October, 2010
Feature
Inspection News and Views from the American Society of Home Inspectors



Energy Auditing: Significance to Home Inspectors Grows

ARTHUR LAZEROW

This is year two and counting. Last year, the opportunity for home inspectors to add energy auditing to their repertoire burst into our world. Those of us who became interested in this new field of endeavor believed we could see the future. In the past twelve months, the future moved even closer. If the U.S. Senate passes Home Star, the future will have arrived.
There are opportunities galore today. More jurisdictions are making or considering making some form of energy audit or survey mandatory during all local real estate sales transactions. Austin, Texas, was first, followed by San Francisco, Calif., and now the State of Nevada has passed legislation mandating energy audits.

Numerous jurisdictions and utility companies around the country are pouring money into energy audits and energy efficiency home improvements made as recommended by an energy auditor. New Jersey electric and gas utilities and all three electric utilities in Maryland are providing generous subsides right now.

The Department of Energy (DOE) is close to publishing the final version of its Home Energy Survey Program. HESPRO will be a public domain energy survey data entry system and will be available to home inspectors and others for use on evaluating the energy efficiency of homes.

Many builders appreciate the advantages of building and marketing Energy Star-certified homes. Over 30 percent of new homes built last year were Energy Star-labeled homes. Only a RESNET-certified Rater is allowed by DOE to compute the energy rating and approve the issuance of the Energy Star label for a new home, which must be 20 percent more efficient that the conventionally built standard code house.

As you read this article, DOE is putting in place a program to perform hundreds of thousands of quality control surveys of energy retrofits performed in all 50 states using funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Only energy auditors certified by BPI or RESNET or who hold another DOE-approved certification will be qualified to perform these surveys.

Fortunately, there are convenient ways to become certified. Home Energy Team Institute (HETI), an ASHI Affiliate, has its RESNET Home Energy Survey Professional (HESP) course available as a wholly online, self-paced course. You can set up the RESNET exam yourself and then apply to Home Energy Team Institute for your certification. HETI will conduct its combined RESNET/BPI Analyst advanced course during InspectionWorld 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. This course leads to three certifications: HESP, HESP with diagnostic skills and the BPI Building Analyst. Sign up early and begin studying.

Energy auditing is the next big income-producing service for home inspectors who understand the opportunity. The need to become certified in the energy audit field is screaming at you! Opportunities abound, but do YOU get it?