November, 2009
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors

ASHI Member Sees Future – Makes History


Bob Sisson is first-in-country Certified RESNET Home Energy Survey Professional

ASHI members are beginning to understand the relevance that energy auditing will have in years to come. State and federal government agencies and most major utility companies are working on energy efficiency programs that will rely on energy efficiency audits to uncover remediation needs and, after renovations, determine the degree of improvement in the energy utilization of the home.

For instance, there is talk within HUD about requiring an energy audit as a pre-condition to approval of FHA mortgages. The Department of Energy (DOE) is preparing a residential weatherization/energy improvement program that will rely on audits both before and after renovations. Many local utilities have programs to subsidize the cost of energy audits if improvements are made.

This past June, 20 forward-thinking NOVA and MAC-ASHI members attended the nation’s first RESNET Home Energy Survey Professional Certification class in Rockville, Maryland, taught by Dallas Jones of Home Energy Team Institute (HETI). RESNET is the Residential Energy Service Network, the national energy auditing standards and certification organization that works with the federal Department of the Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency.

Bob Sisson, an ASHI Certified Inspector who serves on MAC-ASHI’s Board and the ASHI Public Relations Committee, not only attended and passed the RESNET certification exam, he quickly completed all prerequisites to become the first-in-nation certified Diagnostic Home Energy Survey Professional. This was a fabulous coup for Bob and permits him to offer energy audits to his home inspection clients and existing homeowners.

Photo: Bob Sisson, first-in-nation certified Diagnostic Home Energy Survey Professional (HESP), received his RESNET certification at the MAC-ASHI September dinner meeting from Joe Dempsey, ASHI Member and Chief Energy Auditor of Home Energy Team Institute. Richard (Chip) Castell, MAC-ASHI President and candidate for HESP Certification, participated in the ceremony.

RESNET has established a hierarchy of energy auditor certifications, starting with the Home Energy Survey Professional (HESP). With additional training to use specialized equipment, such as an infra-red camera, blower door, duct tester and combustion safety testing gear, the HESP can be certified as a Diagnostic HESP, which is what Bob accomplished with the three-day course put on by HETI.
The next level is the RESNET Rater, who performs a full-scale study of new construction, which compares the subject structure to a modern code-built home. This is useful because the DOE Energy Star tax credit program requires the Energy Star home to be 20 percent better than the minimum code-built home. Finally, a Certified Home Energy Analyst (CHEA) adds priority of work and combustion safety to the Rater skills to be able to compute a rating of existing homes.

In order to provide the opportunity for obtaining energy audit skills and the RESNET certification, ASHI has arranged with Home Energy Team Institute to teach the Home Energy Survey Professional (with diagnostic skills) and proctor the exam in conjunction with InspectionWorld 2010 in Las Vegas.