. We would love to have you there!

    HERS ratings - I have heard $350 - 500 each as a "bulk rate" where the builder is making many similar houses. They may be able to use a sampling method with regard to thermal bypasses and other pre-drywall inspections.


  18. #18
    Skip Earl's Avatar
    Skip Earl Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Hi,

    iCAST (International Center for Appropriate & Sustainable Technology) is a non-profit corporation that is offering free online courses in Residential Energy Efficiency and Solar Power Systems. These courses were produced in partnership with the WIRED program, a federally funded program. The current course offerings are introductory courses and are online versions of 1 week long classroom courses:


    Residential Energy Efficiency Auditor Online Training
    This first course prepares students with backgrounds in construction, electrical, plumbing, HVAC, as well as IT, marketing, sales, administration, and operations how to perform a residential energy audit. Imparted knowledge includes building science and the home as an integrated system, HVAC systems, utility bill analysis, auditing appliances, lighting, and water. The course prepares participants for technical careers but is also valuable for people interested in non-technical support positions



    Solar Power Systems Installation Online Training
    In this course participants will be given an introduction to the concepts, technology, and procedures associated with assessing and installing Solar PV and Solar Thermal systems. Part of the course will also cover business and operational aspects of the solar industry relating to being a contractor or subcontractor. There will also be a panel of solar industry professionals who will discuss career paths, training and certification opportunities.


    To enroll in these free courses please go to:
    iCAST Training


    For more information about iCAST go to:
    iCAST's Main Website


    Thanks


    Skip Earl
    Online Training Manager
    iCAST


  19. #19
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    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    I'm curious to how you all are faring as energy auditors/raters. Our inspector insurance includes coverage for this at no additional charge and we are having a handful of appraisers also getting into the business. Is it working out as hoped?

    David Brauner
    OREP.org


  20. #20
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    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Just a bit of information. In the newly developed 2009 I-Codes an energy audit will be required for every new home constructed. That may be an avenue for income if you get in with a few good builders and are able to perform all of their energy inspections/required tests.


  21. #21
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    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Carlisle View Post
    Just a bit of information. In the newly developed 2009 I-Codes an energy audit will be required for every new home constructed. That may be an avenue for income if you get in with a few good builders and are able to perform all of their energy inspections/required tests.
    I have been told that most of the larger builders will be doing this in-house. I just do not see a person making a good living doing just energy audits on new homes. Just think about how many new homes are being built in your area! It will take several years for the builders to get back to the point that they are building spec homes. We have way too much housing stock just sitting empty now.

    I just do not see energy rating being the golden egg that some are thinking it is going to be.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  22. #22
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Hmmmmmmm

    And again....Hmmmmmm

    I know. I Know.

    You just don't get it until you took the all enlightening class. Yatta, Yatta, Yatta and spend a small fortune on equipment that needs repair and replacement and God forbid an IR camera and and and and....................

    That is a serious amount of money to account for. OOOOOOOOOOOOps, I just droped and damaged some equipment or camera............................to go out and get a few hundred per inspection...........Let me see. 10,000.00 devided by 300 is 33 1/3 inspections......OOOOPs forgot to add in the 10,000 camera for a decent one.....Hmmmmmm 66 2/3 inspections and then you start making money until you replace the equipment or update it or what ever. Throw away the blower and duct blaster test and it is no better than a good home inspection.

    Lets see 66 home inspections with the minimul tools you need equals 20,000 with out the 20,000 expence.

    Lets see I check the HVAC system and leaks from such and duct connections and leaks from such.................Lets see, I did not do the mechanical engineering on the HVAC system anyway so all I have to go is by specs when I do a duct blaster test....soooooooooooooo I can only tell you if it is to those specs anyway which tells me nothing other than measuring all openings and cubic feet of space..................................

    I know, call me crazy and I don't know anything of what I am talking about cause I never took the class.....shooot, I forgot the 12 to 1500 for the class......Darn it.

    Yeah, I get it folks but still a little miffed by it all.

    Build a decent home...get it inspected with phase inspections. Make sure they build and install to specs (cause that is all you can go by) make sure it gets sealed up well....done deal. Yeah yeah, throw the blower test in if you wish. A lot more to it. Well I say to that it is everything I have learned in the past 37 years of working.

    Is all that testing going to account for the improper duct size and ventilation in a south westerly facing room that is always hot in the summer afternoons. Nah, that just goes with experience.

    Not trying to take anything away from anyone but for me I am still trying to grasp it all.

    Now, you want to talk of existing leaking poorly sealed 1968 home with trash HVAC, little insul, lousey ventilation, crappy windows, needs caulking all over etc etc etc..............then I can see it. But it would be up to thehome owner or seller on what....if they can afford the payout to put a small fortune into their home. Those homes are slowly getting updated as we speak. It all takes time.


  23. #23
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    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    I agree, doesn't make a bit of sense to do this on a new home! But it is a requirment.


  24. #24
    Bob Spermo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    David,

    I think the energy arena is a nice addition for the home inspector. I completed RESNET certification ($1500) in Sept 2008 and bought my equipment in Oct 2008 ($4400). I have already completed 7 Energy Star Certifications for over $6000. The energy market will continue to increase as many jurisdictions (like Austin,Tx) are starting to require energy audits (with duct blaster) for older home sales. Offering a pre-listing inspection and an energy audit to the seller is a nice combination. San Antonio starting in Jan 2010 will require all new construction to be Energy Star Certified. My RESNET training actually made me a more knowledgable inspector. Adding an energy program is not for every inspector but I enjoy the doing something a little different.


  25. #25
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Spermo View Post
    David,

    I think the energy arena is a nice addition for the home inspector. I completed RESNET certification ($1500) in Sept 2008 and bought my equipment in Oct 2008 ($4400). I have already completed 7 Energy Star Certifications for over $6000. The energy market will continue to increase as many jurisdictions (like Austin,Tx) are starting to require energy audits (with duct blaster) for older home sales. Offering a pre-listing inspection and an energy audit to the seller is a nice combination. San Antonio starting in Jan 2010 will require all new construction to be Energy Star Certified. My RESNET training actually made me a more knowledgable inspector. Adding an energy program is not for every inspector but I enjoy the doing something a little different.
    So Bob

    Please tell me, and it can be a private message if you wish, 850 per energy star inspection?????? Just extremely curious. Is this with a phase inspection or are you doing a few visits for a few hundred appiece. Also if you could throw anything else by me of how you are pulling that off with the marketing I would greatly appreciate it.

    I am not doubting you in the slightest but I am obviously oblivious to this whole new crazy fad and obviously need enlightening. Again I hate to press for details so you can private message me or call me if you wish.


  26. #26
    Bob Spermo's Avatar
    Bob Spermo Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Ted,

    Energy Star certification for new residential construction requires a pre-insulation inspection, a post insulation installation inspection, a final inspection that requires a blower door and duct blaster test and about 2 hours of work (if you have the blueprints) putting everything into the computer. The going rate for an Energy Star Certification is between $.20 and $.30 a sq foot of living space. My minimum is $500 for a small house. Two of the houses I have done are over 6000 sq ft. The typical Energy Star cert takes me between 6 and 7 hours of work. I have been doing Energy Star Certs for builders that I do phase inspections for and for other builders. I have also done Energy audits for Energy Efficient Mortgages (requires a blower door) for between $175 and $200. The propose new Energy Star requirements will take more time and will therefore cost more for the builder! Hope this helps. Call me if you would like to discuss it more.


  27. #27
    Tyler Johnson's Avatar
    Tyler Johnson Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    I think it is important to distinguish between new construction, and existing buildings. Yes new construction has lots of new requirements, but due to the downturn in the economy, I don’t believe people are building new homes as much as they used to. Instead residents are fixing up the homes they are currently in. This falls right in line with the BPI Building Analyst certification because it is designed to test and analyze existing buildings to make recommendations on how to make the house more energy efficient (i.e. become an “energy auditor”) but also to provide proper IAQ and combustion appliance safety. This makes Building Analyst Training and BPI certification important to gain the advantage in the home inspection and energy auditing field. As for new construction, there is the new LEED for Homes s accreditation and certification process that requires “green raters” which involve many of the aspects of the BPI Building Analyst training. So if a person wants their home to attain a LEED Certification then you could really gain an advantage by both being a LEED Accredited Professional and a BPI Building Analyst green rater but again I am not sure how much demand there is for new construction. I have a friend in New Jersey who uses his BPI Certification to analyze homes, then uses the various state incentives to get the occupant to purchase new retrofits. His company made around 1 million in revenue last month.


  28. #28
    Claire R's Avatar
    Claire R Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Obviously, many fewer homes are being built ... but the new homes market is not dead in PA, just majorly impaired. Amazingly, the builders around here have gone back to small, affordable housing - what the market wants right now. Some builders, such as a major builder in Central PA, have gone to 100% Energy Star Homes - for market differentiation.

    Energy Auditing is not a "meal ticket" at the moment (same as starting in the HI business in this market) but does give an important skill set for understanding and decreasing the energy consumption of houses.

    Interestingly, I was in the Atlanta suburbs this past weekend . We drove through an entire subdivision of new construction houses, every single one had the darkest roof color available - almost black. Many of the new homes also had a very dark shade of brick. (Most were also unsold - the Atlanta real estate market is pretty bad off from what I can tell)

    The energy implications of the dark roofs are staggering - increased AC usage, decreased roof life span, etc etc. In PA the electricity usage reduction targets for next year are just 1-2% per household - something achievable for all houses on average by identifying houses in need of new roofs (due to age) and installing reflective metal roofs (or light colored asphalt).


  29. #29
    Richard Emerson's Avatar
    Richard Emerson Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    I've seen my builder (phase) inspections drop off as the market has shrunk. To make up for it, I've increased my area, perform more commercial inspections, Texas Accessibilty Standards plan reviews and inspections, TPO inspections and am now getting my RESNET certification and Green Verifier through NAHB. If that's what the market is saying, I'm listening! I think the time has come to include science into the trade community and play a more active role. I'm also paying attention to the solar/ wind energy arena, as this will undoubtably be a part of the forseeable future. Still waiting on my Jetson's car though.


  30. #30
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tyler Johnson View Post
    I think it is important to distinguish between new construction, and existing buildings. Yes new construction has lots of new requirements, but due to the downturn in the economy, I don’t believe people are building new homes as much as they used to. Instead residents are fixing up the homes they are currently in. This falls right in line with the BPI Building Analyst certification because it is designed to test and analyze existing buildings to make recommendations on how to make the house more energy efficient (i.e. become an “energy auditor”) but also to provide proper IAQ and combustion appliance safety. This makes Building Analyst Training and BPI certification important to gain the advantage in the home inspection and energy auditing field. As for new construction, there is the new LEED for Homes s accreditation and certification process that requires “green raters” which involve many of the aspects of the BPI Building Analyst training. So if a person wants their home to attain a LEED Certification then you could really gain an advantage by both being a LEED Accredited Professional and a BPI Building Analyst green rater but again I am not sure how much demand there is for new construction. I have a friend in New Jersey who uses his BPI Certification to analyze homes, then uses the various state incentives to get the occupant to purchase new retrofits. His company made around 1 million in revenue last month.
    Isn't it amazing how so many trades can go into a home, analyze the home for concerns and upgrades, give the folks a proposal, do the work if they get it and live happily ever after.

    Now....Home Inspectors go into a home inspect every aspect of a home for basically repairs or upgrades needed and can never touch that home or gain any further profit.

    Hmmmm is all I say...just Hmmmmm.

    Just curious if anyone else has every just said Hmmmmmm to that concept.

    Why is it that every construction trade out there can find and fix problems or do upgrades or additions to any home or business but home inspectors have to live by this code of ethics stating they will never be able to gain employment from their findings.

    Isn't that just a bit odd. I am asked every single time I do an inspection if I am still in the contracting mode as well as inspecting. All I can ever say is that unlike all other businesses on the planet....Home Inspectors are not trusted to do this and it is in our ethical standards that we have to follow about conflicts of interest and not performing work on any home we inspect, so, no folks I can not do any of the repairs or upgrades I find that are needed in the home.

    That's all....just hmmmmmm.


  31. #31
    Andrea Foss's Avatar
    Andrea Foss Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    The training for the two different national home energy auditor certifications are similar, with important differences: The Building Performance Institute offers certifications for existing home energy auditors, while RESNET is the certifying body for new home energy raters. Both have training affiliates that teach courses focusing on building science fundamentals, which many home inspectors should have a decent foundation in.

    The difference in the training other than the focus of the housing stock (existing homes vs new construction) is that BPI Affiliates typically have substantial in field training, focusing on using blower doors and performing combustion safety testing. RESNET training Affiliates, although they have a short field training component, spend the extra time on teaching how to use the modeling software required for ENERGY STAR new home ratings (HERS).

    It seems to me like most home inspectors would be more suited to doing existing home energy audits, rather than new home energy ratings. That's because they are dealing with homeowners and existing homes, which is what their business model is already focused on. Interacting with the new construction industry is much different, primarily because multiple inspections are required, causing the profit margins to be significantly lower. ($300 - $500 for a 3-5 hour existing home energy audit, vs $400 -$800 for Energy Star certification, which requires 2 site inspections and 2-3 hours of energy modeling). In addition, RESNET requires you to find a rating provider, which has annual and per rating fees. No such annual fee structure exists for BPI certified professionals.

    We have more information on becoming an energy auditor on our site, Building Science Tech, as well as training resources for passing the BPI field exams

    Last edited by Andrea Foss; 01-20-2010 at 09:26 AM.

  32. #32
    Jason Kaylor's Avatar
    Jason Kaylor Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    I would agree that BPI is the better path to take for most. Not to mention that a Resnet audit stops the day the auditor walks out the door. A builder (or auditor / builder team) can use energy auditing as a very powerful marketing tool.

    Jason Kaylor


  33. #33
    Scott Kimble's Avatar
    Scott Kimble Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    These posts are very informative and heated. I think Ted you are frustrated and I can understand where you are coming from. I am an appraiser of 20+ years and when you home inspectors came into the field well it seemed a threat. Now energy auditing appears to be your threat. However, for you It really seems to be a Great opportunity to diversify add services. No one is telling you that you have to do the remodeling if you have done the inspection. This I will agree leads to conflict, but that is a CHOICE and between them and God. Some people can run an honest business and do both honestly but it does as always lead to corrupt people doing business. It will not be long before the government takes over and says you cant do both and here are your certification guidelines and other requirements. Just as they have with the Appraisers every time there is a down turn in the market they pick on the smallest lobbying group that they can control because they cant pick on the banks. Let me give you a current example. Now in Appraising, Appraisers have to take 1/2 of the fees that we used to get for an appraisal. This is due to the government saying that there needs to be separation between the lenders influence over the appraiser, so you have to work only through a Appraisal Management Company or AMC. The AMC gets the fees that the appraiser used to get requires us to have more education, more forms to full out and to do the job in less time. This leads to errors and overall poor quality work. Here's the kicker with relation to inspection and repairs. For the banks have now learned that we can still control the appraisers by buying the AMC or starting our own AMC. You seem to be a person who is always skeptical about things and saying this is to good to be true. Well I have done some research including reading an article by Bob Spermo in "Working RE" Magazine. I found a RESNET provider here and noticed the BPI course as well as others. If you read the article in Working RE you will note that several lenders are offering deals on mortgages and seconds and home equity llines of credit for improvements to the home. Lenders are not only offering money off on the closing costs but if the article talks about some lenders are adding the savings in energy if they do the improvements onto their income. The example in the magazine was if the borrower makes $3,000 per month and they will be saving $400 the lender will call their income $3,400 to afford more. The government is also offering tax incentives for these things so read up become open minded. What I have for you Ted is Matthew 17: 20

    I wish to thank Andrea for the comparison of the BPI and RESNET. I called RESNET and she couldn't quite tell me that difference while I was doing my research.

    Bob Spermo Thank you for your article in Working RE magazine I couldn't put it down.

    I plan on doing both since there are new construction here in MD a lot but existing market is something also to do.

    I am excited about this and it will be a good addition to Appraising and God willing a new career I had been praying for.


  34. #34
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Hi Scott

    Frustrated???

    Not sure if that is the correct term but I will take it.

    What I should have added is that I can go to anyones home even though I am a home inspector, listen to there wants and needs *as a contractor*, go thru their entire home noting any other upgrades they may need, give them a proposal for the work to be done and if accepted, do the work.

    Why anyone would think that being an inspector is going to make one more dubious and criminal like than a contractor coming to their home and doing the same thing is beyond me.

    I'll put it to you this way. Those that are the dubious type are more than likely, if inclined, to still give folks a price to repair certain items they find in an inspection or at the least have their hand behind their back getting a take from someone they call in to do the work.

    Just because one is a home inspector why would it make him suspect if he were to do some of the work needed. Again, did you read what I highlighted in my last post and commented on? It is the exact same thing

    I will post what I highlighted earlier

    "I have a friend in New Jersey who uses his BPI Certification to analyze homes, then uses the various state incentives to get the occupant to purchase new retrofits. His company made around 1 million in revenue last month."

    You tell me about frustration and please don't give me the ethical speak on it that all home inspectors (and I have been one for 30 years) do because they have been brain washed into believing that this is the way it should be.

    Personally I cannot understand why you can get thirty home inspectors in a room and ask the question "if a home inspector finds concerns, should he be able to fix those concerns" and every single one of them will shake their heads no.

    Now read the red highlight above and tell me what the difference is.

    Not be argumentative here, just no one ever seems to come up with an un brain washed answer.

    It is all just a mind set. There would be absolutely nothing wrong with doing exactly what a contractor does. Evaluate (inspect), write up a proposal, do the work, get paid, on to the next job.

    Again, I built and remodeled for 30 years. During that time I also inspected part time. No I did not incorporate both only because some folks on the planet deemed it uncouth. I then inspected after that for another 10-12 years full time after that, here I sit now.

    Just looking hear from folks and their reasoning. Most folks stay as far away from this subject as possible.

    Remodeler, energy auditor, electrician, plumber, roofer etc etc etc etc can all go and inspect, evaluate, propose, do the work. What the heck is the difference.


  35. #35
    chris mcintyre's Avatar
    chris mcintyre Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Remodeler, energy auditor, electrician, plumber, roofer etc etc etc etc can all go and inspect, evaluate, propose, do the work. What the heck is the difference.
    Ted,
    The main difference is that it is the homeowner who calls in the, remodeler, energy auditor, electrician, plumber, roofer etc..... and says I want to do xxxx what is the best way to do this and how much will it cost.

    The home inspector is hired by the person wanting to buy the house, he comes in picks the house apart, points out every little thing he can find wrong. The homeowner hears back from the realtor what a POS they are living in according to the home inspector. The homeowner calls a builder and never wants to see the HI again.


  36. #36
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Quote Originally Posted by chris mcintyre View Post
    Ted,
    The main difference is that it is the homeowner who calls in the, remodeler, energy auditor, electrician, plumber, roofer etc..... and says I want to do xxxx what is the best way to do this and how much will it cost.

    The home inspector is hired by the person wanting to buy the house, he comes in picks the house apart, points out every little thing he can find wrong. The homeowner hears back from the realtor what a POS they are living in according to the home inspector. The homeowner calls a builder and never wants to see the HI again.

    You stated my case with out realizing it. The home inspector would not have a chance to repair in most cases anyway because if the seller wishes to (and does not have to) repair anything we are being brought into check anyway. There is an automatic check and balance in almost all cases. The negotiation for repairs only goes so far because either the buyer is going to get prices from his own folks or Realtors referrals for follow ups anyway so there is another check and balance.

    We actually have more checks and balances on us than most contractors and the simple fact that you are correct about the seller verifying anyway. It is a no lose situation in almost all cases if a home inspector is throwing in a price. There is, in almost every single case, someone coming behind you.

    Like I said in the other post. If someone is a thief they are already ripping someone off somewhere. You are working on a theory that home inspectors as a majority cannot be trusted which is further from the truth than with almost all other trades type folks as we have to be the consummate professional just to get the work as a home inspector. We are tested on everything we do unlike almost all the trades as most trades have folks working under them that are doing the majority of the work that may never have seen a wire six months ago or even a few years ago, never mind already tested on it.

    This topic has had me shaking my head for decades. Yes, I understand where everyone is coming from to a point but a small point.

    The most perfect example was the energy folks inspecting and bidding and doing the work. Windows, caulking, ventilation, HVAC, insulation, weather stripping, reflective barriers, appliances, etc etc etc They are in essence an inspector gaining profit in repairs from what they are inspecting.

    I have seriously thought countless amount of times to starting up the contracting biz again. Inspect one day. Quote the next on another home for repairs/remodel. What a sham. It could even be a home an inspector just inspected the day before that I was giving prices on. No law against being an inspector and a contractor.

    The more I think about this energy auditing field the more I may be liking it. Even if just doing the audits and then subbing everything out. What a racket. Do what I do now in another field and do both ends. Inspect and repair

    Just some thoughts


  37. #37
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Has anyone noticed that this thread has had in excess of 17,000 viewers with less than 40 posts? What, if anything, might that indicate?


  38. #38
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Hey All- David Brauner again. I just want to you let you know that OREP.org has E&O insurance for home inspectors that covers energy auditing at no additional charge. Also, if you don't want or need E&O for home inspecting, we can get the energy rater’s E&O/GL for you separately.

    We also market an E-manual (beginning guide) to energy rating/auditing and a webinar. OREP.org (click benefits).


  39. #39
    Jason Kaylor's Avatar
    Jason Kaylor Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Here is a pretty good list of BPI training locations coming up for this year.

    2010 BPI Weatherization Training / Certification Class Line Up *updated 12/17/09

    JJ


  40. #40
    James Mallory's Avatar
    James Mallory Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Ted,

    Though I'm a not a home inspector, I can sympathize with your sentiment. I run a mold inspection & remediation company and occasionally run into similar questions of conflicts of interest. Similar to home inspectors, our industry has a lot of unscrupulous individuals. However, I've found zero correlation between whether or not a company performs both aspects of the project and their ultimate resistance to perpetrating a scam. In fact, the biggest scams I've seen in our industry have been performed by companies that exclusively perform either inspections or remediation.

    I agree with the other comments however, the home inspection industry is not conducive to contracting because of the timing of the process.

    If you're serious about making income from addressing the problems found during a home inspection, I suggest setting up a separate division within your company offering real estate handyman services. You'd have to be clear with homeowners that the division has a shared ownership, but I really doubt most customers would mind.

    James Mallory
    Green Business Institute
    Energy Audit Training
    BPI Certification


  41. #41
    chris mcintyre's Avatar
    chris mcintyre Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Quote Originally Posted by A.D. Miller View Post
    Has anyone noticed that this thread has had in excess of 17,000 viewers with less than 40 posts?
    Barley two months has past and James revival of this thread has brought to light that it is now over 20k views.

    What, if anything, might that indicate?

    I'm hoping this was a rhetorical question, because I have no idea.
    The answer is...


  42. #42
    Dave Burch1's Avatar
    Dave Burch1 Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Hi Scott,
    Where in Maryland are you? I am energy auditor in Maryland and am always looking for the right people to affiliate with, both for RESNET and BPI certified auditors. We are currently working with several builders on Energy Star certs and have just recently moved into NAHB Greenrater and LEED for Homes. If you want to talk more about it drop me a line.

    Incidently, the Home Star program is going to require before and after testing of any homes that want to qualify for the tax rebates. These are to be done by BPI Building Analysts and HERS raters.


  43. #43
    Jason Kaylor's Avatar
    Jason Kaylor Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Burch1 View Post
    Hi Scott,
    Where in Maryland are you? I am energy auditor in Maryland and am always looking for the right people to affiliate with, both for RESNET and BPI certified auditors. We are currently working with several builders on Energy Star certs and have just recently moved into NAHB Greenrater and LEED for Homes. If you want to talk more about it drop me a line.

    Incidently, the Home Star program is going to require before and after testing of any homes that want to qualify for the tax rebates. These are to be done by BPI Building Analysts and HERS raters.

    Dave,

    In the current legislation (not passed yet) a silver Home Star project will be tested in and tested out by a Resnet or BPI certified BA. Any licensed contractor can do the retrofits.

    On the Gold Star projects any Resnet or BPI certified BA can do the test in/out, but only a Gold Star accrediated BPI accredited contractor can do the retrofits.

    For those of you that are BPI rated, and do not know your level of training, check to see if you are certified or accredited. Accredited requires more training on top of the BA, another test, and an annual fee of $1500 to BPI.

    JJ


  44. #44
    Bob Spermo's Avatar
    Bob Spermo Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Jason,

    I just went to the BPI page. I interpret the program to say that to do the work (under Gold) the contractor has to be accredited but did not see where the Building Analyst has to be accredited. My interpretation may beincorrect but I read it to say a BPI certified building analyst can do the test in and test out for the Gold program.


  45. #45
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jason Kaylor View Post
    Dave,

    In the current legislation (not passed yet) a silver Home Star project will be tested in and tested out by a Resnet or BPI certified BA. Any licensed contractor can do the retrofits.

    On the Gold Star projects any Resnet or BPI certified BA can do the test in/out, but only a Gold Star accrediated BPI accredited contractor can do the retrofits.

    For those of you that are BPI rated, and do not know your level of training, check to see if you are certified or accredited. Accredited requires more training on top of the BA, another test, and an annual fee of $1500 to BPI.

    JJ
    Another test and an annual fee of 1500 dollars.

    Sounds like nothing but a revolving money machine for the certifiers/schools

    Class plus testing and certifaication plus

    Then another class plus testing and certification plus 1500 a year more plus and plus and plus. Really going overboard on this. I have seen what is involved in the classes. What could possibly be worth that much for these classes and certification and then yearly fee. Sounds like the ones doing the certifying have had there hands in the fixes to keep you shelling out money to them forever.

    What is up with that.

    Do they really think that being certified in this entails more knowledge than being a home inspector. A few technical issues to get over and then it is done.

    Lets compare that with the knowledge needed to be a good home inspector compared to what it takes for this....electric, framing, foundation, plumbing, roofing, installation etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc etc

    Oh, never mind there is no comparison. It is just like the old days with the mob. Everyone has their hands in the cookie jar and everyone all the way up keeps getting a cut and makes sure everyone has to keep the cut coming or else.

    A never ending take of everyone's money for very little knowledge needed. ike a said, a few technical aspects to get used to and then its done. Other than that it is all a serious amount of hype.

    Sorry folks. Just some wandering thoughts and opinions spoken or written out loud. No direct attack on any individual. The hype into all this is feeding the flames and all the fire departments can no longer put those flames out.

    Lets see. What other profession can one get into that requires so little knowledge of one field of work. It is tougher for a plumber to be an apprentice and test all the way through.. Then someday be a master plumber after mastering all the knowledge needed. That was no dig on plumbers. They go through a lot to get to the top of their profession and some call trade.

    Seriously folks. Does anyone at all see this how I am looking at it or for some strange reason am I the only one. Great job if you put a serious mount of money out there in marketing and schooling and testing and certifying and re certifying and 1500 a year to keep the certification and , and, and, and lets not forget about the equipment. I seriously do n ot see this as an electrician or plumber or or or or. Oh yeah, back to comparing it with home inspection and the tremendous amount of knowledge that has to be locked away and keeping up with that knowledge.

    And I just do not see it.


  46. #46
    Mike Denby's Avatar
    Mike Denby Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    I would highly recommend looking at the Denby Energy Energy Auditor training program. It is a self paced program and approved by the USGBC council. It is the only USGBC approved training program. Denby provides a comprehensive set of training materials. You can learn more at Energy auditing | Energy auditing training | denbyenergy.com.


  47. #47
    Join Date
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    Location
    Massachusetts
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    191

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    I usually don't pass things like this along, especially since I haven't had a chance to verify it's accuracy, but I just received the following email that I thought might be of interest. It's related to this thread because, if true, we should all consider becoming energy auditors:

    [FONT='Arial','sans-serif']So you think you live in a free country.[/FONT][FONT='Arial','sans-serif'][/FONT]
    [FONT='Arial','sans-serif']Boy have you got a surprise coming.
    [/FONT]
    [FONT='Arial','sans-serif']
    A License Required for your HOUSE?

    If you own your home you really need to check this out. At the end of this email is the Google link to verify. If the country thinks the housing market is depressed now, wait until everyone sees this. No one will be buying homes in the future.

    We encourage you to read the provisions of the Cap and Trade Bill that has passed the House of Representatives and are being considered by the Senate. We are ready to join the next march on Washington ! This Congress and their "experts" are truly out to destroy the middle class of the U.S.A.

    A License will be required for your house...no longer just for cars and mobile homes....Thinking about selling your house? Take a look at H.R. 2454 (Cap and Trade bill). This is unbelievable! Home owners take note and tell your friends and relatives who are home owners!

    Beginning one year after enactment of the Cap and Trade Act, you won't be able to sell your home unless you retrofit it to comply with the energy and water efficiency standards of this "Cap & Trade" bill, passed by the House of Representatives. If it is also passed by the Senate, [/FONT]
    [FONT='Arial','sans-serif']it will be the largest tax increase any of us has ever experienced[/FONT][FONT='Arial','sans-serif'].[/FONT][FONT='Arial','sans-serif'][/FONT]
    [FONT='Arial','sans-serif'] The Congressional Budget Office (supposedly non-partisan) estimates that in just a few years the[/FONT][FONT='Arial','sans-serif'] average cost to every family of four will be $6,800 per year[/FONT][FONT='Arial','sans-serif']. No one is excluded. However, once the lower classes feel the pinch in their wallets, you can be sure that these voters will get a tax refund (even if they pay no taxes at all) to offset this new cost. Thus, you Mr. And Mrs. Middle Class have to pay even more since additional tax dollars will be needed to bail out everyone else..

    But wait. This awful bill (that no one in Congress has actually read) has many more surprises in it. Probably the worst one is this: A year from now you won't be able to sell your house without some bureaucrat's OK. Yes, you read that right.[/FONT]

    [FONT='Arial','sans-serif']The caveat (there always is a caveat) is that if you have enough money to make required major upgrades to your home, then you can sell it. But, if not, then forget it. Even pre-fabricated homes ("mobile homes") are included. In effect, this bill prevents you from selling your home without the permission of the EPA administrator.[/FONT]
    [FONT='Arial','sans-serif']To get this permission, you will have to have the energy efficiency of your home measured. Then the government will tell you what your new energy efficiency requirement is and you will be required to make modifications to your home under the retrofit provisions of this Act, to comply with the new energy and water efficiency requirements.[/FONT]
    [FONT='Arial','sans-serif']Then you will have to get your home measured again and get a license (called a "label" in the Act) that must be posted on your property to show what your efficiency rating is; sort of like the Energy Star efficiency rating label on your refrigerator or air conditioner. If you don't get a high enough rating, you can't sell. [/FONT]
    [FONT='Arial','sans-serif']And, the EPA administrator is authorized to raise the standards every year, even above the automatic energy efficiency increases built into the Act. The EPA administrator, appointed by the President, will run the Cap & Trade program (AKA the "American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009") and is authorized to make any future changes to the regulations and standards he/she alone determines to be in the government's best interest. Requirements are set low initially so the bill will pass Congress. Then the Administrator can set new standards every year.[/FONT]
    [FONT='Arial','sans-serif']The Act itself contains annual required increases in energy efficiency for private and commercial residences and buildings. However, the EPA administrator can set higher standards at any time. Sect. 202 - Building Retrofit Program mandates a national retrofit program to increase the energy efficiency of all existing homes across America . [/FONT]
    [FONT='Arial','sans-serif']Beginning one year after enactment of the Act, you won't be able to sell your home unless you retrofit it to comply with its energy and water efficiency standards. You had better sell soon, because the standards will be raised each year and will be really hard (expen$ive) to meet in a few years. Oh, goody![/FONT]
    [FONT='Arial','sans-serif']The Act allows the government to give you a grant of several thousand dollars to comply with the retrofit program requirements IF you meet certain energy efficiency levels. But, wait, the State can set additional requirements on who qualifies to receive the grants. You should expect requirements such as "can't have an income of more than $50K per year", "home selling price can't be more than $125K", or anything else to target the upper middle class (that includes YOU?) and prevent you from qualifying for the grants. [/FONT]
    [FONT='Arial','sans-serif']Most of us won't get a dime and will have to pay the entire cost of the retrofit out of our own pockets. More transfer of wealth, more "change you can believe in." Sect. 204 - Building Energy Performance Labeling Program establishes a labeling program that for each individual residence will identify the achieved energy efficiency performance for "at least 90 percent of the residential market within 5 years after the date of the enactment of this Act."

    This means that within 5 years 90% of all residential homes in the U.S. must be measured and labeled. The EPA administrator will get $50M each year to enforce the labeling program. The Secretary of the Department of Energy will get an additional $20M each year to help the EPA. Some of this money will, of course, be spent on coming up with tougher standards each year...

    Oh, the label will be like a license for your car. You will be required to post the label in a conspicuous location in your home and will not be allowed to sell your home without having this label. And, just like your car license, you will probably be required to get a new label every so often - maybe every year.[/FONT]

    [FONT='Arial','sans-serif']But, the government estimates the cost of measuring the energy efficiency of your home should only cost about $200 each time.[/FONT][FONT='Arial','sans-serif'] Remember what they said about the auto smog inspections when they first started: that in California ? It would only cost $15. That was when the program started. Now the cost is about $50 for the inspection and certificate. [/FONT]
    [FONT='Arial','sans-serif'] Expect the same from the home labeling program. Sect. 304 - Greater Energy Efficiency in Building Codes establishes new energy efficiency guidelines for the National Building Code and mandates at 304(d) that one year after enactment of this Act, all state and local jurisdictions must adopt the National Building Code energy efficiency provisions or must obtain a certification from the federal government that their state and/or local codes have been brought into full compliance with the National Building Code energy efficiency standards.

    CHECK OUT a few of the sites; [/FONT]

    [FONT='Arial','sans-serif']Cap and Trade: A License Required for your Home http://www.nachi. org/forum/ f14/cap-and- trade-license- required- your-home- 44750/[/FONT]
    [FONT='Arial','sans-serif']HR2454 American Clean Energy & Security Act: http://www.govtrack .us/congress/ bill.xpd? bill=h111- 2454[/FONT]
    [FONT='Arial','sans-serif']Cap & Trade A license required for your home: http://www.prisonplanet.com/cap-and-trade-a-license-required-for-your-home.html[/FONT]
    [FONT='Arial','sans-serif']Cap and trade is a license to cheat and steal:
    http://www.sfexamin er.com/opinion/ columns/oped_ contributors/ Cap-and-trade- is-a-license- to-cheat- and-steal- 45371937. html
    Cap and Trade: A License Required for your Home: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2393940/posts
    [/FONT]

    [FONT='Arial','sans-serif']Thinking about selling you House? Look at HR 2454:[/FONT]
    [FONT='Arial','sans-serif']http://www.federalobserver.com/2009/10/01/thinking-about-selling-your-house-a-look-at-h-r-2454-cap-and-trade-bill/[/FONT]
    [FONT='Arial','sans-serif'] [/FONT]
    [FONT='Arial','sans-serif'] [/FONT]


  48. #48
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO
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    1,217

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Steve,

    Did that e-mail come from someone named Ted?

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
    Bruce Breedlove
    www.avaloninspection.com

  49. #49
    Philip's Avatar
    Philip Guest

    Smile Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    In the late 70's when energy efficiency and alternative sources was the buzz, houses started to become air restrictive. If you look at the increase of asthma and the increase of thermal efficiency you will see they are in accord. In the early 80"s I looked at a Swedish device that was an air to air heat exchanger. It brought in fresh cold air warmed by expelling interior air. Indoor air quality is horrible. As far as all these energy audits they are not worth the study or certification. Houses loose heat the same way they always have. At one time the best return on investment was the foam inserts that went over the electrical receptacles in houses without side wall insulation.
    Thanks for the info on what the Feds are wanting to do. I will move to the first state that suceeds from this union, and fight for it's independence. Oh My God. Homeland Security is knocking, no, they are knocking down my front door.


  50. #50
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    1,217

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Philip View Post
    In the late 70's when energy efficiency and alternative sources was the buzz, houses started to become air restrictive. If you look at the increase of asthma and the increase of thermal efficiency you will see they are in accord.

    Increasing the thermal efficiency of a house does not cause asthma. It helps reduce heat loss. What you meant to say (I assume) is, "If you look at the increase of asthma and the reduction of air leakage you will see they are in accord."

    Back when energy was cheap and plentiful (before the Arab Oil Embargo) energy efficiency was not a major concern. Now it is becoming a major concern. During and after the Arab Oil Embargo we looked for ways to reduce our consumption of energy. We discovered that adding insulation alone helped but a major source of heat loss in homes was due to air leakage. By making a home tighter we could make it significantly more energy efficient. We also learned that if a house was made too tight the IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) suffered but that could be remedied by adding mechanical ventilation.

    The intelligent approach today it "Build it tight and ventilate right". That means build the house as tight as possible and bring in fresh air under controlled conditions. The ideal scenario would be to build a house as tight as an Apollo space capsule (zero leaks) and bring in all the make-up air via controlled mechanical ventilation rather than having "fresh" air coming into the home from the attic, crawlspace, wall cavities, garage, etc.

    It is easy to calculate how much fresh make-up air a home needs. Per ASHRAE 62.2 the amount of fresh air required (in CFM) for a home is [(Number of Occupants) X 7.5] + (0.01 X SF) where the number of occupants is the number of bedrooms plus one (two occupants in the Master Bedroom) and SF is the conditioned area of the home. A simple blower door test will tell you the air leakage rate of a home. If the leakage rate is greater than the rate needed per ASHRAE 62.2 no additional ventilation is needed. If the leakage rate is less than the rate needed per ASHRAE 62.2 the amount of make-up air is simply the differenct between the two amounts.

    For example, suppose a blower door test on a 3-bedroom 2000 SF house shows the house has a leakage rate of 90 CFM under normal conditions. Using ASHRAE 62.2 we find the amount of fresh air needed is (4 X 7.5) + (0.01 X 2000) = 50 CFM. The house is getting enough fresh air through air infiltration so no additional ventilation is needed.

    Suppose the same house underwent energy efficiency improvements that reduced natural air infiltration to 30 CFM. Now 20 CFM additional ventilation is needed to maintain IAQ (50 - 30). This can be accomplished any number of ways but the most common methods are 1) add an exhaust fan (e.g., in a bathroom) 2) add an intake fan and 3) install an HRV or ERV. If the fan or HRV delivers more than the needed 20 CFM it can be controlled by a timer so that it delivers the needed amount of fresh air by running intermittantly.

    Here is what EPA has to say on the subject (from Indoor Air Quality In Homes/Residences):

    If too little outdoor air enters a home, pollutants can accumulate to levels that can pose health and comfort problems. In the past, homes had a significant amount of "natural" ventilation from leaks in the building. However, because some weather conditions can drastically reduce the amount of outdoor air that enters a home, pollutants can build up even in homes that are normally considered "leaky." Moreover, uncontrolled leaks can introduce moisture and humidity, pollens, and dust inside framing systems and interior spaces. This can lead to future air quality and durability problems. Beyond indoor air quality problems, leaky homes can be very expensive to heat and cool.

    Building leaky homes isn't the answer. Tight energy-efficient homes save energy and money. And with proper mechanical ventilation, they can have better indoor air quality than a leaky home. The reason is control. In a leaky home, outdoor air enters the house -- through cracks, unsealed joints, and penetrations, for example -- intermittently, depending largely on the weather. Some times there will be too much leakage, resulting in a drafty, uncomfortable house. Other times there won't be enough, resulting in a stuffy house. Mechanical ventilation in a well-insulated, well-sealed house, however, can exhaust pollutants and bring in outdoor air in a planned way. This makes a house both comfortable and energy efficient.
    I know the naysayers out there (and you know who you are) will disagree with this approach and so be it. The fact is that homes can be made tighter and more energy-efficient without reducing IAQ and that is accomplished by using controlled ventilation.

    "Baseball is like church. Many attend but few understand." Leo Durocher
    Bruce Breedlove
    www.avaloninspection.com

  51. #51
    Ted Menelly's Avatar
    Ted Menelly Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    I agree with most of what Bruce has noted in his post. Maybe a few changes or modifications but most.

    I do agree with tight homes. Some home will only be able to be made so tight.

    To impose ridiculous standards like SF stated, I am not sure if all that is there, but the way things are going in our government I would not be surprised.

    I say it will be more like south Texas where you have to have an energy audit to pass on to the buyers but you do not have to make repairs. That in itself is foolish to impose that on citizens to have to buy a service or product from another individual.

    I don't care what side of the fence anyone is on but all should heed the fact that government intervention is becoming more prevalent in every aspect of our lives.

    Yes I hear all the folks that something has to be done with energy and health care and and and and. Things take time. The massive expenses that this country is taking on when it is a time when expenses need to be cut is the greatest plague on the US in known history. Don't come back with GB or Clinton or RR or any of that.

    Enough is enough with the pilfering of funds from the US citizens. You say it is costing us so why not fix it. It will only cost more in the end just like health care.

    It has gone from individuals in corporations pilfering money from the common man to a complete reverse of the Government of the United States pilfering money from the common man.

    The cockiness of the man in charge is outrageous. The cockiness of the speaker is something I have not seen or read about in my 56 years. Cocky attitude all the way down to the bone.

    They do not care about you or you well being no matter what they are spouting. They are blind with power. They are blind with position. They are blind to the error of their ways. They want the credit for the spread of the destruction of the middle class only to benefit the folks below them in financial status.

    You will be paying more taxes than you could have ever dreamed of and not calling it tax.

    Don't come back with what I have been listening to. I listen to reason. Strong unadulterated reason. You can pull figures in any direction you want but everything that is going on right now is plotted and planned. It is going to cost fortunes unheard of for decades and decades to come.

    The idea that the republicans can repeal any of this is ludicrous. It will be so deep before they get control that they will not be able to roll it back. It will be so embedded it will not be able to be dug out and that is all planned as well. The dems no what they are doing.

    You cannot change the way of things is a couple of freaking years. Entire changes to societies take generations not a couple of years. Gradual, leveled slow progression with weighed changes over time.

    The biggest lie a sitting President has ever made.'

    We have to do this to make health care affordable for everyone. We have to do this to bring the cost of health care down. Not only will this bring health care dow but it will lower the deficit.

    The big lie...............Everything will cost everyone more. The cost of taxes is a little over a quarter a year right now when you add up the tax you pay on everything. If they called what they are about to do a tax it will slowly push up to 40% of what we earn anf then push close to the 50% mark like Brittan, Spain, Freance and any other country doing wa=hat the administration is pushing for.

    DON'T BELIEVE IT? THINK IT IS A BUNCH OF BULL? LOOK AT THE WORLD AROUND YOU.

    For those tha live in California and Massachusetts, I fell for you the most. The only thing that has saved you states so fr was the gov bail outs. They simply cannot afford it anymore. For thos that do not know the only reason Mass has not failed, yet, was because you were bailing them out by the billions every year for some time. They simply cannot afford to go on as they are right now.

    I strongly apologies to all for the rant. Before you ask the answer is yes. This has everything to do with home inspection and every other trade and profession. Again, I am sorry for the rant. Sometimes things just have to be said out loud either by mouth, pen or keyboard.


  52. #52
    Philip's Avatar
    Philip Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    When you design a home with air exchanges you can control the IAQ, but for the most part these houses were built with plenty of infiltration. Then we started putting in windows, insulation, and sealed every crack with foam. Now, bad air might not cause asthma, but look at the graphs. I am sure there are a lot of reasons for this increase in the incidence of this illness, I just can not think of one. Sort of like autism, vaccines have not caused one in one hundred fifty children, mostly white males, to be struck with this. The fact that in thirty thousand Amish children they have no autism, nor do they have vaccines, well I guess that doesn't prove a thing.


  53. #53
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Denver
    Posts
    893

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    InterNACHI has a very comprehensive, free, online "How to Perform Energy Audits" course at "How to Perform Energy Audits" course - InterNACHI

    The course has the additional bennie of being approved for home inspector CE in many states.

    Lisa Endza
    Director of Communication
    InterNACHI

  54. #54
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    McAllen, Texas
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    TEXAS ADOPTS THE 2009 ENERGY CODE

    The State of Texas has adopted the energy provisions found in Chapter 11 of the 2009 International Residential Code for single family homes effective January 1, 2012. Multifamily, commercial and industrial construction will have to comply effective April 1, 2011.

    This code has a mandatory thermal bypass inspection (extremely similar to the ENERGY STAR(R) program), mandatory duct testing if the ducts are outside conditioned space, and mandatory blower door testing if they did not do the thermal bypass inspection. The person doing the inspection has to be independent of the insulation installer.

    Texas joins California, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, New Hampshire, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Utah, Washington and West Virginia in adopting the 2009 IRC. Meanwhile, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Montana, Oregon, and Pennsylvania have adopted the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code, essentially Chapter 11 of the 2009 IRC. All States that accepted ARRA stimulus funding are on the clock to adopt the 2009 energy efficiency codes as a condition of funding.

    So do you think this will help business?


    Richard Flores
    Professional Inspector TREC # 8139
    www.premier-rgv.com

  55. #55
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
    Nolan Kienitz Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Flores View Post
    TEXAS ADOPTS THE 2009 ENERGY CODE

    The State of Texas has adopted the energy provisions found in Chapter 11 of the 2009 International Residential Code for single family homes effective January 1, 2012. Multifamily, commercial and industrial construction will have to comply effective April 1, 2011.

    So do you think this will help business?

    Nope. Only for those who have invested a "boat load" of $$ into various 'energy certs' and very 'spensive equipment ... all to the tune of approaching $20K.

    Even then you will likely have to hook up with a big company or a utility or such who are currently doing the inspections pretty much for 'free'.

    Been reviewing and watching this for well over year and cannot, for the life of me, see the ROI on this one.

    I was at a CE class this past Friday and chatted about this with some of the long-term HIs and all were in agreement that for the single operator and the way the HVAC companies and Utilities are offering 'deals' for the inspections it would be a tough hill to climb.


  56. #56
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Nolan and others, when was this passed into legislation? I've seen the quote Richard provided but have not found the related facts to this.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  57. #57
    Bob Spermo's Avatar
    Bob Spermo Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Just so you are not getting/giving bad information - it cost me $1500 in training and $4200 in equipment to be able to do Energy Star certifications. These Energy Star certifications are not difficult to do and for some builders I do phase inspections at the same time. I make more money doing energy related "things" than I do home inspecting. I have even started a certification course where participants can earn a RESNET and BPI Rating. Some cities are also requiring new construction to be either Energy Star or comply with 2009 IECC.


  58. #58
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    McAllen, Texas
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Nolan.. thanks for the input.. Makes me think twice about pursuing this.

    Jim, Got this from a friend who is an auditor.. His provider send it to him...

    I guess we all have to see what is really going to happen...

    Richard Flores
    Professional Inspector TREC # 8139
    www.premier-rgv.com

  59. #59
    Nolan Kienitz's Avatar
    Nolan Kienitz Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Nolan and others, when was this passed into legislation? I've seen the quote Richard provided but have not found the related facts to this.
    JL - Here it 'tis: The Texas Energy Office


    Texas Energy Office Officially Adopts 2009 IECC and 2009 IRC | Online Code Environment and Advocacy Network

    Not sure how the Texas Energy Office will trickle down to us lowly TREC HIs ..


  60. #60
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Here is the rule from the State Energy Office web site:

    This new rule is proposed pursuant to Health and Safety Code, §388.003.
    The new section implements Health and Safety Code, §388.003.
    §19.53.Building Energy Efficiency Performance Standards.
    (a) Single-family residential construction. Effective January 1, 2012, the energy efficiency provisions of the International Residential Code as they existed on May 1, 2009, are adopted as the energy code in this state for single-family residential construction as it is defined in Health and Safety Code, §388.002(12).
    (b) All other residential, commercial, and industrial construction. Effective January 1, 2011, the International Energy Conservation Code as it existed on May 1, 2009, is adopted as the energy code for use in this state for all residential, commercial, and industrial construction that is not single-family residential construction under subsection (a) of this section.
    This agency hereby certifies that the proposal has been reviewed by legal counsel and found to be within the agency's legal authority to adopt.
    Filed with the Office of the Secretary of State on March 11, 2010.
    TRD-201001236
    Ashley Harden
    General Counsel
    Comptroller of Public Accounts
    Earliest possible date of adoption: April 25, 2010
    For further information, please call: (512) 475-0387


    So I take it by 2012, the single family home will be required to meet the 2009 energy code, guess I better take that TPREIA energy class after all.

    Of course the state energy czar has decreed that there is NO significant cost anticipated on the state or those complying with the rule.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  61. #61
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Plano, Texas
    Posts
    4,170

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Oh, yeah, as far as I can tell, this was NOT passed into law, this is a RULE created by the energy office so it was not voted on by elected officials, just mandated by government employees.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Plano, Texas

  62. #62
    Dan J. Payne's Avatar
    Dan J. Payne Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Some very good posts here.
    As some have stated training is the key to assure when we are tightening homes to assure Health, Safety and IAQ.
    Combustion Zone Testing and other requirements to BPI Standards are in place just for this reason.
    As with proposed Home Star legislation, Home Performance With Energy Star (HPWES) requires 3rd party verification that the energy audit and prescribed retrofit work are completed to industry standards.
    IMO, I believe no one is more qualified to perform the retrofit work than someone who has been trained in building science, I equate this to having a serious health issue , going to a specialist for recommendations only to have him/her refer you to a general practicioner for surgery. Sure there are going to be the unscupulous individuals out there not working with 3rd party verification who will take advantage but in my experience as a BPI Certified Professional, Weatherization Company, and owner of a BPI Affiliate Training Organization, people who take the effort to become Certified Professionals are genuinely concerned with the efforts of energy efficiency.
    Now with all that, I also feel that no other industry is better equipped with the knowledge base of home construction and home systems to become Certified Energy Auditors than Home Inspectors.

    Dan Payne
    BPI Certified Professional
    ASHI Associate
    NACHI
    Environmental Energy Consultants, LLC
    BPI Affiliate Training Organization
    www.environmentalenergyconsultants.com
    enviroec@gmail.com


  63. #63
    Philip's Avatar
    Philip Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Luttrall View Post
    Oh, yeah, as far as I can tell, this was NOT passed into law, this is a RULE created by the energy office so it was not voted on by elected officials, just mandated by government employees.
    We should realize how much of our lives are dictated to by people never elected to office, but bureaucrats who make things up. I think it is called administrative law, and it exists in the local, state, and federal level. "God save us from the Civil Servants.'


  64. #64
    Philip's Avatar
    Philip Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan J. Payne View Post
    Some very good posts here.
    As some have stated training is the key to assure when we are tightening homes to assure Health, Safety and IAQ.
    Combustion Zone Testing and other requirements to BPI Standards are in place just for this reason.
    As with proposed Home Star legislation, Home Performance With Energy Star (HPWES) requires 3rd party verification that the energy audit and prescribed retrofit work are completed to industry standards.
    IMO, I believe no one is more qualified to perform the retrofit work than someone who has been trained in building science, I equate this to having a serious health issue , going to a specialist for recommendations only to have him/her refer you to a general practicioner for surgery. Sure there are going to be the unscupulous individuals out there not working with 3rd party verification who will take advantage but in my experience as a BPI Certified Professional, Weatherization Company, and owner of a BPI Affiliate Training Organization, people who take the effort to become Certified Professionals are genuinely concerned with the efforts of energy efficiency.
    Now with all that, I also feel that no other industry is better equipped with the knowledge base of home construction and home systems to become Certified Energy Auditors than Home Inspectors.

    Dan Payne
    BPI Certified Professional
    ASHI Associate
    NACHI
    Environmental Energy Consultants, LLC
    BPI Affiliate Training Organization
    www.environmentalenergyconsultants.com
    enviroec@gmail.com
    L
    Let's see, we now need a another third party expert to certify the second and first experts. I will go on record once again. This is so much bull. Conditioned air has been escaping from houses in exactly the same way for centuries. It is conduction, convection and radiant. Closing off a house and conducting tests with big fans is a laugh er. Taking infrared and seeing the windows glowing hot was in National Geo graphics in the early 80's. Now the protocol is to button the house tight and control the fresh air coming in. Guess what, letting a little air seep in throughout the house is far better than bringing in piped air.


  65. #65
    Dan J. Payne's Avatar
    Dan J. Payne Guest

    Default Re: Training needed to become energy auditor?

    OK, so you dont have to keep beating a dead horse. First a third party verification does not mean it has been verified by 2 experts before but only 1 holding a certification of a certifing organization and the 2nd being a independent expert.

    Conditioned air has been transferred in the same manner (convection, conduction, radiation) but has not been escaping houses in the same manner for centuries as you may or may not know the difference in balloon or platform framing, when and why ventilation was added to attics or how HVAC pressures affect air movement.

    When you have a client purchasing a balloon frame structure do you educate them as to potential energy issues or a crawl space with HVAC ducts, a vented or unvented crawl space or why they are that way or an attic with HVAC R-4.2 flex ducts or a home with just a central return or just say "everthing appears to be normal operational condition" a good disclaimer for your EO but actually does nothing for a client when unhealthy conditions exist within the home and are not tested or at a minimum explained.

    Uncontrolled air ifiltration/exfiltration is unpredictable during different times and conditions throughout the year and is most often coming from the worst possible places (crawlspaces, attics, maybe you like breathing rodent droppings from the attic?) for indoor air quality and the most expensive air to condition (cold, hot, latent air) and may cause serious health issues due to depressurization of the CAZ. Pressure balances in a home can also cause moisture issues within the walls resulting in unhealthy bacterial growth and so on.....
    These are some of the issues energy auditors evaluate.
    Controlled ventilation has many benefits with pressure balances, exchanging energy of exhausted air that has already been paid for with incoming air, filtering incoming air to improve indoor air quality.
    I also suggest you take an ifrared class, the first thing you will learn is anyone pointing an infrared camera out a window knows nothing about the way infrared operates

    Dan Payne
    BPI Certified Professional
    ASHI Associate
    NACHI
    Environmental Energy Consultants, LLC
    BPI Affiliate Training Organization
    www.environmentalenergyconsultants.com
    enviroec@gmail.com


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